Internet Society
   HOME

TheInfoList



The Internet Society (ISOC) is an American nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1992. Its mission is "to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world." It has offices in
Reston, Virginia Reston is a census-designated place A census-designated place (CDP) is a Place (United States Census Bureau), concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. CDPs have been used in each decenni ...
, U.S., and
Geneva , neighboring_municipalities= Carouge Carouge () is a Municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland. History Carouge is first mentioned in the Early Middle Ages as ''Quadruvium'' and ''Quatruvio''. In 1248 ...

Geneva
, Switzerland. Most board members and senior staff are from the United States and Europe.


Organization

The Internet Society has regional bureaus worldwide, composed of chapters, organizational members, and, as of July 2020, more than 70,000 individual members. The Internet Society has a staff of more than 100 and is governed by a
board of trustees A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British English spelling diffe ...

board of trustees
, whose members are appointed or elected by the society's chapters, organization members, and the
Internet Engineering Task Force The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an open standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary function ...
(IETF). The IETF comprises the Internet Society's volunteer base. Its leadership includes Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ted Hardie; and President and CEO, Andrew Sullivan. The Internet Society has created the
Public Interest Registry Public Interest Registry is a Reston, Virginia Reston is a census-designated place in Fairfax County, Virginia. Founded in 1964, Reston was influenced by the Garden city movement, Garden City movement that emphasized planned, self-contained communi ...

Public Interest Registry
(PIR), launched the
Internet Hall of Fame The Internet Hall of Fame is an honorary lifetime achievement award administered by the Internet Society The Internet Society (ISOC) is an American nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity ...
, and serves as the organizational home of the IETF. The Internet Society Foundation was created in 2017 as its independent philanthropic arm, which awards grants to organizations.


History

In 1991, the contract with the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) to operate the
Internet Engineering Task Force The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an open standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary function ...
(IETF) expired. The then
Internet Activities Board The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) is "a committee of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and an advisory body of the Internet Society (ISOC). Its responsibilities include architectural oversight of IETF activities, Internet Standards Pr ...
(IAB) sought to create a non-profit institution which could take over the role. In 1992
Vint Cerf Vinton Gray Cerf (; born June 23, 1943) is an American Internet pioneer and is recognized as one of "List of Internet pioneers, the fathers of the Internet", sharing this title with TCP/IP co-developer Bob Kahn. He has received honorary degrees ...

Vint Cerf
,
Bob Kahn Robert Elliot Kahn (born December 23, 1938) is an American electrical engineer, who, along with Vint Cerf Vinton Gray Cerf (; born June 23, 1943) is an American Internet pioneer and is recognized as one of "List of Internet pioneers, the fa ...

Bob Kahn
and Lyman Chapin announced the formation of the Internet Society as "a professional society to facilitate, support, and promote the evolution and growth of the Internet as a global research communications infrastructure," which would incorporate the IAB, the IETF, and the
Internet Research Task Force{{Infobox organization , name = Internet ResearchTask Force , image = Irtf-logo.svg , image_border = , size = 225px , caption = , map = , msize = , mcaption = , abbreviation = IRT ...
(IRTF), plus the organization of the annual INET meetings. This arrangement was formalized in RFC1602 in 1993. In 1999, after
Jon Postel Jonathan Bruce Postel (; August 6, 1943 – October 16, 1998) was an American computer scientist A computer scientist is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, mora ...

Jon Postel
's death, ISOC established the Jonathan B. Postel Service Award. The award has been presented every year since 1999 by the Internet Society to "honor a person who has made outstanding contributions in service to the data communications community." By mid-2000, the Internet Society's finances became precarious, and several individuals and organizations stepped forward to fill the gap. Until 2001, there were also trustees elected by individual members of the Internet Society. Those elections were "suspended" in 2001. This was ostensibly done as a fiscal measure due to the perception that the elections were too expensive for the precarious financial state of the organization. In later Bylaw revisions, the concept of individual member-selected trustees went from "suspended" to being deleted altogether In late 2001, leaders from Afilias (a domain name registry) approached the Internet Society CEO Lynn St.Amour, to propose a novel partnership to jointly bid for the .org registry. In this model, the Internet Society would become the new home of .org, and all technical and service functions would be managed by Afilias. Afilias would pay for all bid expenses and would contribute towards the Internet Society payroll while the bid was under consideration by ICANN. The Internet Society Board approved this proposal at their Board meeting in 2001. In 2002 ISOC successfully bid for the .org registry and formed the
Public Interest Registry Public Interest Registry is a Reston, Virginia Reston is a census-designated place in Fairfax County, Virginia. Founded in 1964, Reston was influenced by the Garden city movement, Garden City movement that emphasized planned, self-contained communi ...

Public Interest Registry
(PIR), to manage and operate it. In 2010, ISOC launched its first community network initiative to deploy five wireless mesh based networks in rural locations across India. In 2012, on ISOC's 20th anniversary, it established the
Internet Hall of Fame The Internet Hall of Fame is an honorary lifetime achievement award administered by the Internet Society The Internet Society (ISOC) is an American nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity ...
, an award to "publicly recognize a distinguished and select group of visionaries, leaders, and luminaries who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the global Internet". On June 8, 2011, ISOC mounted World IPv6 Day and World IPv6 Launch Day, World IPv6 Day to test IPv6 deployment. In 2012 ISOC launched Deploy360, a portal and training program to promote IPv6 and DNSSEC. On June 6, 2012, ISOC organized the World IPv6 Day and World IPv6 Launch Day, World IPv6 Launch, this time with the intention of leaving IPv6 permanently enabled on all participating sites. In 2016 Deploy 360 extended its campaigns to include Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) and DNS-based Authentication of Named Entities (DANE). In 2017 ISOC's North America Region launched an annual Indigenous Connectivity Summit with an event in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In subsequent years the event has been held in Inuvik, NWT, and Hilo, Hawaii. In December 2017 ISOC absorbed standards body Online Trust Alliance (OTA) which produces an annual Online Trust Audit, a Cyber Incident Response Guide, and an Internet of Things (IoT) Trust Framework. In August 2018 the Internet Society organized the IETF more formally as the IETF Administration LLC (IETF LLC) underneath ISOC. The IETF LLC continues to be closely associated with ISOC and is significantly funded by ISOC.


Support to United Nations Internet Governance Initiative

The ubiquity of the Internet in modern-day society has prompted António Guterres, the United Nations UNSG, Secretary-General to convene a panel of professional experts to discuss the future of the Internet and the role of the Internet in globalized digital cooperation. Three models were proposed after several rounds of discussion, i.e. a Digital Commons Architecture (DCA), a Distributed Co-Governance Architecture (CoGov), and a reformed Internet Governance Forum (IGF+). As of October 2020, the ISOC is leading and facilitating the multi-round meetings for Stakeholders’ Dialogue to collect, compile, and submit the inputs of the worldwide professionals and experts for future governance of the Internet.


Activities

In the late 1990s, the Internet Society established the Jonathan B. Postel Service Award. It has been presented every year to honor a person who has made outstanding contributions in service to the data communications community. The Internet Society's activities include MANRS (Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security) - which was launched in 2014 to provide crucial fixes to reduce the most common threats to the Internet's routing infrastructure. The society organizes the Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) to help grow the Internet infrastructure in Africa and hosts Internet development conferences in developing markets. The society offers Deploy360, an information hub, portal and training program to promote IPv6 and DNSSEC. In 2017 it launched an annual Indigenous Connectivity Summit to connect tribal communities, starting with an event in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In subsequent years the event has been held in Inuvik, NWT, and Hilo, Hawaii. The society also publishes reports on global Internet issues, and creates tools, surveys, codes, and policy recommendations to improve Internet use. The society supports projects to build community networks and infrastructure, secure routing protocols, and advocate for end-to-end encryption.


Controversies


Sale of the Public Interest Registry

In 2019 the Internet Society agreed to the sale of the Public Interest Registry to Ethos Capital for $1.135 billion, a transaction initially expected to be completed in early 2020. The Internet Society said it planned to use the proceeds to fund an Financial endowment, endowment. The Public Interest Registry is a non-profit subsidiary of the Internet Society which operates three top-level domain names (.ORG, .NGO, and .ONG), all of which have traditionally focused on serving the non-profit and non-governmental organization communities. The sale was met with significant opposition due to involving the transfer of what is viewed as a public asset to a private equity investment firm. In late January 2020, the ICANN halted its final approval of the sale after the Attorney General of California requested detailed documentation from all parties, citing concerns that both ICANN and the Internet Society had potentially violated their public interest missions as registered charities subject to the laws of California. In February, the Internet Society's ''Chapter Advisory Council'' (which represents its membership) began the process to adopt a motion rejecting the sale if certain conditions were not complied with. On April 30, 2020, ICANN rejected the proposal to sell the PIR to Ethos Capital.


Denial of participation of Iranians in activities

In September 2016, the Internet Society indicated that it would not seek to obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury that would allow it to fund the activities of Iranian nationals. This had caused considerable distress to ISOC members in Iran, who were thus unable to launch an Internet Society chapter in Iran, and saw a fellowship revoked that the Internet Society had awarded to fund the travel of Iranian student to visit the Internet Governance Forum in Mexico.


References


External links

*
An Oral History of the Internet Society’s Founding
(2013) {{Authority control Internet Society, History of the Internet Internet governance organizations Internet Standards Organizations established in 1992 1992 establishments in the United States