The documents below provide a concise Internet Society perspective on critical Internet issues. Please follow the links to read more on the different topics. Each policy brief is available both online and in a PDF form. The documents are available in English and Spanish and French.
These documents are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. You are welcome to share and re-use these documents as long as you link back to this site and abide by the other terms of the license.
- Identity on the Internet
- The Internet and Human Rights
- Internet Governance
- Internet Interconnection
- Internet Invariants
- The Internet of Things
- IPv6 Adoption
- Local Content
- Network Neutrality
- Open Internet Standards
- Privacy on the Internet
- The Challenge of Spam
Botnets are a complex and continuously evolving challenge to user confidence and security on the Internet. Combating botnets requires cross-border and multidisciplinary collaboration, innovative technical approaches, and the widespread deployment of mitigation measures that respect the fundamental principles of the Internet. Read more... (Spanish) (French)
Encryption technologies enable Internet users to protect the confidentiality of their data and communications from unwanted observation and intrusion. Encryption is also a technical foundation for trust on the Internet. It promotes freedom of expression, commerce, privacy, user trust, and helps protect data from bad actors. For these reasons, the Internet Society believes that encryption should be the norm for Internet traffic and data storage. Read more... (Spanish) (French)
On the Internet, your digital identity is not just a name, it is who you are and your key to online interactions. Digital identities help users protect their privacy; segregate personal, social, and professional online presences; and engage in trusted transactions with storefronts, banks, medical providers, and govern-ments. Identity-driven innovation can encourage a more secure banking sector, more trusted digital trade (e.g., electronic signatures and mobile payments), and a more efficient e-government sector (e.g., electronic tax returns and e-voting). For these reasons, digital identity is a key aspect of many Internet policy issues, including privacy, consumer protection goals, e-government services, digital trade, and trust in the digital economy. In short, a trusted digital-identity ecosystem is a critical component of a trusted Internet. Read more...
Internet-related government policy, corporate decisions, and technical-development choices influence the extent to which the Internet supports or challenges fundamental human rights. Championing trust, open Internet principles, and dialog among stakeholders are critical ways to promote the Internet’s role in supporting human rights. Read more... (Spanish) (French)
The term Internet governance refers to the processes that impact how the Internet is managed. The historic and future success of the Internet as an open and trusted platform for innovation and empowerment depends on a decentralized, collaborative, and multistakeholder approach to Internet governance. Read more... (Spanish) (French)
The success of the Internet depends on reliable, efficient, and cost-effective interconnections among networks. Governments need to create policy and regulatory environments that remove artificial barriers and foster flexibility in interconnecting networks. Read more... (Spanish) (French)
The IPv6 protocol standard is critical for supporting the Internet’s continued development. Network operators, content providers, software and hardware developers, and enterprises, among others, need to implement IPv6 in order to ensure efficiency, global connectivity, and long-term growth of the Internet. Read more... (Spanish and French versions coming soon)
Today’s Internet has transformed how more than two billion people connect and communicate. And it will continue to transform our economy, infrastructure, and social lives as cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and mobile devices evolve in ways we cannot yet imagine. We don’t often talk about how the network behind this technology works, just as most of us don’t concern ourselves with where electricity comes from, so long as our lights turn on. But as the Internet becomes an increasingly more pervasive and critical piece of infrastructure, we need to understand both the network’s challenges and opportunities if we want it to continue to serve as a vehicle for social empowerment and economic growth. This means knowing why the Internet works the way it does and why we should not interfere with its fundamental properties, called Internet invariants—properties that do not change even as the Internet does. These consistent architectural principles and structural rules facilitate the Internet’s undisturbed evolution. Read more... (Spanish and French versions coming soon)
Often referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), billions of smart devices are expected to come online in the coming decade, bringing with them the promise of global economic opportunities and new innovations that will transform the way we work, live, and play. However, challenges associated with IoT, including security and privacy, must be addressed in order for technology to reach its full potential.. Read more... (Spanish) (French)
Internet exchange points (IXPs) can improve Internet quality and affordability in local communities. IXPs help strengthen local Internet connectivity, develop local Internet industry, improve competitiveness, and serve as a hub for technical activity. Read more... (Spanish) (French)
Creation of and access to relevant local online content in developing countries is an important driver for the adoption and growth of the Internet in those regions. Well-functioning local connectivity, government support of content development and training, and a clear legal regulatory environment are critical for the growth of local content. Read more... (Spanish) (French)
Network neutrality is a complex and controversial topic and is an important part of a free and open Internet. Enabling access, choice, and transparency of Internet offerings empowers users to benefit from full access to services, applications, and content available on the Internet. Read more... (Spanish) (French) (Portuguese)
Open Internet standards are a foundation of the Internet, allowing anyone to set up a new online service and make it available to the rest of the Internet without requiring permission from anyone else. Broad, multistakeholder participation in Internet standards processes and recognition of open standards by governmental and regulatory bodies are important for the continued growth and evolution of the Internet. Read more... (Spanish) (French)
Privacy helps reinforce user trust of online services, yet online privacy is under constant pressure of being undermined. Promoting strong, technology-neutral data-privacy laws, privacy-by-design principles, and ethical data-collection and handling principles is a key approach to protecting and fostering online privacy. Read more... (Spanish) (French)
The proliferation of spam email presents a harmful, costly, and evolving threat to Internet users. Governments can help reduce the impact of spam by deterring offenders via effective laws and enforcement measures, multistakeholder antispam efforts, the adoption of best practices, and citizen education about the dangers of spam. Read more... (Spanish) (French)
Recognizing that zero-rating has become a marketing tool for service providers and a policy issue for regulators, the Internet Society aims to provide a general framework for reviewing zero-rating offers.. Read more... (Spanish) (French)
For more information about any of these topics, please view our issues section. Please do check back periodically as we intend to add more policy briefs in the future.