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Public Policy

IGF Baku

What is Internet Public Policy?

Our work is based upon our fundamental belief that the Internet is for everyone. In pursuing our objectives, we operate collaboratively and inclusively, working with governments, national and international organizations, civil society, the private sector, and other parties to reach decisions about the Internet that conform to our core values. A primary focus of our public policy work is Internet governance which in 2016 is focused on these three areas:

Our work is informed by the results of our 2015 Internet Governance Survey and we created an Internet Governance Timeline to help track the many events happening over the course of 2016.

How We Work

We work in a multi-stakeholder fashion towards the development of an Open and Sustainable Internet for the benefit of all people. Because the Internet impacts all of us, we work with partners globally of all shapes and sizes to make sure we can address a wide range of social, economic, and policy issues that interfere with an open and sustainable Internet.  For more information regarding our community and partners please visit our Community and Partners Page.


Public Policy Blog

  • Today, the Internet Society, along with 50 organizations and trade associations and nearly 90 individual experts who care deeply about an open, trusted Internet, expressed our deep concerns that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may require individuals to disclose their social media account passwords as a condition of entry into the United States.  Last week, the new U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security indicated that the U.S. government is considering such a policy as an element of border screening.

    We signed onto this statement because we believe that this policy would...

    Date published 16 February 2017

  • Last weekend, millions joined the Women’s March in the US and across the world. They stood up for their rights, and the rights of everyone. We need to do the same on the Internet.

    The Internet gives everyone a voice, but we need people to protect those voices. 

    Online harassment and cyber bullying are real. And, some groups are targeted more than others.

    Last year, the Guardian exposed the stark reality in the field of journalism. An analysis of written comments posted in response to articles on the Guardian website revealed that of the ten journalists who...

    Date published 27 January 2017

  • On September 30, 2016, the contract between the U.S. government and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) over the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) ended. This marked a process of almost 20 years that started with the privatization of the Domain Name System (DNS) in 1998. With the contract expired, taking stock of the process becomes critical. What unfolded for more two years was not just about the transition of a set of functions, critical to the operation of the Internet: it was also about the ability of the Internet community to stay true to the...

    Date published 25 January 2017

  • Starting at 9:00am US EST (UTC-5) today, January 23, the State of the Net 2017 conference will stream live out of Washington, DC. This annual event brings together politicians, U.S. Congressional staff and other policy makers to discuss the current state of Internet policy, particularly as it relates to U.S. positions and policies. Given the new U.S. President, this year's event should be of special interest. You can watch live at:

    We will have two Internet Society staff participating:

    Steve Olshansky will be part of the 12:00noon panel...
    Date published 23 January 2017

  • Last week was the “Key Issues for Digital Transformation in the G20” event, a joint conference between the OECD and the German government setting the stage for the G20 meeting later this year in Hamburg, Germany. As an international forum gathering the world’s twenty major economies this is as much a political event as a thermometer on the major concerns that will drive international ICT policy in the near future.

    Resisting a reflex of fear and isolation

    The 2017 G20 on “Shaping an Interconnected world” is taking place in a context where the Internet has an ever growing influence on...

    Date published 19 January 2017