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About Internet Society 19 March 2020

Introducing the Internet Society’s 2019 Impact Report

Rinalia Abdul Rahim
By Rinalia Abdul RahimSenior Vice President, Strategy, Communications and Engagement

In these uncertain times we know the Internet is so much more than a tool. It’s a way for people to stay connected, informed, and educated. It shortens distances, spurs innovation, and fosters social and economic development. It empowers us and frees us.

It is a lifeline.

Yet, nearly 50% of the world still remains unconnected – and globally the Internet faces threats, each with the power to undermine the core of its existence. Now more than ever we must ensure the Internet remains open, globally connected, and secure.

The world is counting on it.

As we looked back at our work in 2019, an inspiring theme emerged: a global society driven by the idea that the Internet should be a resource for all, and persevering against odds to make this vision a reality. This society recognizes the Internet’s power as a way to stay in touch, to empower, to enable, and to create. Collectively, we are not just helping to bridge the digital divide, we are taking action to ensure the Internet remains resilient and trusted – a force for good.

Our 2019 Impact Report highlights the work of the Internet Society – our Chapters, Organization Members, individual members, and our staff – who are working to grow and strengthen the Internet. Together we convened, advocated, supported, and partnered for one vital resource: The Internet.

  • For instance, closing the digital divide stretches beyond remote and rural areas. In New York, one of the world’s most populated cities, many residents lack affordable Internet access. The New York Chapter helped NYC Mesh expand its urban network to six new, previously underserved locations as part of our 24-hour global Chapter challenge on Connecting the Unconnected.
  • Our community, together with our partners, supported the development of more than 12 in-country Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) around the world. These IXPs help reduce data transit costs, a major barrier for Internet access. Thanks to the commitment and hard work of our community in Africa, Internet traffic exchange in the past 10 years has grown over 456% in this region!
  • Because ongoing leaks and hijacks online undermine the security and trustworthiness of the Internet, the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) community launched a new tool, MANRS Observatory, providing transparent routing security data on more than 64,000 networks across the world.
  • As a diligent advocate for strong end-to-end encryption, our community came together along with 47 other technology organizations and experts to successfully counter the UK’s “ghost proposal” for access to encrypted messages.

Collaboration. The power of a strong community. Working side-by-side through challenges to create the Internet we all want for the benefit of everyone. This is what you’ll find reflected throughout the 2019 Impact Report.

Explore the 2019 Impact Report and see how we’re working with our community and allies around the world to keep the Internet a force for good. To our global community and partners: thank you.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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