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History of the Internet Society

The Internet Society and Internet History

The Internet Society was formed in 1992 by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, two of the “Fathers of the Internet”. The Internet Society’s history and values reflect this founding lineage. Among its leadership and membership one can find many of the Internet’s technical pioneers, innovators, and global connectors. Its mission—to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world—mirrors the guiding principles that gave rise to and enabled the propagation of our era’s defining technology.

For more than 20 years, the Internet Society has also played an important role in informing and creating the history of the Internet. The Internet Society’s foundational pillars—Outreach, Technology, and Policy—have found expression in initiatives that have helped to connect the world, supported the development of fundamental Internet technology, and promoted transparency and a multistakeholder, bottom-up approach in addressing global Internet governance issues.

Believing that “the Internet is for Everyone,” the Internet Society has worked since its founding to make that goal a reality.

“The Internet Society is operating on a world stage to help all of the stakeholders of the Internet to understand what the implications of the technology are, what policies are beneficial, and what rights and freedoms need to be preserved in the use of this system.”

Vint Cerf

“I think ISOC has an extraordinarily important role in today’s environment…it’s almost the case that if the Internet Society didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it.”

Steve Crocker

“I think ISOC is probably the primary organization whose charter is the protection of the Internet and preservation of its goals and aspirations as they were originally.”

Larry Landweber

“One of the things that I think is very important about the Internet Society is that they aren’t bounded by having a specific operational task and therefore have both a higher degree of independence in their thinking and a higher degree of credibility in the world.”

Steve Crocker