You are here

History of the Internet Society

  • 2010

  • European Bureau map

    Internet Society Establishes European Bureau

    January 2010
    European Bureau map

    Internet Society Establishes European Bureau

    January 2010

    The Internet Society opens its Regional Bureau in Europe in Brussels at the start of 2010. The Bureau focuses on engagement with the European Internet community on policy, regulatory, and technology issues; serves as a technical resource for policy makers who need to address issues related to the Internet and its future; builds partnerships with key stakeholders at the European and national levels; and works with key European decision-makers to promote a realistic model of the Internet based on the values of openness and transparency.

  • North America Bureau map

    Internet Society Establishes North American Bureau

    January 2010
    North America Bureau map

    Internet Society Establishes North American Bureau

    January 2010

    The Internet Society’s Regional Bureau in North American is opened in Washington, DC. The Bureau focuses on engagement and consultation with policymakers on issues such as US and Canadian strategies to increase high-speed Internet access, promoting Internet innovation, and confronting the challenges of the digital economy; serving as an important voice encouraging continued commitment to private-sector leadership, a collaborative approach to technology development, and the free flow of information online; and developing partnerships that demonstrate strong support for principles of openness and bottom-up decision-making in the regional policy dialogue.

  • Internet Society is Granted Consultative Status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC)

    July 2010

    Internet Society is Granted Consultative Status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC)

    July 2010

    The Internet Society is granted Consultative Status by ECOSOC at the organization’s Substantive Session in July 2010, entitling ISOC to accreditation and allowing it to participate in relevant UN conferences and preparatory meetings.

    ECOSOC is the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to member states and the UN system.  It is responsible for promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress; identifying solutions to international economic, social, and health problems; facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation; and encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

  • First African Peering Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) Held in Nairobi

    11-12 August 2010

    First African Peering Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) Held in Nairobi

    11-12 August 2010

    Despite Africa’s growing regional network infrastructure, most of African cross-border traffic exchange is exchanged in Europe and North America. The Internet Society organizes the first African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) as a multi-stakeholder conference to address interconnection, peering, and traffic exchange challenges and opportunities for Africa.

    Held annually, AfPIF aims to foster national and cross-border interconnection opportunities by providing a forum where key players from infrastructure and service providers, IXPs, regulators, and policy makers can engage in a relaxed but businesslike environment, sharing their experiences and learning from experts in the field.

  • First Meeting of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), St. Maarten

    15-19 August 2010

    First Meeting of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), St. Maarten

    15-19 August 2010

    With the Internet Society as a founding partner, the first meeting of CaribNOG convenes a rich community of network operators dedicated to exchanging technical information and experiences related to the management of IP networks in the Caribbean region.

    CaribNOG collaborates with regional and international organizations and stakeholders to facilitate capacity building and professional networking activities. Its initiatives include technical workshops, seminars, research papers, and annual meetings.

  • Internet Society Obtains Permanent Observer Status to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

    September 2010

    Internet Society Obtains Permanent Observer Status to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

    September 2010

    The Internet Society gains Permanent Observer status with WIPO during the organization’s General Assembly in 2010. Seeing its role as one of providing technical guidance and advice to policy makers involved in key Internet issues, the Internet Society co-organizes numerous workshops with WIPO concerning online copyright issues. The Internet Society is also an Observer Organization to the Steering Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) and Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks (SCT).

  • First Meeting of the Network Operators Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNOG), Sao Paulo

    19-22 October 2010

    First Meeting of the Network Operators Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNOG), Sao Paulo

    19-22 October 2010

    The first meeting of Network Operators Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNOG) convenes technologist and operational experts from leading Internet providers, equipment manufacturers, organizations responsible for Internet coordination, and the academic networking community—providing a forum for the discussion and exchange of information on key operational issues impacting the Internet in the region.

    LACNOG is an initiative of the Internet Society and the region’s Internet community who, seeing a need for a pan-regional network operators group in Latin America, work together to make it happen. The event brings together people in the region responsible for the creation, maintenance, and operation of Internet networks and provides a forum for discussion, coordination, and the exchange of best practices between networking professionals.

  • MoU signing

    Internet Society Signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA)

    January 2011
    MoU signing

    Internet Society Signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA)

    January 2011

    The Internet Society and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA) sign a memorandum of understanding to work together to develop ICT (information and Communication Technology) in Africa by creating an enabling environment for Internet development, promoting the development of local content and enhancing the capacity of African ICT specialists to deal with Internet-related technical and policy issues.

    NEPAD is a program adopted by the African Union (AU) in 2001. Its overarching objective is to enhance Africa's growth and participation in the global economy by accelerating economic cooperation and integration among African countries. The NEPAD NCPA was established to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of continental and regional programs and projects, mobilize resources and partners in support of the implementation of Africa's priority programs and projects, conduct and coordinate research and knowledge management, monitor and evaluate the implementation of programs and projects, and advocate for the African Union (AU) and NEPAD vision, mission, and core principles.

  • World IPv6 Day badge

    World IPv6 Day

    8 June 2011
    World IPv6 Day badge

    World IPv6 Day

    8 June 2011

    The Internet Society sponsors World IPv6 day as a global-scale test flight of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). On World IPv6 Day, major web companies and other industry players come together to enable IPv6 on their main websites for 24 hours. The goal is to motivate organizations across the industry—Internet service providers, hardware makers, operating system vendors, and web companies—to prepare their services for IPv6, in order to ensure a successful transition as IPv4 address space runs out.

    World IPv6 Day acts as a focal point to bring existing efforts together. For the first time, players from all parts of the industry are able to work towards the common goal of enabling IPv6 at a large scale with minimal disruption. By acting together, ISPs, web site operators, OS manufacturers, and equipment vendors are able to address problems—including global scalability issues—in a controlled fashion and resolve them cooperatively.

  • Deploy360 logo

    Internet Society Launches Deploy360 Programme

    December 2011
    Deploy360 logo

    Internet Society Launches Deploy360 Programme

    December 2011

    The Deploy360 Programme serves as a bridge between the IETF standards process and adoption of those standards by the global operations community for such technologies as IPv6, DNSSeC, and Routing Resiliency and Security.

    IPv6 deployment efforts, in particular, confront the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses and deepen the Internet Society’s commitment to deploy IPv6 in developing countries via hands-on training workshops, facilitation of experience-sharing among operators, and increased awareness of IPv6 deployment imperatives.

  • Internet Hall of Fame logo

    Launch of Internet Hall of Fame

    23 April 2012
    Internet Hall of Fame logo

    Launch of Internet Hall of Fame

    23 April 2012

    To highlight the Internet’s profound impact on our world, the Internet Society establishes an Internet Hall of Fame to identify, recognize, and celebrate individuals who have fuelled the development of the Internet and used it to transform the lives of people throughout the world. The Hall of Fame’s first group of inductees totals 33—with 14 networking “Pioneers”, Nine “Global Connectors”, and 10 “Innovators”.

  • Lynn St. Amour at INET 2012

    Global INET Geneva

    22-24 April 2012
    Lynn St. Amour at INET 2012

    Global INET Geneva

    22-24 April 2012

    To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Internet Society holds its first global INET conference since 2004. Global INET 2012 carries the theme “Meeting at the Crossroads: Imagining the Future Internet” and, as a prelude, features a collaborative leadership exchange centered on this same topic. The conference serves as the forum for the inaugural inductions into the newly created Internet Hall of Fame and closes with keynote remarks by IHOF inductee and founding president of ISOC Vint Cerf.

  • Internet Society Gains Associate Status with Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT)

    1 May 2012

    Internet Society Gains Associate Status with Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT)

    1 May 2012

    Through its Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau based in Singapore, the Internet Society becomes an official member of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity, an intergovernmental organization founded by a joint initiative of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The APT operates in conjunction with telecom service providers, manufacturers of communications equipment, and research and development organizations active in the field of communication, information, and innovation technologies. As an associate member of the APT, the Bureau is able to actively contribute to discussions shaping the region’s agenda and positions on areas relating to Internet and ICT (information and communications technology) development.

  • ISOC Switzerland Chapter Chartered

    May 2012

    ISOC Switzerland Chapter Chartered

    May 2012

    The ISOC Switzerland Chapter—formerly ISOC Switzerland Geneva—is rejuvenated on May 9, 2012 by Bernie Hoeneisen and Roxana Radu, an ISOC Next Generation Leaders (NGL) program member.

    The ISOC Switzerland Chapter engages more than 100 members in events that reflect member interests and ISOC priorities, with plans for more events in Bern, Geneva, Zurich, and other regions of Switzerland in the coming year and beyond.

  • ISOC Kenya Chapter Chartered

    May 2012

    ISOC Kenya Chapter Chartered

    May 2012

    The Internet Society Kenya Chapter is founded on 9 May 2012 by Barrack Otieno, Charles Oloo, Judy Okite, and Elizabeth Orembo, in order to provide a forum for IT professionals and individuals in civil society to engage in issues of Internet policy, infrastrucure, and standards, among other concerns.

  • World IPv6 Launch badge

    World IPv6 Launch

    6 June 2012
    World IPv6 Launch badge

    World IPv6 Launch

    6 June 2012

    The Internet Society organizes World IPv6 Launch to motivate organizations across the industry—including Internet service providers (ISPs), hardware makers, and web companies—to prepare for and permanently enable Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) on their products and services as Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) address space runs out.

    The largest industry commitment to and deployment of IPv6 in the history of the Internet, World IPv6 Launch acts as a focal point to bring existing deployment efforts and industry players together. By acting together on the World IPv6 Launch, ISPs, web companies, and equipment vendors are able to cooperatively address common challenges and work towards the goal of permanently deploying IPv6 on the global Internet

  • WSIS +10

    25-27 February 2013
  • IHOF logo

    Internet Hall of Fame Announces 2013 Inductees

    August 2013
    IHOF logo

    Internet Hall of Fame Announces 2013 Inductees

    August 2013

    The Internet Society announced the names of the 32 individuals who have been selected for induction into the Internet Hall of Fame. Honored for their groundbreaking contributions to the global Internet, 2013 inductees comprise some of the world’s most influential engineers, activists, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

    The Internet Hall of Fame celebrates Internet visionaries, innovators, and leaders from around the world who believed in the design and potential of an open Internet and, through their work, helped change the way we live and work today. 

    The 2013 Internet Hall of Fame inductees are:

    Pioneers Circle – Recognizing individuals who were instrumental in the early design and development of the Internet:

    David Clark, David Farber, Howard Frank, Kanchana Kanchanasut, J.C.R. Licklider (posthumous), Bob Metcalfe, Jun Murai, Kees Neggers, Nii Narku Quaynor, Glenn Ricart, Robert Taylor, Stephen Wolff, Werner Zorn

    Innovators – Recognizing individuals who made outstanding technological, commercial, or policy advances and helped to expand the Internet’s reach:

    Marc Andreessen, John Perry Barlow, Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder, François Flückiger, Stephen Kent, Henning Schulzrinne, Richard Stallman, Aaron Swartz (posthumous), Jimmy Wales

    Global Connectors – Recognizing individuals from around the world who have made significant contributions to the global growth and use of the Internet:

    Karen Banks, Gihan Dias, Anriette Esterhuysen, Steven Goldstein, Teus Hagen, Ida Holz, Qiheng Hu, Haruhisa Ishida (posthumous), Barry Leiner (posthumous), George Sadowsky

  • Kathryn C. Brown Named CEO of Internet Society

    19 December 2013

    Kathryn C. Brown Named CEO of Internet Society

    19 December 2013

    The Internet Society names Kathryn C. Brown as its new CEO, succeeding Lynn St. Amour, effective 1 January 2014. Brown comes to the position with more than 30 years of experience in communications policy development, including serving as Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility at Verizon; specializing in legal and regulatory communications policy as a partner at the Washington D.C. law firm Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering; and serving in the administration of US President Clinton, as Head of the Office of Policy and Development at the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) and as Chief of Staff to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman William E. Kennard.

     At Verizon, Brown helped identify and navigate emerging digital issues and led its global corporate responsibility initiatives. She represented the company in the successful adoption by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) of principles for Internet policymaking and was a member of the US delegation to the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) World Conference on International Telecommunications treaty negotiations.

    As leader of Verizon's corporate responsibility initiatives, she served on Verizon's corporate councils for the development of the company's online privacy and content policies and promoted Verizon's Human Rights Statement and Supplier Code of Conduct. Additionally, she oversaw an investment of more than $60 million (US) a year in programs and grants from the Verizon Foundation that helped support Internet development. In 2010 she partnered with the Internet Society to launch a highly successful forum on the Internet and higher education in East Africa.

    While serving at the FCC, she managed the staff supporting FCC Chairman Kennard's historic decision to keep the Internet unregulated, to fund the E-rate, and to increase radio spectrum availability to fuel wireless technology innovation.

     

     

     

     

  • The African Union Commission Selects the Internet Society for the Regional Internet Exchange Points and Regional Internet Carrier Workshops of the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) Project

    6 February 2014

    The African Union Commission Selects the Internet Society for the Regional Internet Exchange Points and Regional Internet Carrier Workshops of the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) Project

    6 February 2014

    Capacity building workshops to support the establishment of national and regional Internet Exchange Points

    The Internet Society announced that it has been selected by the African Union Commission (AUC) for the Regional Internet Exchange Points and Regional Internet Carrier Workshops of the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project. The AXIS project is focused on keeping Africa’s Internet traffic local to the continent by providing capacity building and technical assistance to facilitate the establishment of National Internet Exchange Points and Regional Internet Exchange Points in Africa. 

    Under the new AXIS contract, the Internet Society will conduct Capacity Building workshops focused on best practices and benefits of setting up Regional Internet Exchange Points and Regional Internet Carriers. The Internet Society will partner with AFRINIC and other organizations in Africa and around the world to conduct workshops in each of the five AUC geographical regions over the next 18 months.

    As part of this agreement, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in partnership with the AUC and the Internet Society are currently undertaking the first Regional workshop on best practices and benefits of setting up Regional Exchange Points and Regional Internet Carriers from 3-7 February 2014 in Gaborone, Botswana. Attendees at the workshop include more than one hundred experts from Ministries, regulatory agencies, IXPs, and the private sector from the following countries of the SADC region: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.

    In August 2012, the Internet Society announced that it had been selected by the AUC for the first contract under the AXIS project to conduct 60 Community Mobilization and Technical Aspects workshops in 30 African countries. To date, more than 30 workshops have been completed and a number of the countries where these workshops took place are expected to launch their IXPs in the first half of 2014, thus highlighting the sustainable efforts made by AXIS towards significantly changing the interconnection landscape of the entire African continent. As countries establish their own IXPs, Internet traffic will be routed locally, creating cost and performance benefits and stimulating growth in and distribution of local Internet content. 

    In spite of this progress, much of Africa’s regional Internet traffic is still routed through Internet Exchange Points external to the African continent, which is costly and an inefficient way to handle the inter-country exchange of Internet traffic. The regional exchange points that will be developed will help keep intra-African traffic within the continent.

    “The award of this contract reflects the success of the Internet Society’s work to date on AXIS, and we are very thankful to the African Union for this recognition and trust,” said Dr. Dawit Bekele, Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for Africa. “The AXIS project is instrumental in developing a reliable and sustainable Internet infrastructure in Africa. The Internet Society has provided technical training in Africa for nearly 20 years, and we are very pleased to continue this important work.” 

  • IHOF logo

    Internet Hall of Fame Welcomes 2014 Inductees (IHOF 2014)

    08 April 2014
    IHOF logo

    Internet Hall of Fame Welcomes 2014 Inductees (IHOF 2014)

    08 April 2014

    Ceremony celebrates 24 new members whose vision, innovation, and determination helped shape today’s Internet and expand global connectivity 

    Twenty-four people who designed and advanced the Internet as the global, world-changing platform that it is today was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. The Internet Hall of Fame was launched in 2012 by the Internet Society and 2014 ceremony was be held in Hong Kong on 8 April. Representing 13 countries, the 2014 class of inductees have pushed the boundaries of technological and social innovation to connect the world. Their trailblazing accomplishments are as broad and diverse as the Internet itself; expanding the Internet’s benefits into new regions and communities, and creating new technologies and standards that were foundational to the Internet’s development and expansion.

    The Internet Hall of Fame celebrates Internet leaders and innovators from around the world who believe in the design and potential of an open Internet and, through their work, have helped change the way we live and work today. The 2014 inductees embody that vision:

    Pioneers Circle – Recognizing individuals who were instrumental in the early design and development of the Internet:

    Innovators – Recognizing individuals who made outstanding technological, commercial, or policy advances and helped to expand the Internet’s reach: 

    Global Connectors – Recognizing individuals from around the world who have made significant contributions to the global growth and use of the Internet: 

    “We all benefit today from the contributions of these individuals who helped shape the global Internet,” noted Internet Society CEO Kathy Brown. “They fearlessly forged into uncharted territory with innovative ideas, groundbreaking technologies, and collaborative work to connect more people and countries to the Internet. We are delighted to honor these inspiring leaders for their foresight, creativity, dedication, and achievements.”

  • GIR 2014

    GIR 2014

    June 2014
    GIR 2014

    GIR 2014

    June 2014

    The Global Internet Report is the first in a series meant to celebrate the progress of the Internet, highlight trends, and illustrate the principles that will continue to sustain the growth of the Internet.

    Open and Sustainable Internet 

    This report focuses on the open and sustainable Internet – what we mean by that, what benefits it brings, and how to overcome threats that prevent those of us already online from enjoying the full benefits, and what keeps non-users from going online in the first place.

    Given the rapid pace of change, it is important to solidify and spread the benefits of the open Internet, rather than taking them for granted.

    Report Highlights

    • Internet trends and growth
    • Benefits of an open and sustainable Internet
    • Challenges to the open and sustainble Internet
    • Recommendations to improve the Internet experience and increase access

    Executive Summaries

    The following executive summaries are now available for download:

  • IGFSA logo

    Internet Society to Establish Association in Support of the Internet Governance Forum

    07 July 2014
    IGFSA logo

    Internet Society to Establish Association in Support of the Internet Governance Forum

    07 July 2014

    At its Board meeting in London, the Internet Society Board of Trustees reiterated its support for the work of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in strengthening the multistakeholder model. The Board confirmed its resolve to take action to establish a legal structure with the objective of achieving stable and sustainable funding for the IGF.

    The Internet Governance Forum Support Association, as it will be named, will be based in Switzerland and contribute to the United Nations IGF Trust Fund and support related activities. The IGF Trust Fund finances the IGF Secretariat and contributes to Internet governance-related capacity building in developing countries, such as awarding fellowships. The Association will provide a complementary funding mechanism to the IGF Trust Fund and will also fund national and regional IGF initiatives and additional fellowships for participation in IGF-related meetings at national, regional and global levels.

    “The Internet Society is a strong advocate of the IGF and its essential role in the Internet ecosystem,” noted Kathy Brown, Internet Society President and CEO. “Last November, the Board of Trustees agreed to increase its financial support for the IGF and to establish a legal structure to facilitate financial support by others. We are excited that this process is well underway and we look forward to launching the IGF Support Association at the upcoming IGF in Istanbul.”

    The IGF provides a venue for the global multistakeholder community to discuss public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet. The IGF Support Association will be officially launched by a constituent General Assembly at the IGF meeting in Istanbul on 1 September 2014.

    “The IGF Support Association will provide businesses and individuals the opportunity to make financial contributions, big and small, and thus contribute to strengthening the IGF,” said Markus Kummer, Internet Society Senior Vice President. “The IGF is more relevant today than ever before, as it reinforces the distributed, de-centralized model of Internet governance that is necessary to ensure the future of the open, global Internet and the benefits it brings to all of us.”

    Bob Hinden, Chair of the Internet Society Board of Trustees, added, “The Board is very supportive of these steps to ensure the IGF is on a sustainable and stable path. The IGF provides a unique platform for all stakeholders to openly exchange perspectives and concerns on key issues that can impact the future of the Internet. The ISOC Board and I believe these steps will enable the IGF to have a more important role in the Internet ecosystem going forward.”

  • ITU, GSMA and Internet Society Unite in Fight against Ebola

    03 November 2014

    ITU, GSMA and Internet Society Unite in Fight against Ebola

    03 November 2014

    At the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the GSMA and the Internet Society (ISOC), announced that they are joining forces to fight against Ebola. The three organizations will bring together the global telecommunications and Internet communities, to leverage their extensive reach, capacity and respective memberships to increase the effectiveness of information and communications technologies (ICTs), especially mobile communications and the Internet, for better preparedness, early warning and response.

    Secretary-General of the ITU, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré convened a special session with ITU membership during the Plenipotentiary Conference currently underway in Busan, Republic of Korea, to identify recommendations for a more effective use of ICTs in the fight against Ebola.

    Dr Touré stated that: “The ICT Sector is critical in dealing with the Ebola threat. ICTs are already being used by ITU and its partners to support awareness raising and emergency communications, and our immediate challenge is to ensure regulatory barriers are removed to facilitate deployment and use of telecommunications applications for the purpose of saving lives. We will focus on innovative measures to increase the effective use of communications systems and applications. Human life has to be preserved and protected.”

    Dr Touré addressed Ministers, Regulators, Ambassadors, and other delegates and appealed to them to ensure that all measures are taken to facilitate the effective deployment of ICTs for addressing the Ebola crisis while balancing this with the need to protect consumer privacy.

    ITU has already deployed satellite terminals to support ongoing efforts and is currently developing new applications in close cooperation and coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO). The apps are being designed to improve awareness raising efforts, facilitate early warning alerts, report new cases of infection, and support coordination of humanitarian action at community, country and regional levels.

    The GSMA has led in coordinating and standardizing the response of mobile operators in affected countries, and has collaborated with the WHO to develop the “Ebola Mobile Response Blueprint”, which provides critical guidance for operators and regulators on running effective and best practice public health campaigns leveraging mobile technology. Director General of the GSMA, Anne Bouverot said: “The response effort to address the Ebola crisis is broad-ranging and complex, involving many different organizations globally. The mobile industry is committed to continuing to work closely with governments, international bodies and NGOs to utilize technology that will help address this outbreak, as well as deliver information to individuals in affected countries on symptoms, care and resources for this disease.”

    ISOC has set up the Ebola TECH Response Group aimed at harnessing the expertise of its extensive tech community around the world to aid the emergency response. Kathy Brown, CEO of ISOC said: “The spread of Ebola and the ravages that it is leaving behind in the affected countries in Africa are imprinting their mark on all of us and have a very personal impact on people in those communities and around the world. Like others, the ISOC community of staff, volunteers and members want to help. We have therefore come together to establish the Ebola TECH Response Group.”

    Combining the resources of all three organizations will facilitate knowledge sharing and the exchange of ideas, tools and increase their accessibility to the humanitarian community, mobile operators and the general public.

  • MANRS logo

    Network Operators Around the World Demonstrate Their Commitment to a Secure and Resilient Internet

    06 November 2014
    MANRS logo

    Network Operators Around the World Demonstrate Their Commitment to a Secure and Resilient Internet

    06 November 2014

    Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) recommendations provide a coordinated approach to improve global routing system

    Leading network operators around the world announced that they have implemented a package of recommended measures that help improve the security and resilience of the global Internet.

    Working together, network operators have developed a tightly defined set of concrete actions to improve the global Internet routing system. The recommendations, called Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS), recognize the interdependent nature of the global routing system and integrate best current practices related to routing security and resilience. More network operators from across the globe are encouraged to sign onto the movement and participate by visiting the website at www.manrs.org and completing the signup form.

    Organized by the Internet Society, and building on the demonstrated success of coordinated industry activities such as World IPv6 Day and World IPv6 Launch, MANRS represents a significant step forward towards building a more resilient and secure Internet infrastructure. 

    "The security of the Internet as a network of networks often relies on specific collaborative action. This initiative increases the security of the Internet by improving resiliency and stability of the underlying routing infrastructure," commented Olaf Kolkman, the Internet Society’s Chief Internet Technology Officer. "Participating network operators committed to the MANRS initiative are taking actions that address problems with incorrect routing information and spoofed traffic, demonstrating their collective responsibility to a healthy and secure Internet ecosystem. We encourage and look forward to other network operators around the world publicly taking these steps."

    Participating network operators have taken one or several of the expected actions defined by the MANRS framework. These include preventing propagation of incorrect routing information, preventing traffic with spoofed IP addresses, and facilitating global operational communication and coordination between network operators. Committed network operators are:

    • CERNET
    • Claranet
    • Comcast
    • KPN
    • Level 3
    • NTT
    • RUNNet
    • SpaceNet
    • SURFnet
  • Internet Society Commends Internet Architecture Board Recommendation on Encryption-by-Default for the Internet

    15 November 2014

    Internet Society Commends Internet Architecture Board Recommendation on Encryption-by-Default for the Internet

    15 November 2014

    Ensuring user trust is key to the Internet's growth

    The Internet Society (ISOC) Board of Trustees strongly supports the Internet Architecture Board's (IAB) statement that encryption should be the norm for Internet traffic, and believes that this is an important additional step of ongoing efforts by the technical community to address the important issue of pervasive monitoring.

    The IAB's statement aligns with the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF) statement that pervasive monitoring, whatever the source, must be considered an attack on the Internet as well as current work across IETF working groups to strengthen protocols.

    User trust is critical to the Internet's continued growth and evolution. Realizing the IAB's aspiration would drastically reduce the ability to eavesdrop or modify information sent over the Internet.

    Like the IAB, the ISOC Board of Trustees recognizes that implementing this aspiration raises a number of practical issues and technical challenges. In addition to network management, intrusion detection, and spam prevention, we expect there will be economic and policy challenges. 

    As the organizational home for the IETF, the Internet Society will take an active role in facilitating and participating in the conversations required to address these challenges going forward.

  • Internet Society Approach to Cyber Security Policy

    22 January 2015

    Internet Society Approach to Cyber Security Policy

    22 January 2015

    The headlines of today regarding hacking, exposure of large quantities of personal data, denial of service attacks, and the continued revelations about pervasive monitoring are deeply disturbing.

    The Internet Society believes that with each new cyber-related incident, we risk losing the trust of users who have come to depend on the Internet for many of life's activities. And we believe that we also risk losing the trust of those who have yet to access the benefits of the Internet, thereby discouraging the kind of investment needed to complete the job of connecting everyone in the world.

    Public policy can have a positive role to play in meeting the demands of public interest. However, while action is required, all policy initiatives must be both measured and balanced. There is a danger for legitimate policy responses to go too far in addressing security challenges, thereby jeopardizing the very infrastructure that both ties together the global economy and provides the engine for its growth. We are wary of a tendency for government to expand its powers in ways that:

    a) may not ultimately be effective; and 
    b) may further undermine individuals’ online privacy. 

    The technical community has long recognized that the future growth of the Internet hinges on the ability to secure core aspects of Internet infrastructure AND to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the data that flows over it. We continue to play a leading role in these areas.  

    We note that there have been significant strides made in just the past 18 months within the technical community to secure core aspects of the Internet (such as routing and the Domain Name System) and to empower end users to protect their own information with tools like encryption.

    Perspectives on cyber security

    Today’s cyber security trends are evolving at an overwhelming pace, posing an ever-present threat to our connected world. 

    At a global and individual level, while everyone talks about “cyber security,” it has been our experience that often we do not all mean the same thing. The reality is that because the Internet crosses all sectors of the economy and many aspects of people’s lives, we need to recognize the complexity of creating a secure Internet environment. 

    Security is not achieved by a single treaty or piece of legislation; it is not solved by a single technical fix, nor can it come about because one company or sector of the economy decides security is important. Creating security and trust in the Internet requires different players (within their different responsibilities and roles) to take action, closest to where the issues are occurring. Perspectives on cyber security are far from uniform, for instance:

    • Businesses need to safeguard customer information, protect commercial data, or prevent intrusions and damage to their corporate networks. 
    • Small companies and large companies face very different security issues. 
    • Users want to be secure and feel threatened about the effects of leakage of personal data.
    • Governments have to take into account the concerns of citizens and businesses while also dealing with any national security threats that an Internet attack might pose.
    • And, there are differences between developed and developing countries in how they address cyber security. While developed countries might be most focused on securing advanced computing infrastructure or funding cyber security R&D, a developing nation might well be more concerned with developing the technical and policy capacity to deal with online fraud.

    It is the legitimate claims of all of these stakeholder groups that explain why it is so difficult to reach consensus on how to define or address cyber security. Any framework for tackling cyber security needs to work from an understanding of the different ways in which the Internet is valuable to its different stakeholders.

    The path ahead

    From an Internet perspective and in the context of the growing threat vector from hacking, targeted cyber attacks on networks and individuals, and surveillance, the Internet Society’s approach to the development of cyber security policy initiatives is based on the following key considerations:

    1. The essential need to ensure international cooperation and cross-border collaboration.
    2. The adoption of policies that are based on open technical standards. The Internet would not have had the explosive success it has had if the software that has driven its growth weren't easily adaptable for other purposes on the network. Security solutions that are developed within expert communities—the Internet Engineering Task Force being an example—are more likely to be effective and scalable, and consistent with the Internet's basic principles.
    3. The need to develop policies that are flexible enough to evolve over time. We know that the technology is going to change. The solutions need to be responsive to new challenges.
    4. The fundamental importance of developing policies using a multi-stakeholder model. This means that effective policies cannot be unilaterally created by government and that all stakeholders must work together.

    We believe that within this policy framework, the core critical values of basic privacy protections and the freedom of speech cannot be overlooked.

    And finally, as a reflection of the Internet Society’s continued commitment to ensuring that the “Internet is for everyone,” this approach requires a willingness of those who are developing policy to truly listen to those who are affected by and who design and implement their decisions.

  • CANTO and the Internet Society Announce Partnership to Promote Internet Development and Education in the Caribbean

    11 February 2015

    CANTO and the Internet Society Announce Partnership to Promote Internet Development and Education in the Caribbean

    11 February 2015

     The Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations (CANTO) and the Internet Society have joined forces to promote Internet development and education programs in the Caribbean region.

    After years of collaborating on a wide range of programs, including a successful SPAM workshop conducted by the Internet Society at a CANTO event in the Bahamas, this new agreement will formalize the work between the two organizations. 

    CANTO, which started in 1985 as a state-owned telecommunication operators’ organization in the Caribbean, is now a leading trade association in the ICT sector committed to helping operators and its members take advantage of and embrace the possibilities that the Internet brings.

    Regenie Fräser, Secretary General of CANTO, commented, “The Internet is a key instrument to foster economic and social development, but it is not always well understood by all stakeholders. Some stakeholders may be experiencing the Internet as disruptive to their traditional business model. This agreement with the Internet Society will give us the opportunity to level up our partnership, and help us assist our region and members in getting up to speed on Internet matters and challenges, such as IP numbering, VoIP blocking, and cybersecurity. I look forward to continuing our excellent work with the Internet Society.”

    A global organization with more than 65,000 members, the Internet Society promotes the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for everyone. The Internet Society is also the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet's premier standards organization. With its focus on Internet technology, policy, and development, the Internet Society is well equipped to help CANTO achieve its goals.

    “This partnership will give the Internet Society the opportunity to show its commitment to the Caribbean area,” said Sebastian Bellagamba, Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We are aware of the challenges that are important for the Caribbean; for example, we know that hackers are quite active here. Through this partnership with CANTO, we will have the opportunity to address real world challenges and help to increase awareness of critical Internet issues and opportunities in this beautiful region.”

  • GCCS2015

    Statement From Members Of The Internet Technical Community After The Global Conference on CyberSpace 2015 (GCCS2015)

    17 April 2015
    GCCS2015

    Statement From Members Of The Internet Technical Community After The Global Conference on CyberSpace 2015 (GCCS2015)

    17 April 2015

    A statement from members of the Internet technical community – the African Top Level Domains Organization (AfTLD), Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), .au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA), Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries (CENTR), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Internet Society (ISOC), Latin American and Caribbean TLD Association (LACTLD), the Ripe Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC), Dr. Michael R. Nelson, Dr. Alejandro Pisanty, George Sadowsky and Andrew Sullivan.

    We would like to congratulate the Dutch government on an innovative and successful conference. We also wish to thank the conference organizers for inviting governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to contribute to the development of the Chair's statement.

    We welcome the spirit of openness and transparency that has prevailed in the preparations of the Conference.

    The Internet technical community

    Organizations from the Internet technical community were actively engaged in the preparations for the Global Conference on Cyberspace 2015 and associated meetings, including the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) and the Dutch National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) ONE Conference.

    Participating organizations and individuals from the technical community come from all around the world. They work with governments, national and international organizations, civil society, academia and the private sector to pursue their objectives in a collaborative and inclusive manner. While each organization has its own mission and role to play, these Internet technical community organizations are motivated by a common vision of an open and accessible Internet that brings shared economic and social benefits to all the world’s citizens, now and in the future.

    The Chair's statement

    We welcome the Chair’s statement and believe it will serve as an important guiding statement as the global community works together to tackle cybersecurity issues. The statement notably recognizes that Internet security should be approached from the perspective that the Internet is “an engine for economic growth and social development” as well as the importance of trust. Furthermore, it promotes the notion that security is a collective responsibility and that we need to foster a culture of collaborative security. We are very pleased to see these concepts included in the statement.

    One of the examples of such collaborative security is the initiative proposed by the Dutch National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to foster a smart coalition of interested parties to enhance and expand anti-spoofing efforts across the world - the root cause of large-scale Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. We look forward to active participation in this initiative, and the impact it will have on Internet security and trust.

    We are also pleased to see that the Chair's statement highlights the role of open voluntary consensus-based Internet standards in protecting and improving the security and resilience of the global Internet infrastructure. It also emphasizes that collective action from all relevant parties is needed to effectively implement these standards at the international level. Further, it underlines the importance of human rights, and that protection of human rights and security online are complementary concepts.

    Another initiative, launched at the conference, Internet.nl is an example of how adoption of such standards and best practices can be stimulated, by raising awareness and providing a platform where experience is being shared.

    Finally, we are pleased that through this statement, participants reaffirmed their "commitment to the multistakeholder model of Internet governance and called upon all stakeholders to further strengthen and encourage the sustainability of, participation in and evolution of this model”.

    We applaud the "commitment [of the participants] to the multistakeholder model of Internet governance [who] called upon all stakeholders to further strengthen and encourage the sustainability of, participation in and evolution of this model”. We support the view that “the multistakeholder approach has also been key in facilitating the implementation and realization of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) goals”. We join the call for “this year’s concluding stages of the ten-year Review of the WSIS to be as open and inclusive as possible, ensuring the meaningful participation of all stakeholders”. We would like further to express our support for the renewal of the Internet Governance Forum’s (IGF) mandate by the UN. We also support the inclusive and transparent process currently taking place globally leading towards the transition of the oversight of the IANA functions from the US to the global multistakeholder Internet Community. We recognize the value of the multistakeholder model as a key factor towards an enabling Internet environment.

    Global Forum on Cyber Expertise

    We are interested in learning more about the initiative of the Dutch government to create a Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE). We hope that the initiative develops to be inclusive towards all stakeholders. As further information becomes available, we look forward to sharing our expertise, especially that related to the development, implementation and deployment of open Internet standards, to the newly launched Global Forum on Cyber Expertise.

    Going forward

    As the Internet grows and continues to spur economic and social development around the world, the policies and practices of tomorrow must grow from the shared principles and the shared vision that underpin our collaboration throughout this week. It is now essential that all stakeholders, including governments take concretesteps to build together a stable, resilient and trustworthy cyberspace.

    To achieve this objective, all stakeholders must ensure that human capacities and fundamental rights are enhanced or enabled by the Internet, including:

    a) The ability to connect: The end-to-end architecture of the Internet is essential to its utility as a platform for connecting people, and thus for education, innovation, creativity and economic opportunity. In an information society, to support human development and protect human rights, all people need to have affordable access to an open and neutral network, and to the services that it provides.

    b) The ability to communicate: By enabling communication on an unprecedented scale, the Internet is a revolutionary medium for expression and collaboration. Genuinely free communication can only be guaranteed when privacy and anonymity are assured in principle, and where content controls are an exception rather than a rule.

    c) The ability to innovate: The remarkable growth of the Internet and its applications follow directly from the open model of Internet connectivity and standards development. Policies must encourage open technical standards and protocols that are developed through open, transparent and accessible processes.

    d) The ability to trust: Everyone’s ability to connect, speak, innovate, share, and choose depends on the Internet’s ability to support trustworthy internetworking—ensuring the security, reliability, and stability of increasingly critical and pervasive applications and services.

    Conclusion

    As leading actors of the Internet technical community, we wish to underline our strong commitment to maintain a safe and stable Internet environment that could further support the worldwide social and economic development in the ultimate interest of all stakeholders. 

  • GIR 2015

    Internet Society’s 2015 Global Internet Report: Mobile is Key to Fulfilling the Promise of Internet Connectivity for the Next Billion People (2015 GIR)

    07 July 2015
    GIR 2015

    Internet Society’s 2015 Global Internet Report: Mobile is Key to Fulfilling the Promise of Internet Connectivity for the Next Billion People (2015 GIR)

    07 July 2015

    Challenges remain as ‘affordability’ and ‘relevant content’ surpass ‘availability’ as main barriers to global Internet access

    The Internet Society released its 2015 Global Internet Report, the organization’s second annual report on the global state of the Internet. Focused on the impact of the mobile Internet, 2015 report shows that mobile has fundamentally transformed Internet access and use, and holds the key to fulfilling the promise of Internet connectivity for the next billion people.

    People are increasingly accessing the Internet through mobile devices. Today there are more than 3 billion people online and the mobile Internet offers hundreds of millions around the world their primary, if not only, means of accessing the Internet. In addition to providing access, benefits of the mobile Internet arise from using all the features embedded into smart devices, which are typically accessed via convenient apps.

    “We applaud this global shift in the Internet dynamic, with mobile playing a significant role in the rapid pace of new Internet users,” said Internet Society President and CEO Kathy Brown. “The Internet is truly global and every new user online benefits other users, for social interaction, economic opportunities and many other benefits that were previously unimaginable.”

    While the digital divide around the world is closing with the help of mobile, challenges still exist. One key finding of the report is that given the availability of the mobile Internet, affordability and lack of relevant content are now the main barriers to Internet access. Even taking into account regional variations, in most, if not all, countries, the availability of mobile Internet service far outpaces adoption rates, meaning that a significant number of people have access to service, but do not subscribe.

    There are numerous countries for which the cost of mobile Internet service is more than 5% or even 10% of average per capita income. Further, while a significant segment of the population can access and afford the mobile Internet, they do not yet have enough interest to begin using it. This can be attributed to language barriers and limited locally-relevant content, including a lack of access to major app stores in some countries, which limits the usefulness of a smart device.

    Apps are increasingly used as the primary means of interacting with the Internet, and the report highlights the many benefits of apps as well as the challenges. The vast majority of apps are native to a particular proprietary mobile platform, such as Android or Apple. This raises the costs for developers to make apps for all platforms and for consumers to switch between platforms, limiting choice and competition between platforms.

    “Today we associate the mobile Internet with a smart device that runs on a specific platform and provides access to the apps that we use,” suggests Michael Kende, Internet Society Chief Economist and author of the report. “While this has created amazing benefits for users and an entire app economy for developers, it locks users into a chosen platform and ultimately limits choices in a way that is new to the Internet.”

    The mobile Internet has allowed more people to access the Internet to do more things in more places. The report celebrates the role of the mobile Internet in shifting the digital divide debate from whether access is available, to whether the access is affordable and relevant. However, Kathy Brown notes that, “Despite the remarkable evolution of the mobile Internet, there are challenges that need to be addressed to ensure that all users – existing and future – enjoy the full benefits of access to the open Internet.”

    Report Highlights:

    • 94% of the global population is covered by a mobile network, 48% are covered by mobile broadband, and 28% have subscribed to mobile Internet services.
    • The gap between availability and adoption of mobile Internet is due to affordability and lack of relevant content. Policymakers should focus on filling this gap by making the services more affordable by removing taxes on equipment, devices, and services, and eliminating regulatory barriers for operators. Local hosting of content can also help lower costs by avoiding the use of relatively expensive international capacity to access content.
    • As demand increases, governments will need to ensure an adequate allocation of spectrum for mobile Internet use.
    • More than 80% of online time on mobile is spent on apps, as opposed to a browser. Even adding in desktop browsing, users spend more than 50% of overall online time using mobile apps.
    • Smart devices provide many useful services and features, such as location awareness and cameras; however these offerings raise increased privacy issues.
    • Usage of the mobile Internet depends on wireless interfaces and access to apps, which can lead to heightened security concerns.
    • An increasing reliance on mobile apps, combined with those apps being native to a particular proprietary mobile platform, raises the cost of creating apps for each platform, the cost for users switching between platforms, and thereby limits platform competition.
    • The web app environment enables developers to create websites with advanced features that can be installed on a mobile device with an icon similar to existing apps. Developers can create one web app for all platforms – consumers can easily move between platforms the way they switch browsers today – and new platforms can enter and compete on more of an even ground.
  • ICOMM15

    InterCommunity 2015

    7-8 July 2015
    ICOMM15

    InterCommunity 2015

    7-8 July 2015

    InterCommunity 2015, Internet Society's first virtual meeting of our entire community, is being designed to celebrate the Internet's ability to rise beyond boundaries and bring people together.

    The InterCommunity 2015 was hosted from SkyCity in Auckland, co-located with the InternetNZ NetHui conference. Forums were set up across Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe that will be interconnected as part of this global meeting. The Internet Society Board of Trustees, President and CEO Kathy Brown, and limited support staff were present in Auckland, while the Executive team and staff were positioned at regional events closest to their base cities.

    Recordings and Transcripts are available here.

  • Bnet logo

    Internet Society Boosts Global Internet Development with New Grants Programme (Launch of Beyond The Net)

    09 July 2015
    Bnet logo

    Internet Society Boosts Global Internet Development with New Grants Programme (Launch of Beyond The Net)

    09 July 2015

    ‘Beyond the Net’ designed to support ideas that promote an open, secure Internet and enhance the Internet’s potential to empower people 

    The Internet Society today announced the launch of its new grants programme, Beyond the Net, which will support innovative ideas that promote the open development of a secure Internet and explore the potential of the Internet to empower people and communities.

    The Internet Society is a global organization with more than 70,000 members in 92 countries, and 110 volunteer-led Chapters. Under the new programme, as part of the Internet Society’s strategic focus on boosting Internet development initiatives around the world, Internet Society Chapters are able to apply for grants ranging from up to USD$3,500 ─ $30,000, depending on the project scope and length.  

    “Beyond the Net augments our long-standing support of community-based initiatives that advance Internet access, leadership, education, and development around the world,” said Kathy Brown, President and CEO of the Internet Society.  “The Internet Society is committed to encouraging innovative and collaborative initiatives that support our mission of an open, global, resilient Internet for everyone.  We are proud to offer this new programme to further the important regional and local work of our Chapters.” 

    The Beyond the Net programme is focused on supporting Internet Society Chapter projects in one of three areas:

    • Access and Development:  Projects that provide equal development opportunities for all people by promoting the relevance, deployment, and adoption of the open Internet.
    • Open Standards, Security and Resilience: Projects and best practices that increase development and use of security and resiliency technologies, shape the evolution of online identity infrastructures, and improve choice and consent in the handling of user data Initiatives.
    • Policy environment: Projects that facilitate and promote global, regional, and local environments that enable the continuing evolution of an open Internet.

    The Internet Society has long supported community-based Internet projects, both operationally and financially.  Over the years, the Internet Society has helped fund more than 180 different projects on four continents, across a wide range of initiatives from education and policymaking, to the implementation of new standards and Internet Exchange Points. 

    For more information on Beyond the Net, visit www.internetsociety.org/beyondthenet

  • Digital Watch

    Geneva Internet Platform and the Internet Society launch Digital Watch

    28 September 2015
    Digital Watch

    Geneva Internet Platform and the Internet Society launch Digital Watch

    28 September 2015

    The Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) and the Internet Society (ISOC) announced the launch of the Digital Watch, a new online tool to empower diplomats and other Internet policy participants by providing a concise overview of Internet policy issues, participants and ongoing developments.

    The tool can be accessed at http://digitalwatch.giplatform.org

    Participating in Internet governance can be a daunting experience, due to its decentralised nature, diverse participants and parallel processes. The challenge is to provide a global space where people with limited resources can seek such information and become informed stakeholders on issues they care about.

    Addressing this challenge, the GIP Digital Watch will provide a neutral one-stop-shop for an overview of Internet related issues, featuring both explanatory texts and live updates.

    The Head of the GIP, Dr Jovan Kurbalija said that “the need for having a navigation mechanism for digital policy is clear and urgent. The GIP Digital Watch addresses this need. It is broad enough to provide comprehensive coverage yet specific enough to supply detailed summaries on digital policy issues.”

    This new platform aims to draw from the strengths of its partners’ assets: the resources DiploFoundation has developed over the last 15 years, GIP’s international reach and the Internet Society’s network of Chapters that will help shape localized content.

    Internet Society’s CEO Kathryn Brown stressed in her opening remarks: “With the accelerating pace of Internet governance discussions, our community has expressed a clear call for the Internet Society to step up in developing tools to better address issues and navigate Internet governance processes. This partnership with the GIP Digital Watch allows us to respond to this need and also to involve our local Internet Society Chapters, who will over time enrich the platform with their knowledge of local issues, processes and participants.”

    The GIP Digital Watch combines traditional analytical research and modern data analysis.

    At launch, the GIP Digital Watch features:

    • 42 issues
    • 158 organizations and entities
    • 335 policy instruments such as treaties and documents
    • 291 events
    • 1638 cross links among issues/actors/instruments/events
    • 28862 articles and documents gathered for data analysis

    The GIP Digital Watch also offers:

    • Monthly briefings on Internet governance in Geneva/online - held every last Tuesday of the month.
    • Geneva Digital Watch - a monthly newsletter with a focus on Geneva digital policy developments.

    According to the Swiss Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Alexandre Fasel, “Digital Watch will provide a unique contribution to global digital policy by facilitating a smart interplay between traditional knowledge analysis, tested by centuries of human learning, and new forms of research based on cognitive science and big data. Ultimately, more evidence should help shape more informed policy.“

  • WSIS+10

    Internet Stakeholders Urge the United Nations to Safeguard Key Principles for the Future of the Internet

    24 November 2015
    WSIS+10

    Internet Stakeholders Urge the United Nations to Safeguard Key Principles for the Future of the Internet

    24 November 2015

    Multiple organizations sign statement; support calls for open processes at pivotal U.N. meeting 

    The Internet Society announced that it has joined more than 200 organizations and individuals who have signed a statement intended for leaders and governments participating in the United Nations General Assembly's 10 Year Review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10 Review). 
     
    Key Internet stakeholders convened during the Internet Governance Forum contributed to the joint statement which urges the U.N. General Assembly to safeguard fundamental principles for the future of the Internet. The statement highlights the need for collaboration, transparency and inclusiveness in the Internet and calls upon the U.N. to ensure an open process of governance as it looks back at past Information Society achievements and maps goals for the future.
     
    On 15-16 December, government officials from more than 190 countries will meet in New York City for the WSIS+10 Review to assess progress in achieving a people-centered and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create, access, use and share information. Leaders will discuss a wide range of issues, including the role of governments in Internet oversight, expansion of Internet access, and the impact of Internet technologies in supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
     
    The discussions at the WSIS+10 Review can influence how the Internet is governed for the next decade and beyond. Since the last WSIS summit 10 years ago, the Internet has evolved in ways previously unimagined. Today, the digital economy contributes five to nine percent of total GDP in developed countries and is growing 15 to 25 percent per year in developing markets. Governments, private sector, civil society, academia and the Internet technical community have worked together over the years to make the Internet an invaluable tool for economic and social development. This multistakeholder approach is critical in achieving the WSIS goals.
     
    The joint statement highlights several other key issues:

    • Full support of the renewal of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) mandate. The IGF, which was initiated at the 2005 WSIS meeting, brings people together from various stakeholder groups to discuss Internet-related public policy issues on an equal footing and in a free and open environment.  The joint statement calls for the extension of the IGF’s mandate to continue its important work.
    • A critical need to connect the unconnected.  Access to an open and inclusive Internet is a fundamental tool that enables free speech, empowers people and creates economic opportunities. It should be a priority of all stakeholders to expand Internet access as the digital divide only increases existing economic and social disparity. To this end, the newly adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize the Internet and connected information and communication technologies (ICTs) as a critical enabler for economic and social progress. The WSIS +10 Review provides an important opportunity to showcase how Internet technologies can help the world achieve key development goals, such as access to health care, educational opportunities and gender equality.

    To view the Joint Statement and the current list of signatories, visit: https://www.openwsis2015.org/joint-statement-on-wsis10/. Other stakeholders are invited to add their signatures to the list.

    For more information on the WSIS +10 Review, visit http://www.internetsociety.org/wsis.

  • The Internet Society to “Shine the Light” on Digital Trailblazers

    08 March 2016

    The Internet Society to “Shine the Light” on Digital Trailblazers

    08 March 2016

    Global campaign to highlight women who are using the Internet to make a difference

    The Internet Society has launched a campaign aimed at recognizing the many contributions made by women today to the development and growth of the Internet. By encouraging others to “Shine the Light” on women who are using the Internet to innovate and make a difference in people’s lives, the organization hopes to celebrate the online achievements of women and draw attention to the issue of gender inequality when it comes to Internet access.

    Worldwide, there are an estimated 200 million fewer women than men online. In developed countries women and men have access to the Internet at comparable levels. But recent research by the Web Foundation shows that women in several developing countries are 50 percent less likely to be connected to the Internet than men in the same age group, where technical literacy levels and high costs are the two main barriers keeping women offline.

    Despite the fact that the number of women on the Internet lags behind that of men, once women do have access, they are most likely to use it in their daily lives. The same research highlights how many of these women are digital trailblazers, using the Internet to speak out on important issues and maximizing its potential to create opportunities in education, healthcare, government services and in organizing their families and communities for social, economic and political empowerment.

    Kathy Brown, President and CEO of the Internet Society, said, “More than half the world’s population is still not using the Internet. The stark reality today is that the majority of this offline population is women. However, women are key to advancing the Internet’s development and in making sure that it is useful and relevant to other women. Smart, empowered women are already making enormous contributions to this effort and collectively, we must ensure that their voices are heard as an integral part of the dialogue to build a secure, resilient, globally connected ecosystem.”

    From engineers to activists to bloggers, the Shine the Light campaign will celebrate the voice of women on the Internet and promote their achievements. The Internet Society has worked with its community and members from around the world to bring the portraits of women and girls who are empowering themselves on the Internet today.

    Some of the women highlighted include Linda Liukas, a Programmer and programming instructor in Finland who raised $380,000 on Kickstarter to fund a coding book for children, and Nighat Dad, a lawyer and Internet activist who founded the Digital Rights Foundation and was part of TIME magazine's list of next generation leaders for helping Pakistani women fight online harassment.

    “Women bring distinct perspectives and skills to the Internet,” continued Brown. “They are uniquely positioned to champion breakthroughs using the Internet for equality, poverty alleviation, better security and many other challenges. The quality, relevance, and impact of the Internet will only be improved if the people who are building it are demographically representative of the people who are using it, so we must recognize the contribution that women are making today and the significant role they can play in the future evolution of the Internet.”

    Shine the Light encourages everyone to use the hashtag #shinethelight to nominate a woman who they think is creating opportunities for themselves and others through the Internet.

    For more information, please visit: www.internetsociety.org/shinethelight.

  • IETF Logo

    Leading Companies and Organizations Commit over US$3M to Internet Engineering Task Force Endowment

    20 July 2016
    IETF Logo

    Leading Companies and Organizations Commit over US$3M to Internet Engineering Task Force Endowment

    20 July 2016

    Diverse funding source provides solid financial foundation for development of open Internet technologies and standards

    Leading Internet organizations and companies today announced a combined commitment of more than US$3 million for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Endowment. The IETF is the Internet’s premiere technical standards body, gathering a large international community of network designers, operators, vendors and researchers concerned with the development and evolution of the Internet technologies and its architecture. The IETF Endowment will provide stable, long-term funding to support the IETF in its mission to make the Internet work better.

    “This endowment will help ensure that the IETF has the financial support it needs to expand the global community which produces the excellent technical standards that nearly 4 billion people rely on each day when they use the Internet,” said Gonzalo Camarillo, Chair of the Internet Society Board of Trustees. “The significant contributions by each of the organizations underscore the important role that the IETF plays.”

    Charter contributors to the IETF Endowment include:

    • AFRINIC (Internet Numbers Registry for Africa)
    • ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers)
    • Internet Society
    • RIPE NCC (Regional Internet Registry for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia).

    The IETF produces technical documents that influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet. IETF standards are the foundation for the protocols for email, domain names, the Web, and the Internet itself. IETF participants are currently developing standards to provide the technical foundations for a global Internet of Things, improved security and privacy online, and enhanced real-time voice and video communications.

    Started in 1986, the IETF marks its 30th anniversary this year with more than 7000 documents published to date. With participation open to any interested individual, the work of the IETF is conducted largely online. Additionally, more than 1000 individuals gather at IETF meetings held three times per year around the world. For more information about the IETF, see: https://www.ietf.org

    About the IETF Endowment
    To protect open standards accessibility, the Internet Society has established the Endowment for the Sustainability of the Internet Engineering Task Force (or simply the IETF Endowment). The IETF Endowment will support the standards development initiatives of the Internet Engineering Task Force and provide long-term stability and increased diversity for funding IETF activities and operations. For more information, see: https://www.SustainIETF.org

    Quotes from IETF Endowment Contributors

    AFRINIC
    Alan Barrett, CEO of AFRINIC said, “Both AFRINIC and our members rely on the open standards created by the IETF, and have an interest in the sustainability of the IETF. In particular, we would not have any IP addresses to manage if it were not for the IETF. I am very pleased that we are able to contribute to the IETF Endowment.”

    ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers)
    John Curran, President & CEO of ARIN said, “By way of this contribution, ARIN recognizes the invaluable efforts of the IETF in the development and maintenance of the very protocols that make the Internet possible.”

    Internet Society
    Kathryn Brown, President & CEO of the Internet Society said, “Beyond the continued day-to-day support the Internet Society provides to the IETF, the IETF Endowment will provide a long term investment to support the ongoing development of the open technical standards. We invite others to join in giving to this important endeavor.”

    RIPE NCC 
    Axel Pawlik, Managing Director of the RIPE Network Coordination Center (NCC) said, “The IETF and the Regional Internet Registries share a long and productive history of working together to ensure the stability of the Internet's infrastructure. So the RIPE NCC is proud to be able to contribute to the sustainability of the IETF for the foreseeable future."

  • ICOMM16

    InterCommunity 2016

    21 September 2016
    ICOMM16

    InterCommunity 2016

    21 September 2016

    Why InterCommunity?

    • Unify the Internet Society community behind our shared global vision
    • Showcase the Internet as a powerful tool to create engagement and connections across distance and time
    • Create a “moment” for our global community of members to meet, share, and connect

    One Internet, One Society, One Meeting.

    Strategic Objectives of InterCommunity 2016

    • Create a community connection to ISOC’s 2016 Strategic Objectives Connecting the Unconnected and Restoring and Building Trust in the Internet – using the campaigns to share the success stories of our Chapters and Members
    • Position our Trustees as leading voices of our community, from our community – by hosting Trustees at Interactive Nodes
    • Provide an opportunity for community engagement on a global project – Future Internet Scenarios
    • Generate excitement for our rebranding effort and upcoming 25th Anniversary
    • Celebrate the Internet Society community – have fun!
  • The Internet Society Opens Regional Bureau in the Middle East and Appoints New Director

    21 September 2016

    The Internet Society Opens Regional Bureau in the Middle East and Appoints New Director

    21 September 2016

    The Internet Society announced that it has opened a new regional bureau in the Middle East and appointed Salam Yamout to the role of Regional Director. 

    Ms. Yamout brings over 25 years of experience to her new role, where she will be responsible for building awareness of the Internet Society and advancing its mission of promoting access to the Internet for the benefit of people everywhere.   

    Prior to joining the Internet Society, Ms. Yamout was the National Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Strategy Coordinator for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, in Beirut, Lebanon.  She was responsible for planning and implementing national ICT projects in addition to advising on regulatory and legislative issues related to ICT as well as Internet Governance.

    Ms. Yamout is founder and executive board member of the Lebanese Internet Center and the Lebanon Chapter of the Internet Society.  She also serves on the board of various organizations including RIPE NCC (the Internet Registry for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia); MIT Enterprise Forum for the Pan Arab Region, and Lebanon for Entrepreneurs. 

    “The Internet Society has been looking for the right person who can help us engage with regional partners, policy makers and Internet communities throughout the Middle East.  With her extensive experience in technology and working with various stakeholders in the region, she is well positioned to help the Internet Society promote the benefits of an open, trusted, Internet,” explains Raúl Echeberría, Vice President of Global Engagement for the Internet Society.

    Ms. Yamout holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Ecole Supérieure des Affaires (ESA) in Beirut and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arizona.  She will be based in Beirut, Lebanon.

  • gir 2016

    Internet trust at all time low; not enough being done to protect data, says Internet Society report (GIR 2016)

    23 November 2016
    gir 2016

    Internet trust at all time low; not enough being done to protect data, says Internet Society report (GIR 2016)

    23 November 2016

    Five step approach identified to address data breaches and increase online trust 

    The Internet Society has released the findings from its 2016 Global Internet Report in which 59 percent of users admit they would likely not do business with a company which had suffered a data breach. Highlighting the extent of the data breach problem, the report makes key recommendations for building user trust in the online environment, stating that more needs to be done to protect online personal information.

    “One of the key questions raised by this report is why are organisations doing so little to protect their customers’ data?” said Michael Kende, Economist and Internet Society Fellow who authoured the report. “Everyone knows that data security is a major issue for both consumers and businesses, yet companies are not doing everything they could to prevent breaches.” 

    “According to the Online Trust Alliance, 93 percent of breaches are preventable. And steps to mitigate the cost of breaches that do occur are not taken – attackers cannot steal data that is not stored, and cannot use data that is encrypted. This status-quo isn’t good enough anymore. As more and more of our lives migrate online, the cost and risk of a data breach is greatly increased, and will lead to lost revenues and a lack of trust,” added Kende.

    The average cost of a data breach is now $4 million, up 29 percent since 2013.  With a reported 1,673 breaches and 707 million exposed records occurring in 2015, the Internet Society is urging organisations to change their stance and follow five recommendations to reduce the number and impact of data breaches globally:

    1. Put users -who are the ultimate victims of data breaches- at the centre of solutions.  When assessing the costs of data breaches, include the costs to both users and organisations.
    2. Increase transparency about the risk, incidence and impact of data breaches globally. Sharing information responsibly helps organisations improve data security, helps policymakers improve policies and regulators pursue attackers, and helps the data security industry create better solutions.
    3. Data security must be a priority – organisations should be held to best practice standards when it comes to data security.
    4. Increase accountability – organisations should be held accountable for their breaches.  Rules regarding liability and remediation must be established up front.
    5. Increase incentives to invest in security – create a market for trusted, independent assessment of data security measures so that organisations can credibly signal their level of data security. Security signals help organisations indicate that they are less vulnerable than competitors.

    The IoT security black hole

    The report also draws parallels with threats posed by the Internet of Things (IoT). Forecast to grow to tens of billions of devices by 2020, interconnected components and sensors that can track locations, health and other daily habits are opening gateways into user’s personal lives, leaving data exposed.

    “We are at a turning point in the level of trust users are placing in the Internet,” said Internet Society’s Olaf Kolkman, Chief Internet Technology Officer. “With more of the devices in our pockets now having Internet connectivity, the opportunities for us to lose personal data is extremely high.  Direct attacks on websites such as Ashley Madison and the recent IoT-based attack on Internet performance management company Dyn that rendered some of the world’s most famous websites including Reddit, Twitter and The New York Times temporarily inaccessible, are incredibly damaging both in terms of profits and reputation, but also to the levels of trust users have in the Internet.”

    “Up-to-date security systems, usable security, and awareness on how to deal with threats and social engineering are needed for reducing the opportunities for data breaches and device compromise. The report shows that as much as 93 percent of all breaches could have been avoided if the correct measures were put in place. In a day and age where having a positive online presence really is a case of sink or swim for businesses, gambling with online security isn’t an option. This is why we are urging people to take action and follow our five recommendations to protect themselves both now and in the future,” added Kolkman.

    Other report highlights include:

    • The average cost per lost record is $158, up 15 percent since 2013

    • Within business, the retail sector represents 13 percent of all breaches and six percent of all records stolen, while financial institutions represent 15 percent of breaches, but just 0.1 percent of records stolen, indicating these businesses might have greater resilience built in to protect their users

    Download the 2016 Global Internet Report.

  • Internet Society calls on governments to stop Internet shutdowns

    January 2017

    Internet Society calls on governments to stop Internet shutdowns

    January 2017

    The Internet Society calls on all governments to stop Internet shutdowns. Often used in the context of elections, demonstrations or other tense social situations, this technical measure is rarely effective and has a negative impact on citizens, national and regional economies, the Internet’s stability and, ultimately, the country itself.  Cameroon is just one of the most recent examples.

    The increasing number of government orders to temporarily shut down or restrict access to Internet services, from social media sites to entire network closures, is cause for deep concern.

    In today’s connected world, network restrictions have wide-ranging economic and social consequences: people rely on the Internet to do things like stay in touch with families and friends, conduct online commerce and financial transactions, or do their everyday jobs. Internet shut downs impact all of those and more, including preventing the use of emergency services that might be particularly needed in the situation where shutdowns happen. The result is social instability, human insecurity and loss of people’s trust in situations that are often already marked by social and political unrest.

    Recent studies give a sense of scale on the economic costs that shutting down all or parts of the Internet can have.

    The Brookings Institute estimates network shutdowns cost countries $2.4 billion from June 2015 to June 2016. Examples of recent economic costs to countries include:

    • India: $968 million
    • Saudi Arabia: $465 million
    • Morocco: $320 million
    • Brazil: $116 million

    A recent report from Deloitte estimates that countries with high connectivity stands to lose at least 1.9% of their daily GDP for each day all Internet services are shut down.

    Today, policymakers have a choice to make. One leads to an open and trusted Internet with all the social and economic benefits it brings. The other leads to an increasingly closed off network that fails to drive growth and is distrusted by people around the world. One path leads to opportunity, the other to stagnation. The key is trust, and building it will take all of us.

    Preventing access to information and communications online is not the solution.

    In this sense, we join the landmark Resolution from the UN Human Rights Council (A/HRC/32/L.20, July 2016) that “Condemns unequivocally measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online in violation of international human rights law”.

    Additionally, the technical means used to block access to information online often dangerously undermine the stability and resiliency of the Internet. For example, interfering with a country’s routing of Internet traffic not only harms citizens’ ability to communicate and innovate as part of the global Internet platform; it can also lead to a fragmentation of the network at the regional and global level.

    Unilateral technical measures are rarely appropriate tools to fix political, social or legal issues. Instead, dialogue, transparency, due judicial process and openness should be the first steps to find solutions to difficult issues, in a way that is inclusive of all stakeholders.

    Policymakers have a choice. We understand that governments are faced with sometimes challenging situations that may threaten public order and national security. But we do not believe that shutting down communications for whole or part of a country is an appropriate and proportional measure. We encourage governments to look at alternative means to address such issues.

    The Internet Society has been at the forefront of the struggle from the beginning.

    We believe that trust is a cornerstone for all successful connectivity strategies, in developing and developed countries alike. This cannot happen when the network and its applications are arbitrarily restricted.

    Together with Access Now, help us call on all governments to stop Internet shut-downs. Not only is this mechanism rarely effective, but it negatively impacts citizens, national and regional economies, the Internet’s stability and, ultimately, the country itself.

  • Internet Society begins celebration of 25th Anniversary

    January 2017

    Internet Society begins celebration of 25th Anniversary

    January 2017

    The Internet Society's 25th anniversary is a moment to celebrate the contributions of the millions of people across more than 100 countries who stand for the opportunities the open Internet brings.

    Whether technologists, students, politicians, teachers, or concerned people, without their help, enthusiasm and support, the Internet Society would not be the organisation it is today.

    Through this network of volunteers and supporters who span the world and bring different points of view, are we able to bring lasting solutions. 

    This silver anniversary is also a chance to look back and see how much the world has changed. How people around the world have addressed these challenges shows determination and passion behind our cause.   

    Over the year we'll be celebrating our 25th in many ways. All with the intent to highlight the work of the amazing community that keeps the Internet open and ready for opportunities.

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