Building Trust

Trust is the key issue in defining the future value of the Internet.

The Internet Society’s policy agenda on trust is guided by our “Policy Framework for an Open and Trusted Internet“. This document underscores the challenge that diminishing trust presents to the Internet. And, it provides a blueprint for addressing the complexities of establishing the solid foundation of trust required to realize the Internet’s full potential. At its core, trust is created by taking responsibility for securing that piece of the Internet for which one bears responsibility, and by being held to account when one doesn’t.

Security of Connected Devices

Among our activities for 2019 in this focus area, we will prioritize improving the security posture of producers of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The goal is to make IoT security a differentiator for consumers. We will use the Online Trust Alliance’s (OTA) trust framework as a cornerstone of an expanded IoT-focused effort. For example, we have set a goal of obtaining commitment to the OTA’s IoT Framework from at least five manufacturers of IoT devices by the end of 2019, representing at least 10% of their segment in the consumer market. We believe such penetration is enough to influence the market in a desirable direction. We will test at least ten consumer IoT devices against the IoT Framework, and we will further the adoption and advocacy of the IoT Framework through workshops and training that empower others to advocate for IoT security. Finally, we will help make security and privacy a purchasing consideration for consumers of IoT devices, with the aim of raising consumer awareness in targeted demographics by 20%.

As part of this priority focus area, and beyond IoT specifically, we will continue to grow the OTA as a vibrant community of enterprises and businesses that care about a trusted Internet and that are ready to lead by example.

We approach the critical issue of trust from many dimensions.

Beyond consumers, we provide a home for the Network and Distributed System Symposium (NDSS). NDSS is a top academic conference on network and systems security, with a unique open-publication policy. This conference not only attracts top researchers from around the world, but shares contributions in a way that promotes diffusion of information to industry and beyond.

In addition, we will continue our work in the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC), and contribute to the global norm development around Cyber and International Stability.

We will continue to weigh in on discussions around privacy, identification, and encryption in various policy-oriented forums. We will continue to speak out against Internet shutdowns, lending our technical expertise to communities impacted by government mandated disruptions of Internet access. Where applicable we will contribute to trust-enabling technical developments, such as technologies that enhance transparency or improve privacy.


Encryption plays a vital role in increasing overall trust in the Internet and should be the norm for all traffic. The Internet Society is working to ensure encryption is available for everyone and is deployed as the default.

Read more about encryption, the threats it faces, and how the Internet Society can help.

Collaborative Security

People are what ultimately hold the Internet together. The Internet’s development has been based on voluntary cooperation and collaboration. Cooperation, collaboration, and a shared collective responsibility remain the essential factors for the Internet’s prosperity and potential.

Read more about the Internet Society’s collaborative security approach to tackling Internet issues.

User Trust and Internet Restrictions

People deserve to have their rights protected on the Internet as well as offline. The Internet can bring all of us closer together. Whether people use the Internet to create powerful apps, find information, buy and sell things, or even just stay in touch with their family and friends — it’s important we all have the freedom to do any of these of things online.

The Internet Society fights for an Internet that is open for all, and where people’s rights are respected.

Read more about the threat to Internet freedom and how the Internet Society can help.


Digital identities help users protect their privacy; segregate personal, social, and professional online presences; and engage in trusted transactions with storefronts, banks, medical providers, and governments. Some people think of their digital identity as a passport for the Internet. In reality, the concept of identity on the Internet is much richer: we adapt our identity depending on the context.

The Internet Society works in both the technical and policy arenas, supporting the development of tools and policies that empower people to manage their online identities and the ‘digital footprint’ they leave behind.

Read more about why identity matters and how the Internet Society can help.


The ability for individuals to interact online without sacrificing their personal privacy is a vital part of the Internet’s value, and is intimately related to its trustworthiness. Privacy is about retaining the ability to disclose data consensually, and with expectations about the context and scope of sharing.

The Internet Society has dedicated outreach activities on identity and privacy. These are aimed at technology vendors and adopters, to encourage privacy-respecting technology deployment, and at policymakers and legislators to provide the necessary counter-balances to commercial expediency.

Read more about privacy and how the Internet Society can help.

Building Trust News

IoT Security Policy Platform Wants to Raise the Bar On Global IoT Security
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Building Trust 14 November 2019

IoT Security Policy Platform Wants to Raise the Bar On Global IoT Security

By next year, five Internet of Things (IoT) devices are projected to be in use for every person on...

Peace and Cyber Hygiene
Peace and Cyber Hygiene Thumbnail
Building Trust 12 November 2019

Peace and Cyber Hygiene

It doesn’t immediately make sense, does it: the terms peace and cyber hygiene in the same breath. Still, there...

Internet Society Deeply Concerned about Interim Injunction Ordered by Hong Kong High Court
Statements 11 November 2019

Internet Society Deeply Concerned about Interim Injunction Ordered by Hong Kong High Court

The Internet Society and the Internet Society Hong Kong Chapter are deeply concerned about the recent interim injunction (High...

Owning Your Keys: The Technical and Human Side of Encryption
Owning Your Keys: The Technical and Human Side of Encryption Thumbnail
Building Trust 5 November 2019

Owning Your Keys: The Technical and Human Side of Encryption

Ever wonder if your next doctor’s appointment will result in jail time? Luckily most of us never have to...

What Scary Movies Can Teach Us About Internet Trust
What Scary Movies Can Teach Us About Internet Trust Thumbnail
Building Trust 31 October 2019

What Scary Movies Can Teach Us About Internet Trust

Mad geniuses. Evil dolls. Slow zombies. This Halloween, we’ll see all of these horror film clichés come to life....

Your Day with Encryption
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Building Trust 22 October 2019

Your Day with Encryption

How often do you use encryption? It seems like the stuff of spy films, but you might be surprised...

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