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

Seeking Canadian Feedback: Draft Report on Securing the Internet of Things in Canada
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Building Trust 15 March 2019

Seeking Canadian Feedback: Draft Report on Securing the Internet of Things in Canada

Trying to remove cyber security risks from the growing world of connected things is not an easy task. That...

Fact or Fiction? With IoT It’s Not Always Clear
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Building Trust 15 March 2019

Fact or Fiction? With IoT It’s Not Always Clear

Recently, owners of expensive smart shoes found themselves at loose ends. Unable to pair the shoes to their smart...

NDSS 2019 Honors Timeless Papers
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Building Trust 28 February 2019

NDSS 2019 Honors Timeless Papers

The papers and presentations are done, the awards and appreciation certificates have been handed out, and the boxes are...

NDSS 2019 Highlights the Best in Security Research
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Building Trust 24 February 2019

NDSS 2019 Highlights the Best in Security Research

Tomorrow, the 26th consecutive Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS) is set to kick off in San Diego, CA. NDSS...

Do You Want Privacy With That?
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Building Trust 12 February 2019

Do You Want Privacy With That?

You may have heard about CloudPets being pulled off shelves for recording kids’ voices and that data being leaked, or...

Internet Society Botswana Chapter Hosts Webinar on the Internet of Things
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Building Trust 31 January 2019

Internet Society Botswana Chapter Hosts Webinar on the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is upon us. The exponential advancements are fast becoming a reality and Africa is a...

Load More
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  • Policy Brief: Privacy

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  • Encryption Brief

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  • Policy Brief: Internet Shutdowns

    An Internet shutdown can be defined as an “intentional disruption of Internet or electronic communications, rendering them inaccessible or...