Remarks of Kathy Brown at IETF 89 Thumbnail
Improving Technical Security 6 March 2014

Remarks of Kathy Brown at IETF 89

Administrative Plenary
5 March 2014
Remarks of Kathy Brown
President and CEO
Internet Society
(as prepared)
Thank you Jari for inviting me to speak today, and for your wisdom and counsel as I have settled into my new role.

A special thanks to Bob and the Board of the Internet Society for offering me this opportunity to lead this world-class organization. Bob has been the Board Chairman that one always hopes for–available, wise and, yes, forgiving…

And, of course, thank you to Lynn for her mentoring and coaching as she passed the baton to me.

Lynn has carefully taught me the history of the special relationship we enjoy with the IETF, the home of the Internet pioneers whose work changed the world, and all of you who continue to invent the future. I will always respect that relationship.

Lynn has left as part of her substantial legacy a staff at ISOC who rival any in the Internet space for their smarts, their passion, and their savvy. It has been a privilege to get to know them and to begin to collaborate with them on the work we have ahead.

As the Internet has matured and grown into a worldwide platform for human interaction, community and commerce, new opportunities and challenges have inevitably emerged. But I am convinced that the principles on which ISOC was founded remain as powerful today as they were 20 years ago, and that we are well positioned to advance those principles.

As you well know, the Internet Society has been an unrelenting advocate for the adoption and deployment of an open, accessible and trusted Internet around the globe. At ISOC, we are committed to furthering the goals of the IETF in fostering a multistakeholder approach to technical developments and standards that allow for permissionless, bottom up innovation. This commitment is the touchstone by which the Internet has become one of the greatest endeavors of humankind in the last century.

We are also committed to active, persistent engagement in the policy arena with respect to the current dialogue around governance of the Internet. Governments of the world have awoken to the power of the Internet for economic growth, and benefits to their citizens. The models of governance they embrace domestically and internationally do not work for a global, borderless, shared technological and social network of networks. We have much work to do to advance and protect the multistakeholder model that we have found to be far superior.

And, this is a crucial moment when attention is needed on the security of the Internet. We are committed to supplementing the work you all are doing with respect to strengthening security by engaging in the policy and political debates around pervasive monitoring across the Internet. The central issues regarding trust must be kept at the forefront of the conversation.

We believe that ISOC has a unique ability to bring diverse stakeholders to the table, as well as an essential responsibility to demonstrate the benefits of a bottoms-up, multistakeholder approach as, for instance, practiced in the IETF.

We have a very full agenda because the world has a very full agenda. Time and time again, there are fundamental misunderstandings about how the Internet actually functions, what the technology does and is capable of doing, and how collaborative, bottom up processes work. We look to the technical community to help us educate policy makers about how it works. We agree that the IETF is engaged in technical standards work–not in policy advocacy. But there are times when your expertise and gravitas is needed to deepen understanding and, every once in a while, win the debate.

I am looking forward to working with you to enable an open, sustainable, trusted Internet that, very soon, will be available to every person on the planet and, if the leaders of the InterPlanetary Networking Chapter of the Internet Society have their way, beyond.

Thank you for listening.

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