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Internet Society
""Internet Society logo.png
Abbreviation ISOC
Formation 1992; 26 years ago (1992)
Legal status Non-profit
Purpose Leadership
Headquarters "Reston, Virginia, U.S.
Region served
Official language
"American English
Affiliations "Public Interest Registry
US$45 million
Website www.internetsociety.org

The Internet Society (ISOC) is an American non-profit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in "Internet-related standards, education, access, and policy. Its mission is "to promote the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world".[1]

The Internet Society has its global headquarters in "Reston, Virginia, United States (near Washington, D.C.), a major office in "Geneva, "Switzerland, and regional bureaus in "Brussels, "Singapore, and "Montevideo. It has a global membership base of more than 100,000 organizational and individual members.



The Internet Society was formed officially in 1992 by "Vint Cerf and "Bob Kahn[2] with one of its purposes being to provide a corporate structure to support the Internet standards development process. Cerf, Kahn, and Lyman Chapin released a document, Announcing ISOC, which explained the rationale for establishing the Internet Society. This document also defines the original charter of the organization as follows:

The Society will be a non-profit organization and will be operated for international educational, charitable, and scientific purposes, among which are:

Many of the main forces of the Internet, such as the "Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), remain very informal organizations from a legal perspective. There was a growing need for financial support and organization structure. The Internet Society was incorporated as a non-profit educational organization which could provide that support structure, as well as promoting other activities that are important for the development of the Internet.

The Internet Society is the parent corporation of the IETF; as such all IETF "Request for Comments documents, including those RFCs which describe "Internet Standards", are copyrighted by the Internet Society (although freely available to anyone, including non-members, at no charge). However, the Internet Society itself grew out of the IETF, to support those functions that require a corporate form rather than simply the ad hoc approach of the IETF. In reality, the Internet Society was formed because the IETF Secretariat, which had been operated under "NSF contract by staff at the "Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) would not be supported beyond 1991 by NSF. The then Internet Activities Board sought to create a non-profit institution that could provide financial support for the IETF Secretariat among other things. CNRI served as the first host for the Internet Society's operation.

In 2012, on ISOC's 20th anniversary, it established the "Internet Hall of Fame, an annual award whose purpose is to "publicly recognize a distinguished and select group of visionaries, leaders and luminaries who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the global Internet".[4][5]


The Internet Society conducts a range of activities under the categories of: standards, public policy, access, and education.

The Internet Society works with countries and community partners to support network development, interconnection, and Internet traffic exchange, as well as training individuals who can build and maintain the Internet infrastructure in their regions.

Under the standards category, the Internet Society supports and promotes the work of the standards settings bodies for which it is the organizational home: the "Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the "Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the "Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), and the "Internet Research Task Force (IRTF). The Internet Society also seeks to promote understanding and appreciation of the "Internet model of open, transparent processes and consensus-based decision making.[6]

Under the public policy category, the Internet Society works with governments, national and international organizations, "civil society, the private sector, and other parties to promote policies about the Internet that conform to its core values. The following statement illustrates the foundation for the Internet Society's policy positions:

We envision a future in which people in all parts of the world can use the Internet to improve their quality of life, because standards, technologies, business practices, and government policies sustain an open and universally accessible platform for innovation, creativity, and economic opportunity.[7]

The Internet Society has a prominent function in "Internet governance discussions, including significant involvement in the "World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and "Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

The Internet Society works with countries and community partners to support network development, interconnection, and Internet traffic exchange, as well as training individuals who can build and maintain the Internet infrastructure in their regions.

Under the category of education, the Internet Society pursues its goals by coordinating and delivering hands-on technical training, seminars and conferences on topical Internet issues; supporting local and regional Internet organisations; issuing briefings and white papers on Internet technologies; and funding participation opportunities for Internet experts in developing countries.[8]

The Internet Society also encourages innovation and fresh thinking by providing grants and rewards to relevant initiatives and outreach efforts that address the humanitarian, educational and societal contexts of online connectivity.

The Internet Society is the parent company for the "Public Interest Registry, which manages the ".ORG top-level domain.

ISOC has joint offices in "Reston, Virginia, "United States and "Geneva, Switzerland. It has also established "Regional Bureaus" for Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, North America and Europe.

The Internet Society helped organize "World IPv6 Day, which gathered companies such as "Facebook, "Google, "Yahoo, "Akamai Technologies and "Limelight Networks as well as "ISPs to raise awareness of IPv6 issues such as fragmentation.[9]

Board of trustees[edit]

The Internet Society is governed by a board of trustees. The current list of trustees and their committee memberships is found on the organization's website.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Internet Society (ISOC) - Introduction to ISOC
  2. ^ http://www.internetsociety.org/history
  3. ^ Internet Society (ISOC) All About The Internet: History of the Internet Archived 2011-11-27 at the "Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ About page, Internet Hall of Fame website. Last accessed April 24, 2012
  5. ^ "Internet gets Hall of Fame, Al Gore honored". CBS News. April 24, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012. 
  6. ^ Internet Society (ISOC) - ISOC's Standards Activities Archived 2011-12-13 at the "Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Internet Society - Public Policy - ISOC's Public Policy Activities"
  8. ^ Internet Society (ISOC) - ISOC's Education Activities Archived 2008-02-17 at the "Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ World Internet Society IPv6 Day

External links[edit]

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