About ISOC

The following sections are from ISOC’s International Chapter Handbook:


1.1 Internet Society Organization and Mission

The Internet Society (ISOC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in the areas of Internet-related standards, education, and policy.

Our mission is to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world.We pursue our mission by:

  • Serving as a facilitator and coordinator of Internet-related initiatives around the world.
  • Offering leadership positions on issues related to Internet development and public policy.
  • Providing an organizational home for groups responsible for the technical Internet standards-making processes.

But the Internet Society is much more. We are engaged in activities, both globally and, through our Chapters, on the local level, that span a wide range of issues. The Internet Society:

  • Facilitates open development of standards, protocols, administration, and the technical infrastructure of the Internet
  • Supports education in developing countries specifically, and wherever the need exists
  • Promotes professional development and builds communities to foster participation and leadership in areas important to the evolution of the Internet
  • Provides reliable information about the Internet
  • Provides forums for discussion of issues that affect Internet evolution, development and use in technical, commercial, societal, and other contexts
  • Fosters an environment for international cooperation, community, and a culture that enables self-governance to work
  • Serves as a focal point for cooperative efforts to promote the Internet as a positive tool to benefit all people throughout the world
  • Provides management and coordination for on-strategy initiatives and outreach efforts in humanitarian, educational, societal, and other contexts

As an organization, the Internet Society consists of more than:

The organization is headquartered in the United States in Washington, D.C., and in Geneva, Switzerland, with staff located throughout the world.

1.2 Internet Society’s Principles

All of the Internet Society’s activities are motivated by our belief in the following principles:

  • Beneficial use of the Internet should be available and unencumbered.
  • Content providers should be self-regulated without prior censorship of on-line communications.
  • On-line free expression should not be restricted by other indirect means, such as excessively restrictive governmental or private controls over computer hardware or software or other essential components of the Internet such as telecommunications infrastructure.
  • The Internet should be an open forum for the development of standards and technology.
  • There should be no discrimination in the use of the Internet. This includes restricting access or use on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status.
  • Personal information generated on the Internet should not be misused or used by another without informed consent of the principal.
  • Internet users should be free to encrypt their communication and information without restriction.
  • Cooperation between networks should be encouraged so that connectivity is its own reward and cooperating with others will reward network providers.

1.3 The Internet Society’s Strategic Initiatives

Throughout much of its history, the Internet Society has presented its activities within a format known as the Three Pillars, which consisted of Standards, Public Policy and Education. In late 2007, that concept was replaced with a small set of longer-term, more strategic activities that are referred to as ISOC’s Strategic Initiatives.

We encourage you to examine the initiatives thoroughly and to review how to align the goals of your Chapter with those below. They are “ISOC’s” Strategic Initiatives applying to the ISOC ‘family’. Reviewing the specific programmes in each initiative you should find ample themes — such as IPv6, Net Neutrality, Identity management issues such as privacy and Internet security and Policy issues to name a few — that align well with your Chapter’s goals and eventual projects and activities. The Strategic Initiatives will also help your Chapter frame its discussion and guide presentations.

The extent to which you are successful in pursuing ISOC’s goals is the extent to which ISOC is successful.

Click on each initiative for a description and to learn more about its scope and programmes.

Internet Society Strategic Initiatives:

  • Enabling Access
    Programmes fall into three main areas:

    1. Technical Capacity Building
    2. Promoting Access-Enabling Policy and Regulatory Environments
    3. Developing Communities of Practice and Multistakeholder Participation
  • InterNetWorks
    Programmes focus on the following themes:

    • Common & Open Internet — which works to ensure the continued integrity and availability of the global Internet.
    • Global Addressing — which identifies and works to resolve challenges to global Internet addressing.
    • “Security & Stability” — which supports the development and deployment of key technologies for ensuring a stable and secure Internet.
    • “AlterNetives” — which identifies impacts of alternative networks (e.g., mobile data networks, sensor networks) on the Internet, expressed in terms of requirements for Internet development.
  • Trust & Identity
    Programmes focus on the following themes:

    • Identity: Managing Trust Relationships — working with partners to advance user managed identity solutions
    • Architecture and Trust — include developing a “taxonomy of trust”
    • Operationalizing Trust to strengthen the Current Internet Model.

These initiatives represent the highest level of strategic activity undertaken by ISOC. They serve as the basis for many of our programmes, such as support for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Policy and Strategic Engagement, Chapter Development, Regional Bureaus, Individual and Organization Membership, the ISOC Fellowship to the IETF, and Conferences and events, among many others.

Each year the Internet Society establishes a set of Annual Strategic Objectives, which complement and drive the enduring goals of the Strategic Initiatives. While many carry over each year, they are also subject to change. In 2010, the Annual Strategic Objectives were designed to:

  • Build greater awareness of ISOC and its mission by significantly enhancing ISOC’s Global Outreach programmes and campaigns.
  • Advance the health of the Internet by making open standards, development and deployment more tangible to business and technical communities.
  • Extend the Next Generation Leaders Programme to build a cadre of individuals knowledgeable at the intersection of technology and policy.
  • Develop additional revenue sources, in support of ISOC’s expanding suite of programmes and the standards development work of the IETF and other organizations.
  • Strengthen ISOC’s activities to enable our Bureaus, Chapters and Members to effectively realize the Internet Society’s mission and goals.
  • Enhance Network Confidence by actively promoting and supporting developments that engender user trust in networked environments.

1.4 Internet Model

The Internet Society firmly believes in the open, collaborative, and multistakeholder approach to Internet development that has defined the Internet’s history and is the reason for its success. Our aim is to protect that model and to ensure that the Internet is able to grow in that fashion.

Chapters are encouraged to explore the Internet Model and to adopt its concepts. Resources about the Internet Model are available on the Internet Society Web site, including these locations:

Source: http://www.isoc.org/isoc/chapters/guidelines/docs/chapterhandbook1_2010.pdf