Introduction to ISOC

Annual Report 2006
ISOC 2006 Annual Report.
Read more…

The Internet Society (ISOC) is a nonprofit organisation founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy. With offices in Washington, USA, and Geneva, Switzerland, it is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world.

The Internet Society provides leadership in addressing issues that confront the future of the Internet, and is the organisational home for the groups responsible for Internet infrastructure standards, including the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB).

Cover page
Discover Today’s Internet Society. Read ISOC’s brochure…

The Internet Society acts not only as a global clearinghouse for Internet information and education but also as a facilitator and coordinator of Internet-related initiatives around the world. For over 15 years ISOC has run international network training programs for developing countries and these have played a vital role in setting up the Internet connections and networks in virtually every country connecting to the Internet during this time.

The Internet Society has more than 80 organisational and more than 28,000 individual members in over 90 chapters around the world. ISOC has also created regional bureaus to better serve the regional Internet community. The Latin American and Caribbean bureau is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the African bureau in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the South and Southeast Asian bureau in Suva, Fiji.

Through its sponsored events, developing-country training workshops, tutorials, public policy, and regional and local chapters, the Internet Society serves the needs of the growing global Internet community. From commerce to education to social issues, our goal is to enhance the availability and utility of the Internet on the widest possible scale.

The Society’s individual and organisation members are bound by a common stake in maintaining the viability and global scaling of the Internet. They comprise the companies, government agencies, and foundations that have created the Internet and its technologies as well as innovative new entrepreneurial organisations contributing to maintain that dynamic. Visit their home pages to see how Internet innovators are creatively using the network.

At the start of 2008, ISOC launched a set of longer term, strategic activities, called “initiatives”. The initiatives which will drive ISOC’s activities in 2008-2010 are:

The Society is governed by its Board of Trustees, elected by its membership around the world.

To contact the Internet Society


Internet Issues

Internet Governance

The Internet Society has been engaged in ongoing efforts to create a clear roadmap for discussions of how the Internet should be managed. Our recent effort has included participation in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) ‘Stock Taking’ exercise in Athens Greece where ISOC pushed four central concepts: “openness, diversity, security and access.” Read more…

User-Centric Internet

How might one envision the future of the Internet? One way is to think of the Internet built around the needs of the individual citizen of the Net. Read more…

Internet in the Developing World

Expanding the Internet in the developing world is a complex task. The ISOC Fellowship to the IETF is bridging that gap by connecting promising engineers to the greater Internet community. Read more…

Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)

Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) keep Internet traffic local, improve the quality of Internet services, provide resilience in domestic infrastructure, and reduce costs. IXPs are also growing in importance as critical infrastructures. Read more…

The Domain Name System

The Domain Name System (DNS) enables networks on the Internet to use globally unique names. This creates a “human” environment, where people can use easy-to-remember names for things like web pages and mailboxes, rather than long numbers or codes. Read more: Policy materials | Educational materials
See also our Educational material on DNS Security (DNSSEC).


The Internet has spurred innovation in an unprecedented way. Whether it is in the areas of technological change, social networking, content generation, economic development, or delivery of services — to mention just a few — the Internet continues to allow and encourage users to innovate in ways only limited by their imagination. Read more…

Intellectual Property

The emergence of the Internet has forced legislators, intellectual property holders, and activists to rethink the way intellectual property laws should operate in a modern networked society. Read more…

IP Addressing

Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are unique numeric identifiers that are needed by every device that connects to the Internet. The are a shared common resource that must be managed carefully to ensure the continued growth and stability of the Internet. Most of the Internet is currently addressed with IP version 4 (IPv4) addresses. Read more: Policy materials | Educational materials
See also our Education materials on Routing, ASNs, and BGP and other TCP/IP related issues.


IPv6 is the next generation IP address, offering vastly more unique addresses than are possible under IPv4. IPv6 has been available and used for many years, but levels of deployment and understanding remain relatively low. Read more…


The domain name system (DNS) was originally developed using the ASCII character set, employing only Roman characters and a limited number of symbols. With the global growth of the Internet, there have been increasing calls for “internationalized domain names” (IDNs), particularly support for other character sets in the top level of the DNS. Read more: Policy materials | Educational materials


Much of the discussion related to data protection and privacy revolves around issues related to the WHOIS databases. These databases are used to register information about about Internet resources (such as domain names, IP addresses, and related resources). Read more…


ISOC believes the Internet is for everyone and is committed to promoting the Internet’s development, stability, and security. Malicious activities, such as denial of service attacks, spam, viruses, phishing scams, and other fraudulent activities, abuse the freedoms of the Internet. Read more…
See also our Educational material on DNS Security (DNSSEC).


Spam has grown to be a major concern for Internet users and policy makers not only congesting networks and disseminating viruses and fraudulent messages, but also undermining trust in the Internet and the digital economy. Read more…


The use of standard technologies and protocols is one of the most significant reasons for the successful growth of the Internet. In fact the Internet itself, rather than being a single entity, is a vast network of networks, comprising many different sorts of devices, designs, and purposes. Standards are what bring this all together and allow end-to-end operation. Read more…