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Introducing The Internet Society: Driving Global Initiatives for Internet Standards, Education and Policy

The Internet Society (ISOC) is a non-profit, non-governmental membership organization focused exclusively on Internet issues. It was founded in 1991 by many of the original architects of the Internet. Through its many initiatives in support of education and training, Internet standards and protocols, and public policy, ISOC has played a critical role in ensuring that the Internet has developed in a stable and open manner in the best interest of the broad and global Internet community.

For example, ISOC is the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) - the principal body engaged in the development of new Internet standard specifications. The IETF has driven the standards process for many aspects of the Internet, ranging from the protocols on which the World Wide Web and electronic mail are based to the protocols behind the next generation of mobile telecommunications.

Furthermore, in recognition of ISOC’s strong technical roots as well as its reputation for responsible Internet citizenship, the society was recently selected to administer the .ORG domain. As part of its successful bid, ISOC created a separate non-profit corporation, PIR (Public Interest Registry), whose mission is to manage the .ORG domain in an exemplary manner in support of the needs of the non-commercial community.

Much of the revenue generated by .ORG domain registrations is used to support public interest programs developed and implemented by ISOC. These programs include numerous technical workshops in which ISOC members and partners have helped local specialists bring Internet connectivity to nearly every developing country.

The Internet Society has over 16,000 individual members in 160 countries around the world. These members have come together to form more than 80 local ISOC Chapters that organize local events and initiatives in response to national and regional Internet public policy issues.

Significant support for the society’s activities also comes from its 120 organization members including corporations, non-profit, trade and professional organizations, foundations, educational institutions and government agencies. These members share a commitment to the health of the Internet and their contributions directly benefit ISOC’s standards, education and public policy initiatives.

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