Background on ISOC
The Internet Society (ISOC) is the premier nonprofit, non-governmental membership organization focused exclusively on Internet issues. It was founded in 1991 to be the international focal point for global cooperation and coordination in the development of the Internet and has offices in Washington, DC and Geneva. Through its current initiatives in support of education and training, Internet standards and protocol, and public policy, ISOC has played a critical role in ensuring that the Internet has developed in a stable and open manner. For 10 years ISOC has run international network training programs for developing countries which have played a vital role in setting up the Internet connections and networks in virtually every country that has connected to the Internet.
ISOC's principal purpose is to maintain and extend the development and availability of the Internet and its associated technologies and applications - both as an end in itself, and as a means of enabling organizations, professions, and individuals worldwide to more effectively collaborate, cooperate, and innovate in their respective fields and interests. ISOC's specific goals and purposes include:
ISOC focuses on making an impact in 4 key areas:
ISOC has two types of members: individuals and organizations. Currently, ISOC has more than 10,000 individual members made up primarily of persons interested in the development and broader adoption of the Internet globally. Individual membership is free. These members range from prominent Internet leaders to concerned citizens and come from all over the world. In addition, ISOC has more than 150 organizational members. These too have global concerns, and include a wide range of noncommercial entities such as Stockholm University, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, and the Centre International Pour le Developpement de l'Inforoute en Francais, as well as corporations like Cisco Systems, Inc., and Deutsche Telekom AG.
An important aspect of ISOC is that it is the organizational home for many important Internet standards-setting bodies such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), and the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Additionally, ISOC coordinates closely with nearly every major Internet influencing body, including the Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center and the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Regional Internet Registry for Europe. As such, it has been deeply involved in Internet technical development issues through its decade of service, and is especially well versed in the impact of the Internet on the underdeveloped, underserved, and noncommercial segments.
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