A. ISOC's Mission Supports
the Non-commercial Community
PIR will extend the culture and focus of ISOC through .ORG domain
The mission of ISOC is: "To assure the open development, evolution
and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout
the world." (http://www.isoc.org/isoc/mission/).
This commitment to keep the Internet open for everyone-including
non-commercials--is found at the very root of ISOC - not only in
our mission statement and other strategic elements, but also in
our program priorities.
ISOC's mission is manifested in eight main ways. (See: http://www.isoc.org/isoc/mission/):
- Facilitates open development of standards,
protocols, administration and the technical infrastructure of
- Supports education in developing countries
specifically, and wherever the need exists
- Promotes professional development and opportunities
for association to Internet leadership
- Provides reliable information about the Internet
- Provides forums for discussion of issues that
affect Internet evolution, development and use -- technical, commercial,
- Fosters an environment for international cooperation,
community, and a culture that enables self-governance
- Serves as a focal point for cooperative efforts to promote the
Internet as a positive tool to benefit all people throughout
- Provides management and coordination for strategic initiatives
and outreach efforts -- humanitarian, educational, societal,
B. 4 Pillars: ISOC's Strategies
ISOC's strategies and programs focus on 4 pillars, all of which
have a significant non-commercial component.
ISOC's 4 fundamental pillars are:
- Public Policy
- Education and Training
- Standards and Protocol
Program priorities have been established that illustrate how each
of these pillars reflect a deeply ingrained respect, responsiveness
to and support for the non-commercial Internet user community.
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1. Pillar #1: Public Policy
ISOC has taken a leadership role in this critical area of the Internet.
There are an increasing number of issues being discussed, and the
decisions being made will affect the evolution of the Internet.
These decisions may stem from social, ethical, economic, political,
or legal considerations, and will be influenced by organizations
associated with the private and/or public sectors, including industry,
government, academic, and other institutions.
ISOC and its members have always played important roles in the
vigorous debates regarding Internet-related public policies. ISOC's
first concern is to develop public policy positions and statements
on issues of particular concern to the membership. More importantly,
it focuses on those when the Society's technological expertise can
be brought to bear. In RFC 2850-the Charter of the Internet Architecture
Board (IAB)-one of IAB's functions is described as follows: "The
IAB acts as a source of advice and guidance to the Board of Trustees
and Officers of the Internet Society concerning technical, architectural,
procedural, and (where appropriate) policy matters pertaining to
the Internet and its enabling technologies."
This close connection between ISOC and the IAB has already enabled
the Society to speak out on public policy issues more clearly than
many other public voices. ISOC is significantly better informed,
from a technology standpoint, precisely because of its relationships
with the IETF, IAB, IESG, and IRTF. The Internet Society is a member
of the Noncommercial Domain Name Holders Constituency as a part
of ICANN's Domain Name Supporting Organization, and participates
in deliberations regarding the domain name system and other aspects
of Internet governance.
ISOC recognizes that an ongoing problem with the ICANN DNSO Non
Commercial Constituency has been a funding short-fall. The inability
of the non-commercial constituency to meet its' financial obligations
has called into question the ability of its three Names Council
representative to vote on Names Council matters. ISOC would like
to explore various funding solutions through its .ORG Advisory Council
to come up with a long term funding solution for the Non-Commercial
constituency or its successor organization.
In another significant example, the Society recently created the
Internet Societal Discussion Forum (ISDF) to consider issues and
concerns such as the digital divide and open standards.
Recent examples of policy positions taken by the Society include
a statement regarding privacy and technology, which argues that
the mere availability of technology that can intrude on Internet
users' privacy is not a justification for putting that technology
to use (http://www.isoc.org/pubpolpillar/issues/privacy.shtml).
Examples of articles published in the Society's print and online
magazine OnTheInternet include:
The ISOC Board of Trustees recently identified several critical
areas in the public policy realm. In each case, the development
and formation of a position by the Society will require analysis
and debate, taking into account different regional and national
views that often vary widely.
Key areas of Public Policy concern to ISOC include the following:
- Access including connectivity considerations as well
as access for persons with disabilities
- Children and the Internet ISOC is member of a citizen's
and Internet industry action group of The World Citizen's Committee on Protecting Innocence in Danger, and its U.S. National Action
Committee. This group was formed in 1999 under the auspices of
UNESCO, to promote the safe navigation of the information highway
by children and youth while protecting them from pedophilia-related
crimes perpetrated over the Internet.
- Copyright and Intellectual Property (including UDRP)
- Closing the Digital Divide
- Domain Name Systems
- E-Commerce and Taxation
- Privacy and Public Key Encryption
- Digital Signatures
- Women and the Internet
- Internet Governance
- Threats to the Single Root
ISOC's Public Policy pillar illustrates the Society's deep
commitment to the non-commercial Internet user community and
the Society's singular ability to address the often-deep divide
between the technically possible and the publicly desirable.
PIR will carry this sensitivity into the management of the
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2. Pillar #2: Education and Training
As the Internet plays an ever-larger role in our lives, it is imperative
that people be educated and trained to use it. ISOC is dedicated
to providing and supporting training for a wide range of audiences
from young people in developing nations to professional engineers
on the cutting edge of technology. If selected to manage the .ORG
domain, ISOC can expand these programs and magnify the impact of
programs already in place.
In developed countries, ISOC arranges conferences for Internet
leaders to share ideas and supports youth-oriented education programs,
including the provision of scholarship support.
ISOC also recognizes that many of the world's people lack access
to basic telecommunications tools and their benefits. If developing
nations are to achieve sustainable economic growth, they must have
access to technology. In this regard, the Internet Society plays
a significant role in educating institutions, governments and individuals
around the world, through its conferences, tutorials, network training
workshops and many other programs.
ISOC's Education and Training pillar has and continues to support
universal access to and understanding of the Internet through previous
and existing programs in the following areas:
Network Training Workshops (NTW)
ISOC conducts Network Training Workshops for developing countries
to help them build their Internet infrastructures and train qualified
Internet leaders in these regions. This program has trained over
2500 individuals and courses have been taught in 4 languages: English,
French, Spanish and Portuguese. The WALC workshop below one example
of this type of workshop.
Internet Workshop for Latin America and the Caribbean (WALC)
Held in conjunction with NTW, WALC is organized by the National
Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), through the General Management
of Academic Computing Services (DGSCA), the Internet Society Mexico
Chapter, The Net Forum for Latin American and the Caribbean (ENRED),
the Academic Net of Centers and National Universities from Venezuela
(REACCIUN), Latin American School Foundation of Networks and NIC-Mexico.
The main purpose of this workshop is to satisfy the requirements
of technological training of technicians and network professionals
from countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Goals of the
program include promoting intensive training through specialized
teaching in Spanish and Portuguese; forming a critical professional
mass in network infrastructure, information traffic, integrated
network services, new technologies and project management to help
in the expansion of activities related to Internet development in
the region; and identifying and establishing individual and institutional
links that help to contribute to develop national and regional activities
based on Internet.
Participants in the workshop are selected from those involved in
Internet infrastructure planning and execution in their countries.
From Tunis to Hanoi; Bamako to Bhubaneswar, ISOC's regional
training workshops have brought the expertise of Internet professionals
to countries and regions that are in the early stages of Internet
infrastructure development. Many graduates of these workshops have
gone on to play significant roles in the growth of the Internet
in countries that have developed their Internet infrastructures
within the last five years.
Much more than just a portable version of NTW, these workshops
are designed to train professionals about the configuration, maintenance
and management of information networks. The workshops serve to reinforce
information infrastructures on the ground and to facilitate the
effective transfer of technology. They are structured to ensure
that the efforts will be self-sustaining and that motivated individuals
and groups remain to not only train a new generation of Internet
professionals, but to carry on the work in various forms such as
local ISOC chapters or through the development and maintenance of
local Web sites.
The workshops are now designed to leave a permanent training room
at each location. This was most recently accomplished in Madagascar
through the generous assistance of INTIF (Agence de la Francophonie)
(PCs and peripherals), CISCO (routers and switches), and O'Reilly
& Associates (books).
Sponsored by the Internet Society and the European Union,
the Internet Fiesta is an annual international celebration designed
to help increase access to the Internet and promote its use worldwide.
Because the Internet has no frontiers, individuals and organizations
from all continents participate. During these three-day fiestas,
Internet services and solutions are offered worldwide by citizens,
companies, and governments and are featured on the Internet and
in villages, streets, shops and cafés.
In the past, more than 1,000 Fiesta-related events in more than
35 developing countries have offered a wide range of innovative
activities. Activities included a "Webmaster Challenge" to create
Web sites for a number of English non-profit organizations; a joint
training program on Web development held by the University of Papua
New Guinea and the National Association of NGOs; a film, image and
sound gallery exploring creative image communication through the
Internet in the Republic of Korea; and a Moroccan cyber-festival
featuring performers, music, and free access to 200 Internet connected
K-12 Educational Networking Workshop
K-12 Educational Networking Workshop is a one-day training
program for primary and secondary school teachers and administrators.
ThinkQuest is an international scholarship program for secondary
Children and the Internet
ISOC maintains a list of links to Web sites of interest
to kids, parents and teachers.
ISOC sponsors: 1) INET, an annual conference that brings
together cyberspace leaders to focus on global issues of Internet
networks, applications and policies for worldwide infrastructure;
as well as 2) the Network and Distributed System Security conference
(NDSS), which annually brings together researchers, implementers,
and users of network and distributed system security technologies
to discuss the important security issues of the day.
SITC's(Sustainable Internet Training Centers)
The Arab Towns Organization (ATO) and the Internet Society
have agreed to cooperate in a joint program aimed at implementing
a network of Sustainable Internet Training Centers in the Middle
East. The centers, once opened, will be designed to help advance
the development of the Internet and related infrastructure in the
Middle East, and will be in place year-round and available for use
by the general public.
ISOC also supports many additional regional or topical activities
that have a significant education component: IPv6 Workshops, the
Harvard School of Public Health Colloquium on Sustainability and
Access to Health Information-Critical Assessment of Practical Uses
of IT in the Developing World as well as many other symposiums across
ISOC's Education and Training pillar further illustrates
the Society's deep commitment to the non-commercial Internet
user community and the Society's singular ability to provide
educational programming that helps accelerate the adoption
and use of the Internet on a global basis. PIR will carry
this sensitivity into the management of the .ORG domain and
provide additional support to allow the expansion of these
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3. Pillar #3: Standards and Protocols
Support for Internet standards and protocols bodies represents an
important element of ISOC's work.
ISOC is the organizational home of 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 standards setting and research arms of the Internet
community. These organizations operate in an environment of bottom-up
consensus building made possible through the participation of thousands
of people across the globe. ISOC and its participating organizations
coordinate across a wide range of formal and informal groups that
contribute to the evolution and stability of the Internet.
Fortunately for the Internet Society, the IETF and related organizations,
there is a perspective that the independence of those standards
and protocol bodies should be preserved. The article "Survey-Software"
in The Economist of April 14, 2001 (p. 26), stated "...it is the
Internet's institutions-such as the IETF-that offer a possible solution
to the regulatory issues [of the Internet]. These consensus-building
bodies are not just a good mechanism to develop robust and flexible
open standards; their decision-making processes could also be applied
to other issues, such as the regulation of directories…These communities
are guided by respected members, known as 'elders' or 'benevolent
dictators'..., who have gained their status because of the quality
of their contributions."
While the Society's activities in these areas are obviously very
broad and often complex, following are brief descriptions of some
of the organizations with which the Society interacts:
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is a large, open,
international community of network designers, operators, vendors,
and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture
and the smooth operation of the Internet. It is open to any interested
At the technical and developmental level, the Internet is made
possible through creation, testing and implementation of Internet
standards. These standards are developed by the IETF. The standards
are then considered by the Internet Engineering Steering Group,
in consultation with the Internet Architecture Board. The RFC Editor,
supported by the Internet Society, is responsible for preparing
and organizing the standards in their final form. These standards
may be found at numerous sites distributed throughout the world,
such as the InterNIC. The IETF's website may be found via a link
from the ISOC site or at http://www.ietf.org/
IETF RFCs and the RFC Editor
The Requests for Comments (RFCs) form a series of notes,
started in 1969, about the Internet (originally the ARPANET). The
notes discuss many aspects of computer communication, focusing on
networking protocols, procedures, programs, and concepts but also
including meeting notes, opinion, and sometimes-humorous anecdotes.
The specification documents of the Internet protocol suite, as defined
by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and its steering group
the IESG, are published as RFCs. Thus, the RFC publication process
plays in important role in the Internet standards process. The RFC
Editor is the publisher of the RFCs and is responsible for the final
editorial review of the documents. The Internet Society funds the
RFC Editor function.
European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
ETSI is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to
produce the telecommunications standards that will be used in the
future throughout Europe and beyond. The Institute's website may
be found at http://www.etsi.org/.
Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) http://www.irtf.org
The Research Groups work on topics related to Internet protocols,
applications, architecture and technology. Research Groups are expected to have the stable, long-term (with respect to the lifetime of the Research Group) membership needed to promote the development of research collaboration and teamwork in exploring research issues. Participation is by individual contributors.
The IRTF is managed by the IRTF Chair in consultation with the Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG). The IRSG membership includes the IRTF Chair, the chairs of the various Research Groups and possibly other individuals ("members at large") from the research community.
The IRTF Chair is appointed by the Internet Architecture Board
(IAB). The Research Group chairs are appointed as part of the formation
of Research Groups and the IRSG members at large are chosen by the
IRTF Chair in consultation with the rest of the IRSG and on approval
of the IAB. In addition to managing the Research Groups, the IRSG
may from time to time hold topical workshops focusing on research
areas of importance to the evolution of the Internet, or more general
workshops to, for example, discuss research priorities from an Internet
The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG)
The IESG is responsible for technical management of IETF activities and the Internet standards process. As part of the IETF, it administers the process according to rules and procedures ratified by the ISOC Trustees. The IESG is directly responsible for the actions associated with entry into and movement along the Internet "standards track," including the final approval of specifications as Internet Standards. The IESG may be found at http://www.iesg.org/iesg.html.
Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
The Internet Architecture Board is a technical advisory group of the Internet Society. Its responsibilities include:
- IESG Selection: The IAB appoints a new IETF chair and all other IESG candidates, from a list provided by the IETF nominating committee.
- Architectural Oversight: The IAB provides oversight of the architecture for the protocols and procedures used by the Internet.
- Standards Process Oversight and Appeal: The IAB provides oversight of the process used to create Internet Standards. The IAB serves as an appeal board for complaints of improper execution of the standards process.
- RFC Series and IANA: The IAB is responsible for the editorial management and publication of the Request for Comments (RFC) document series, and for administration of the various Internet assigned numbers.
- External Liaison: The IAB acts as representative of the interests of the Internet Society in liaison relationships with other organizations concerned with standards and other technical and organizational issues relevant to the world-wide Internet.
- Advice to ISOC: The IAB acts as a source of advice and guidance to the Board of Trustees and Officers of the Internet Society concerning technical, architectural, procedural, and (where appropriate) policy matters pertaining to the Internet and its enabling technologies.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
ICANN is the non-profit corporation that was formed to assume responsibility for the IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions previously performed under U.S. Government contract by IANA and other entities.
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
Dedicated to preserving the central coordinating functions of the global Internet for the public good, IANA served as the predecessor
ISOC's Standards and Protocol pillar supports activities that positively impact the non-commercial Internet user community as well as Internet users in general. The Society's special ability to influence standards in the public interest helps ensure the broadest possible adoption and use of the Internet
on a global basis. PIR will carry this sensitivity into the management of the .ORG domain and provide additional support to allow the expansion of these proven programs.
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4. Pillar #4: Membership
Membership in ISOC is open to everyone, including individuals and
organizations. At present, ISOC has more than 10,000 individual members and over 137 organizational members.
ISOC's organizational members include non-profit, trade and professional
organizations, foundations, all types of corporations, educational
institutions, government agencies and other international organizations with varied interests-in short, the entire spectrum of the Internet community, including non-commercial. They share a commitment to the health of the Internet. These key players from around the world have demonstrated this commitment through their support of the Internet Society. A sampling of some of the non-commercial organizations will illustrate the diversity of the representation within ISOC; a complete list can be found at
In addition to organizational support, ISOC also has a broad, diverse
roster of individual members. ISOC has made a commitment to maintaining
a FREE membership option for individuals to eliminate barriers to
participation and encourage participation in Chapter activities.
- Association for Computing Machinery
- Assumption University of Thailand
- Centre International Pour le Developpement de l'Inforoute en
- Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)
- DENIC eG
- Federal Office for Communications, Switzerland
- IEEE Computer Society
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- RIPE NCC
- State Library of New South Wales
- Stockholm University
- The Research Libraries Group, Inc.
- Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association
- Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology
Members who wish to create a chapter can form chapters at any time.
Requirements are only that at least 25 members comprise the chapter,
and that a meeting be convened to create bylaws, which must subsequently
be approved by ISOC. ISOC charges no chapter dues, consistent with
its goal of broadening participation to the widest possible audience
(although some chapters may charge dues at their discretion). ISOC
will execute the initial mailing to solicit local members. It even
provides draft documents to simplify this process, including the
draft bylaws for a chapter (shown in Section 7, Attachment 1).
Chapters can submit nominations for the ISOC Board of Trustees,
through a process that gives voice to all of ISOC's constituencies.
ISOC's membership and chapter practices, plus its organization
affiliations enable any interested person to participate in
the activities of the Society. Commercial entities can be
(and are) members in the Society, and are active supporters
of the overall ISOC mission.
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C. New ISOC PIR Initiatives
New ISOC PIR initiatives will support the non-commercial community.
In addition to the many effective and established mechanisms noted
above, PIR will implement two additional initiatives to improve
.ORG's ability to serve its key community.
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1. New .ORG Advisory Council
While the activities surrounding the four pillars above will createsignificant
input of value to .ORG domain management, PIR will alsoestablish
a special .ORG Advisory Council to focus solely on .ORG issues.These
issues may range from policy to the introduction of new services,
andthe Council will serve as an ombudsman-type resource for management
as itseeks to incorporate the broadest possible input for important
The Council will be made up of leadership from the broad spectrum
of the non-commercial world. Members will be available to provide
feedback on specific issues as well as valuable advice to the .ORG
This board will be established within 60 days of the appointment
of PIR as the registry operator.
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2. New .ORG Web Site Input mechanisms
Members of the broad Internet community should also have a means
of learning about and commenting on initiatives under way in the
.ORG domain. Similarly, .ORG management should be able to tap the
community for input on important issues. To facilitate this communication,
PIR will establish a section of its website to both inform and solicit
input from interested parties. Key elements of the site will include
- A "News" area to provide up to date information on activities
- A polling capability to obtain input on various issues of interest.
- Discussion forums available for posting .ORG-related items of
interest to the general community.
- An educational section that shows how non-commercial entities
can leverage the Internet to further their goals (see Section
8 for more details).
- Sample sites including "poster sites" that illustrate innovative
or interesting uses of .ORG.
ISOC's Membership pillar also shows the Society's deep commitment
to non-commercial Internet users. Free individual membership at
the central level coupled with acceptance of other interested communities
creates an open, inclusive and broadly representative forum. PIR
will not only tap this experience, but also establish additional
input mechanisms to ensure a clear voice for the non-commercial
community in the management of the domain.
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PIR will provide support to these 4 pillars and the numerous initiatives
attendant to each, and the .ORG domain will be positively influenced
by these goals and strategies. The above-mentioned groups provide
an extensive, established and diverse network of Affiliations, Governing
groups and Advisory groups who provide strong and, for the most
part, proven mechanisms for responding to and supporting the non-commercial
Internet community. As an inclusive, effective and diverse global
body, ISOC, through PIR, is ideally suited to provide the organizational
direction needed for .ORG to reach its full potential.
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