Why Internet Society?

Why Internet Society?

With all the commercial, governmental, and non-profit organisations clamouring for their corner of cyberspace, many people are asking “Why Internet Society?”

Our answer

The Internet needs a group of real users to answer the fundamental questions posed to Internet users around the world.

Despite all that has been achieved so far, the Internet is still in the early stages of integration into the global community. There are serious technical and administrative issues to be addressed, new socio-economic and commercial issues are being identified every day and a wide range of ethical and societal issues are coming to the fore.

These issues need to be identified, priorities set, and the best minds identified to work together on these issues, around the idea that “the Internet is for everyone”.

The Internet Society, as the only non-political, non-profit organisation chartered to address and act on all Internet-related issues, is uniquely positioned to provide a holistic and open perspective that encourages and enables the appropriate people to get involved.

The organisation’s central involvement in administrative and policy issues from the earliest days of the Internet means that it has established contacts and relationships with organisations and individuals around the world, bringing together exactly the sort of specialisms needed to deal with every conceivable Internet-related issue.

You are in a position to make a difference.

History shows that the Internet’s decision-making process is based predominantly on a consensus-building approach that is unique in the management of technological and societal development. No one entity, no one government, no one company, no one special interest group owns or controls the Internet, and the Internet Society is committed to maintaining this approach.

The only way to achieve this is through the broad participation of organisations and individuals like you, working within the organisation best placed to give weight to your commitment.

Joining the Internet Society gives each individual the opportunity to make a truly significant contribution to one of the most significant technical and social phenomena of our time – and one that will fundamentally affect every citizen in the global village, now and in the years to come.

You will be part of the world’s most remarkable community of thinking and acting for the Internet.

The achievements of Internet Society members around the world are multiplying. Individual Members are playing a key role in the development of the Internet in 160 countries, helping others get online through initiatives such as Internet Fest, support for Internet Learning Centres, and workshop and advisory projects.

Internet Society members also help build institutions that facilitate Internet development and self-regulation, develop and disseminate standardised applications, and guide the Internet’s own evolution. Many members have been instrumental in creating Internet-related businesses and in leading societal, economic, business, and legal debates about the impact of the Internet on every sector of our society.

As a member of this global community, you will be in a position – as a member of the Internet Society – to benefit from the expertise of other members, to make your own contribution, and to align your own professional and social goals with those of the Internet Society.

It is not always easy to seize an opportunity like this. There are a lot of “rumours” around the Internet. In these situations, most people look to the opinion makers – the pioneers and visionaries – and take their cue from them.

By joining the Internet Society and becoming an active supporter of its missions, goals, and guiding principles, you become an example and a role model for others to follow.

Internet Society Principles

The Internet Society’s mission is to ensure the full development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all the world’s people.

Guiding Principles :

  • Open participation – The discussion and development of Internet technical, societal, and business policies are open and participatory processes in which all interested parties are actively encouraged to participate.
  • Mutual assistance – Internet users share information freely, helping others to gain knowledge and benefit from the Internet.
  • Collaboration – Organisations, institutions, governments and individuals collaborate and cooperate in the development and use of the Internet.
  • Non-discrimination – There is no restriction or bias in access to or use of the Internet on the basis of race, colour, language, sex, religion, political opinion, national or social origin, birth, physical ability, economic status, etc., #in accordance with democracy and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights #.
  • Self-regulation – The Internet community, as such, establishes its own rules regarding all aspects of Internet and cyberspace development, within the framework of existing laws.
  • Freedom of expression – Governmental or non-governmental controls that censor or restrict freedom of expression are unacceptable.
  • Privacy – Personal information transmitted via the Internet is not misused or disclosed without explicit consent.
  • Security – All users have equal access to secure communications.

Internet Society Mission Statement (1999)

Ensuring the growth, development and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people worldwide https://www.internetsociety.org/mission/

The genesis of the Internet Society’s mission

At the Internet Society’s June 25, 1999, membership meeting, we reviewed several elements of the strategic plan that had been discussed earlier in the week by the Board of Trustees. As noted in both presentations (the one given to the membership and the one given to the Board), the particular components of the strategic plan are the result of much discussion and exchange between individual Internet Society members and the Strategic Planning Coordination Team. The text below is a summary of the proposals.

Last December, the Internet Society’s Board of Trustees set a goal of having at least 100,000 total members by the end of 2000. This was, and still is, a very ambitious goal that will require bold action to achieve. This target will certainly bring about significant changes within the organisation, including in administration, services to members and management.

The changes that will necessarily occur, if we achieve this goal, will come from a new class of Internet Society members. These members are not likely to have the same interests as the current members. They are likely to be less interested in the technical side of things and may be more interested in the social aspects and influence of the Internet than in the technical aspects.

There will also be a need for greater visibility of the Internet Society and its activities. If we are to appeal to a wider audience that is not yet aware of our organisation, then it will be necessary to undertake actions to publicize the goals of the Internet Society and to explain why a potential member should consider joining.

This does not mean that we should forget our heritage. On the contrary, we should use it as a foundation and build on it. We need to increase and broaden the influence of our activities, following the example of the rapidly growing Internet user base itself.

In short, we need to create a “universal brand” for the Internet Society.

Creating a universal brand is not an easy task. A brand is a promise. We promise to achieve results from a well-defined mission, to conduct ourselves in a manner consistent with that mission, and to always focus on that mission. Clearly, this means that we must first define that mission, and that we must deliver results and activities to our members that are consistent with our strategy and that, if carried out, will achieve our mission.

The Internet Society’s Mission

The mission of the Internet Society is to ensure the growth, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all the world’s people. To accomplish this mission, we want to project a clear image or define a position for the Internet Society. This position will serve as the foundation for activities that will stimulate the growth of the Society’s membership.

The Internet Society’s Position

Members of the Internet Society are recognized as helping to foster the full development of the Internet as a tool for improving people’s lives. This is because the Internet Society sponsors and supports a large number of projects and initiatives that extend the Internet’s influence and illustrate its unique possibilities. The Internet Society also embraces and promotes an “Internet culture” that encourages consensus-based self-governance, and it counts among its active members, officers, and Board members the leaders of today’s Internet.

Clearly, simply having a lofty mission and a statement of purpose (or position) will not convince people of the need to join the Internet Society. We need to show the Internet users and the global community we serve that we are getting results. Our actions and the results we achieve will be the evidence that people will demand. Therefore, we have identified eight topics that can serve as reasons for membership in the Internet Society.

Internet Society Strategy

The Internet Society’s mission is to ensure the full development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all the world’s people.

To achieve this mission, the Internet Society :

  • Nurtures and defends an evolutionary and natural process within which the Internet develops, enabling the application of self-regulation, and encourages a participatory, consensus-seeking process as the primary decision-making mechanism.
  • Focuses on the overarching issues affecting the Internet and its beneficial use by the people of the world, helping to educate decision-makers at all levels about Internet issues, facilitating its full deployment, access, and use, and providing training where and when needed.
  • Encourages goodwill to undertake work on behalf of the Internet, and works in collaboration with existing Internet organisations and forums to ensure cheat-free and unrestricted access to the global Internet infrastructure under construction.

The Internet Society’s goals and programme

The Internet Society :

  1. Identifies and prioritises the most important global issues related to the Internet and addresses the structures and individuals identified as appropriate to raise these issues and bring them to a conclusion that benefits the global Internet community;
  2. Facilitates the full development of Internet standards, protocols, administration and technical infrastructure;
  3. Supports Internet education and training where needed;
  4. Promotes the professional development of its members; builds a community to encourage and nurture collaborative participation and leadership by multidisciplinary experts in areas important to the evolution of the Internet;
  5. Provides forums for discussion and debate on issues affecting the evolution of the Internet, its development and use, at all levels and across a wide range of disciplines – technical, sociological, socio-economic, commercial, legal, etc. ;
  6. Collects, synthesises and disseminates information about the Internet, its many uses and applications, and takes a proactive stance on debated issues that concern users worldwide;
  7. Takes a leading role in the development, study and evaluation of Internet policies to help set a strategic direction for the integration of the Internet into global community building;
  8. Encourages an open environment for international collaboration, multicultural sensitivity and a climate for self-regulation of the Internet;
  9. Serves as a rallying point for cooperative efforts promoting the positive uses of the Internet as a beneficial tool for communication, cooperation and mutual understanding;
  10. Takes and coordinates initiatives in line with its mission.

Mission (2022)


The Internet is for everyone.


The Internet Society supports and promotes the development of the Internet as the world’s technical infrastructure, a resource for enriching people’s lives, and a force for social good.

Our work is consistent with our goals to make the Internet open, globally connected, secure, and trustworthy. We therefore seek to collaborate with all those who share these goals.

Together we focus on :

  • Creating and supporting the communities that make the Internet work;
  • Advancing the development and application of Internet infrastructure, technologies, and technologies, and open standards, and
  • Promoting policy that is consistent with our vision for the Internet.

Overview of activities

To help achieve our mission, the Internet Society :

  • Facilitates the development of open standards, protocols, administration, and the technical infrastructure of the Internet.
  • Supports education in developing countries in particular, and wherever the need exists.
  • Promotes professional development, and builds community 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 the evolution, development, and use of the development and use of the Internet from a technical, business, social, and other.
  • Fosters an environment of international co-operation, community and culture that enables self-governance to work.
  • Serves as a focal point for cooperative efforts to promote the Internet as a positive tool for all as a positive tool for the benefit of all people around the world.
  • Manages and coordinates strategic initiatives and advocacy efforts at the humanitarian, educational, social and other advocacy efforts.

Join Internet Society

Now you know why Internet Society. Do you want to know more? Contact us.

Do you want to be part of this wonderful adventure? Join Internet Society today!


Credit photo : Yasin Yusuf.

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