Internet Society Marks its 20-Year Anniversary

Internet Society is 20![Washington, D.C. USA and Geneva, Switzerland, 04 January 2012] – The Internet Society is proud to announce its 20-year anniversary. The organization was founded in 1992 by two of the fathers of the Internet – Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn – to facilitate and support the evolution of the Internet and its beneficial use.

Over the past two decades, the Internet Society has been committed to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. The Internet Society continues to serve the needs of the growing, global Internet community through championing public policies that enable open access; facilitating the open development of standards and protocols; and organizing events and opportunities that inform and bring people together.

A snapshot of the Internet Society’s highlights over the past 20 years

* Facilitating training programs and workshops, many in developing countries, starting in the 1990s. Those workshops were the starting point for many of the first generation Internet leaders, and helped to connect many developing countries to the Internet.

* Serving as the organizational home for the pre-eminent Internet standards development organizations, including the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), and the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF). Virtually everything we do online today is because of work done or a standard developed within these organizations.

* Encouraging professional development for technologists and policy makers by providing grants, awards, expertise, and networking opportunities to foster leadership in areas important to the evolution of the Internet.

* Supporting the development and expansion of Internet Society Membership and Chapters around the world. As volunteers, Members and Chapters engage in a wide variety of activities, including educational and networking events to inform members or the general public about Internet related-issues, community programs for economically disadvantaged individuals or those with disabilities, and public policy programs to inform policy and decision makers about critical Internet issues.

* Working as a champion of public policies that advance, validate, and defend an open Internet. The Internet Society is recognized and sought out for its reliable and technologically-sound policy positions on key Internet policy issues, including Trust & Identity, Privacy, Internet Governance, and Human Rights.

* Promoting understanding of and involvement in the development and use of open Internet standards across technical and policy communities. As the underpinnings of the Internet, open technical standards allow devices, services, and applications to be interoperable across a wide and dispersed network of networks. The Internet Society has a long-standing commitment to fostering an open, innovative, and trusted Internet worldwide, and ensuring open Internet standards is foundational to the work of the Internet Society and the IETF.

* Winning the .ORG contract, one of the Internet’s original top-level domains (TLDs). In 2002, the Internet Society founded the Public Interest Registry (PIR), which as a separate company is the domain name registry for all .ORG TLDs.

“Reflecting on this significant milestone, I’d like to congratulate and thank our founders and early leaders, as well as our global community of Members and Chapters, the Board of Trustees, and staff who have all worked so hard to support our mission,” said Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO of the Internet Society. “We all share a passion for the good that the Internet can bring, and it is our hope for the future that everyone in the world will have access to a ubiquitous, reliable, and open Internet.”

In conjunction with its 20-year anniversary, the Internet Society will launch a series of initiatives to focus attention on the evolution of the Internet and the opportunities and challenges that will have a profound impact on its future. An exciting global forum will be held 22-24 April 2012 at the Centre International de Conférences Genève in Geneva, Switzerland.
The event will feature high-powered keynote speakers, thought-provoking panel discussions, and interactive workshops to develop a vision for the future of the Internet. Other highlights of the event include a Gala awards dinner and networking opportunities with key businesses, NGOs, and academics operating in the Internet space, as well as Internet pioneers and futurists.

“I am very proud to be part of this global organization and its important work to ensure that people in all parts of the world can enjoy the benefits of an open Internet,” said Raúl Echeberría, Chairman of the Internet Society’s Board of Trustees. “This is a special milestone for the Internet Society, not only to reflect on our past but to look ahead to the future and the impact that we can have through our collective efforts to ensure that the Internet continues to thrive. In 2012, we look forward to continued collaboration with people from around the world to protect the Internet of today for the generations to follow.”

More details on the Internet Society’s 20th anniversary are available at http://www.internetsociety.org/20th

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