To assure the beneficial, open evolution of the global Internet and its related internetworking technologies through leadership in standards, issues, and education.
– Internet Society Mission Statement.
The Internet Society (ISOC) is the international, umbrella Internet organization, founded in 1992. It is a non-governmental organization, made up of more than 100 organizations and thousands of individuals, with an international mission to foster global cooperation and coordination on Internet technologies, and serve as a global clearinghouse for Internet related information.
The ISOC was also created in part to provide a legal umbrella for the IAB and the IETF, which had been operating almost entirely as self-perpetuating bodies with no legal standing, in order to provide liability insurance to protect members from suits by vendors.
The ISOC oversees the other Internet management organizations described in the following pages, and in some cases provides financial and other support. It also holds an annual International Networking (INET) conference, and coordinates Internet related public policy and trade activities, regional and local chapters, standardization activities, and an international secretariat.
One of the most important legal activities of the ISOC is a defense of the free use of the word “Internet”, ensuring that it remains a generic term that is not trademarked or owned by any Individual or corporation.
The ISOC has an international network of chapters in various countries, and is open to membership from any interested individual. Members receive a bimonthly magazine called “OnTheInternet”, a monthly newsletter called “ISOC Forum”, and discounts on various products and services.
The ISOC supports a number of education programs, for example ThinkQuest, an international contest that provides scholarships for high school students who develop educational tools for the Web, run in conjunction with other organizations. It was awarded the rights to management of the .org domain in October, 2002.