The Internet Society (ISOC) is a global organisation dedicated to keeping the Internet open, transparent, and user-defined. ISOC's mission is to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world.
With over 100 local chapters worldwide and hundreds of individual and organisational members, ISOC is an organisation that has great outreach and influence in advocacy, policy-shaping, and capacity building. Its work focuses on four main dimensions: supporting and advocating for public policies that aim at an open, accessible and sustainable Internet; facilitating the open development of standards, protocols, administration, and the technical infrastructure of the Internet; fostering growth and access to technology by bringing information, training, and partnerships to people and communities across the globe, and by assisting developing countries to build basic Internet infrastructures; and engaging in capacity building activities in the areas of digital literacy and Internet governance. Some of ISOC's major capacity building initiatives include: Inforum (an online learning platform providing courses on issues such as: history and future of the Internet, spam an online threats, network operations, etc.), the Next Generation Leaders Programme (designed to help Internet develop their leadership potential at the intersection of technology, business, policy, and education), and the Internet Governance Forum Ambassador Programme (providing fellowships for individuals to attend annual IGF meetings).
The ISOC Accessibility Special Interests Group, which supersedes ISOC's& Special Needs Chapter, is dedicated to addressing the needs of people with special needs that are related to the Internet and its attendant technologies.
Today, ISOC plays a strong role in the major Internet governance processes, especially in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Internet Governance Forum (IGF) developments, and is also a sector member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).