How the Internet Works - Discussion at WSIS Conference

Posted: Thu, 04 Dec 2003

The following event is being held in Geneva during The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Conference next week. WSIS is being organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), on behalf of the UN. Participants will include representatives of ICANN, ISOC, other Internet organizations, governmental representatives and the Regional Internet Registries.

The intention is to provide an opportunity for conference delegates to learn more about the current system of Internet administrative coordination, sometimes known as "Internet governance", which is under rather intense discussion within the WSIS process.

I would appreciate your help in publicizing this event to all interested persons who may be attending WSIS. Additional information about WSIS can be found at


Raymond A. Plzak
President and CEO
American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)

The Internet - How it works, Why it works, Who makes it work

Tuesday, December 9th at 9:30 to 12:30

Saleve room, Geneva Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland


The Internet is now over 30 years old. The multiple facets of the Internet have evolved through the participation of all stakeholders - the technical community, business community, civil society, governments, academia, to mention just a few. This workshop explains how the Internet functions, and how it has evolved successfully with the participation of all stakeholders. The Internet's success is due to the unique nature in which it develops - through international, transparent, inclusive processes, with no restriction on the ability to participate. With no barriers to participation, there is also full accountability to the community.

It is important in discussing "Internet Governance" to have a full understanding of how many things can fall under the term, such as fraud, trademark and copyright violations, spam, digital signatures, content control, and so on. No facet of the Internet can work in isolation, technology impacts policy, and policy can impact technology. It is also important to understand that there are many entities involved in any aspect of the Internet, and the workshop will show the roles played by such organizations as ICANN and the role of ccTLDs, gTLDs, RIRs in relation to the do main name system, the work of the technical community such as the IETF, and the important work of organizations such as ISOC. The workshop will also explain how all interested parties, including governments, can and do participate in some of these organizations, and how decisions are reached.

All members of the Internet community with an interest in Internet Governance issues are invited to attend this workshop.


09:30 - 09:40 Introduction

09:40 - 10:10 Internet standards - IETF and ISOC
Speaker: Ms. Lynn St.Amour, President and CEO, Internet Society

10:10 - 10:40 ICANN current process and evolution
Speaker: Dr. Paul Twomey, President and CEO, ICANN

10:40 - 10:10 The Regional Internet Registry System
Speaker: Mr. Ral Echeberra, Executive Director and CEO, LACNIC

11:10 - 12:30 Panel Discussion