The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Characteristics of internet organizations and corporations

We reject: kings, presidents and voting.
We believe in: rough consensus and running code.

David Clark
Former Chair of the IAB, forerunner of IETF, 1992

Characteristics of internet organizations and corporations include:

  • Very flat organizational structure
  • Lack of respect for traditional models of organization (nation-states,
    for-profit corporations)
  • “Can-do” attitude
  • Social mission
  • Community
  • Respect for internet traditions
  • Computer-mediated communications
  • Innovation
  • Meritocracy

Examples of Internet-related organizations:

  • Sendmail Consortium Administers a widely used internet mail server program called Sendmail. Partnered with for-profit Sendmail Inc., see Sendmail Inc. corporate fact sheet.
  • Open Source Initiative A 501(c)3 tax exempt corp. Certifies open-source software.
  • Internet Engineering Task Force Principle engineering and standards-making body, under the auspices of
  • ISOC, the Internet Society ISOC sponsors the published internet standards, the RFC’s
    (Requests for Comments).
  • ARIN, American Registry for Internet Numbers

    Applying the principles of stewardship, ARIN, a nonprofit corporation, allocates Internet Protocol resources; develops consensus-based policies; and facilitates the advancement of the Internet through information and educational outreach.

    ARIN assigns internet numbers to the US and parts of the rest of the world. Other Regional Internet Registries include AfriNIC,, APNIC,, LACNIC,, and RIPE NCC,

  • Mozilla Foundation
  • We are helping make the Internet a place… where you and your neighbours build the world you want. that generates not only economic value, but also civic and social value. that is optimized for multiple languages and locales. that is trustworthy and has minimal risk for users.

    The Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization that sponsors the Mozilla project and devotes its resources to promoting openness, innovation and opportunity on the Internet. We do this by supporting the community of Mozilla contributors and by assisting others who are building technologies that benefit users around the world.

    Sponsors of Firefox, Thunderbird and many other projects.

    Partnered with Mozilla Corporation, a for-profit subsidiary.

  • ICANN, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a not for profit Corporation which superrvises the Domain Name System under the auspices of US Department of Commerce
  • IANA, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority,

    The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is responsible for the global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources.

    IANA is now operated by ICANN.

  • DARPA, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense (DoD). It manages and directs selected basic and applied research and development projects for DoD, and pursues research and technology where risk and payoff are both very high and where success may provide dramatic advances for traditional military roles and missions.

    DARPA funded the Arpanet, forerunner of the Internet, and gave rise to much of the Internet’s risk-taking and out-of-the-box-thinking culture. Specializes in technologies leading to “disruptive change”.

The Global Internet is arguably larger than any corporation or nation in history, yet it has a very flat and dispersed implicate order. And it does work, most of the time.

Copyright © 2008 Henry Edward Hardy

See also:
Comcast versus the Net

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7 March, 2008 - Posted by | anarchy, David Clark, democracy, disintermediation, goverment, governance, IAB, IETF, internet, meritocracy, open source, scanlyze, society

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