I found this a fascinating paper on the various organizations that in one way or another, power the makeup and evolution of the Internet. Written by Alex Simonelis, it summarizes each group, its makeup and primary activities.

Perhaps one of the interesting points the author notes is that while protocols, methods, domain names and the like are driven by these groups – the physical infrastructure internationally that makes the Internet possible is largely in the hands of commercial network operators large and small.

Obviously many readers understand the architecture of the Internet — however — once in a while it helps to step back and consider the monumental task of keeping the web running 24/7 in its disparate state. Those of us in a profession that is driven largely by the Internet should keep an ear to the ground and remain active on political and social issues that might impact the Internet’s makeup and flexibility (physical or virtual), including these groups.

Simonelis is on faculty at Dawson College in Montreal, Canada.

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