TheInternetContrary to ‘popular’ belief the internet is not run by a secretive group of ‘internet elders’, nor is is contained in a little black box with a flashing red light and stored in Big Ben so that there’s better Wifi reception! … if you don’t understand this last bit don’t worry it’s a reference to the insanely funny comedy ‘The I.T. Crowd’.

Who runs the internet, anyway? It’s a pretty big question, and one that ICANN is hoping to help clarify with this handy info-graphic below.

The internet isn’t actually run by any one person or body (although there are countries and organizations who would dearly love to control it!)

An Answer – of sorts


It might be better to think of the Internet as an entity that is governed by a number of different groups from different backgrounds (private sector, government, academia, national and international organizations, etc). Collectively, they work to develop standards and policies to ensure the Internet is usable and appropriate globally.

The info-graphic below outlines some of these stakeholders and what they offer.

who runs the internet

The Internet’s Stakeholders – What Do They Do?


  • Advice
  • Community Engagement
  • Education
  • Operations
  • Policy
  • Research
  • Standards
  • Services

The Internet’s Stakeholders – Who Are They?


  • Internet Network Operators’ Groups
  • W3C – World Wide Web Consortium
  • RIRs – Regional Internet Registries
  • ISOC – Internet Society
  • ISO -International Organization For Standardization
  • Governments and Inter-Governmental Organizations/li>
  • IRTF – Internet Research Task Force
  • IGF – Internet Governance Forum
  • IETF – Internet Engineering Task Force

And Finally…


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