Code of Conduct
for Individual Members of the Internet Society
original text is in English and is definitive in case of dispute about
Internet Society's motto, for many years, has been "The Internet is for
Everyone." As the Internet continues to penetrate into every corner of
human society and of the economy, members of the Internet Society (ISOC)
have a responsibility to demonstrate the standards of behaviour that are
appropriate to continued growth and beneficial use of the Internet. People
designing, building and operating Internet services, or simply using the
Internet as a major tool in everyday life and work, need to adopt standards
of behaviour like those of any profession. We build bridges and buildings
to stand for at least 100 years, resisting natural and man-made disasters
as far as possible, and to be useful for applications beyond their original
design. Despite its rate of change, the Internet should be the same. Also,
it should be deployed for the benefit of individuals and society, and Internet
professionals have a consequent personal responsibility. Similarly, people
simply using Internet services have a corresponding responsibility to avoid
purpose of this code of conduct is to indicate the standard of professional
behaviour to which ISOC members aspire, and which is intended to be an
example to Internet professionals as a whole. It can be used by members
to measure their own behaviour, and as a reference when considering the
behaviour of others. The items in the code are intended to be as close
as possible to observable or measureable behaviours, rather than requiring
subjective or ethical judgement.
code serves to define a form of professional identity. Although many aspects
also apply to every user of the Internet, it is intended to give ISOC members
a sense that they belong to a community with shared values and shared responsibilities.
The Code of Conduct
implementing, operating and using Internet technology and services,
or influencing relevant policies, laws, and regulations,
all professional and personal dealings an ISOC member will
© 2003 The Internet Society. All Rights Reserved.
reasonable care to ensure that his or her work and the products of his
or her work cause no avoidable danger or physical harm to any person.
reasonable steps to minimise waste of natural resources, damage to the
environment, and damage to products of human skill and industry.
or her professional advice is not accepted, take all reasonable steps to
ensure that all persons neglecting or over-ruling this advice are aware
of the possible danger or damage which may result.
deploying technologies that defeat generally accepted technical principles
of the Internet, as documented primarily by the Internet Engineering Task
Force (IETF). In particular, avoid technologies that tend to subdivide
access to the Internet rather than preserving its universal, unique, and
international nature, except as required by security mechanisms mentioned
in the next paragraph.
attention to the protection of Internet services against disaster and against
a physical or electronic attack, and to the protection of the integrity
and privacy of stored or transmitted information.
reasonable steps, including education and the wide spreading of knowledge,
to ensure the Internet can be available, accessible, and useful to everyone.
or claim to offer opinions or services that lie within the member's actual
knowledge or competence.
case of financial or material conflict between personal and professional
interests, or between two professional interests, declare this conflict
to all interested parties and if appropriate in public.
the generally accepted norms of Internet etiquette for human communications,
especially by avoiding communications that are false or are likely to be
considered as discourteous, objectionable, malicious, unwanted, or causing
unjustified loss of prestige. Avoid fraudulent or deceptive statements.
the rights of all Internet users to privacy of, and freedom of access to,
information and communication; promote these rights within the limits of
his or her power.
all users and colleagues fairly and on equal terms.
legitimate intellectual property rights, do not plagiarize the work of
others, and give credit to the originators of ideas.
others to follow this code of conduct, and discourage breaches of this
code. Offer and accept honest and constructive criticisms of opinions and
work as they relate to this code.
with, and not allow ISOC's name to be associated with, persons or organizations
consistently in breach of this code.
document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others,
provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are included
on all such copies and translations. This document itself may not be modified
in any way, except as required to translate it into languages other than
English. However, derivative works may be created by organizations other
than the Internet Society for their own use, on the condition that all
reference to the Internet Society is removed.
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