July 11 I will be leaving NLnet Labs to join the Internet Society as Chief Internet Technology Officer.
During the last one-and half decade I have tried to push the needle to a more secure, resilient, and dependable Internet. For the last eight and a half years I did this at NLnet Labs by leading a team that writes high quality code, participates in the Internet standards process, and works with operators on implementations. The Lab has pushed the needle on DNSSEC deployment by building products that I proudly believe, make a difference for the Open Internet.
Why does it make a difference?
Because, the Internet’s technology matters.
Bottom up innovation and deployment of technology, even if there is very little short-term economic incentive to take action, is at the very hearth of the success of the Internet. The availability of Open Source software turns out to be an important driver for the successful deployment of new protocols. That is where NLnet Labs, and a myriad of other open (and closed) source developers, in groups or as individuals, make a difference.
As a corollary, when there is such little short-term economic incentive there needs to be buy-in for the vision of ‘what good looks like’. With such vision all the independent players can work towards a common objective and we collectively take a bet on a future network value. That is where ISOC makes the difference. With its promotion of the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet (for the benefit of all people throughout the world) ISOC can share a vision and encourage technologies that help to increase trust, provide security, and make the net more stable, to gain a foothold.
For me, the transition from an organization that builds technology for the Open Internet to an organization that promotes the Open Internet is a natural path. I had evangineer as job title on my business card: A pun combining the realism of technical engineering with the evangelizing the good of the Open Internet. At ISOC I plan to continue the practice of evangineering, by working ‘with good people and fostering broad collaboration to address the [Internet’s] issues, since we all know that the Internet’s Technology Matters’ (A quote from my predecessor Leslie Daigle).
NLnet Labs will be in good hands, with NLnet Labs veteran Benno Overeinder at the helm, and Han Brouwers (director of the wholly owned subsidiary Opennet Labs BV) on his side. NLnet Labs is a solid team working on innovative projects that will shape the future. Of course, NLnet Labs continues to be committed to its projects and products.
I will be a proud and supportive alumnus.