As the International Telecommunication Union’s PP-18 conference gets underway, at least one group will be trying to make sure any potential regulations don’t break the internet — literally.

That will be one of the key aims of the Internet Society, a US-based non-profit organisation with the aim of promoting “the open development, evolution and use of the internet.”

They are also the parent-company of the Public Interest Registry, which manages the .org top-level domain.

“What sometimes happen is that some governments want... to regulate parts that can’t be regulated — just technically — and the potential is that they’re going to try to create barriers that will mean that the internet won’t work very well, and we want to make that they don’t do that,” said CEO Andrew Sullivan.

He said a number of mistakes result when governments try to address real world issues, such as security.

“The solution to that is not actually to impose controls on how the network-layer works with respect to cryptography. It’s not a good idea to impose such rules on how routing works, it’s not a good idea to create governmental interference in the global domain name system, none of those things are particularly useful attempts to change the internet, because the internet might not follow.“

Sullivan has worked on internet infrastructure and standards since 2001. He worked to launch the .info top-level domain in 2001 and was part of the team that worked to launch the Public Interest Registry.