Public benefit Internet infrastructure is not a “one-and-done” project

Christine Runnegar, Chair of ISRG Board of Directors
Jan 3, 2024

This past year we celebrated 10 years of continuous service to the community, providing free, open and automated digital certificates, creating a more secure and privacy-respecting Web for users all over the world. In that time, we have seen demand for Let's Encrypt certificates continue to grow year on year, so that now Let's Encrypt provides certificates to more than 360 million websites worldwide.

When Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) was founded, all of its financial support came from a handful of visionary tech companies and nonprofits.

We are extremely grateful to our pioneering financial sponsors, Akamai, Cisco, Gemalto, HPE, Meta, Mozilla, Google, OVHcloud, Internet Society, Shopify, Hostpoint, SiteGround, Cyon, IdenTrust, Vultr, Automattic, Electronic Frontier Foundation, infomaniak, PlanetHoster, and Discourse. They recognized from the outset the immense value to society in funding an organization that would serve as a dedicated home for critical public benefit Internet infrastructure and services. Without their financial support, ISRG may not have existed, and millions of websites might still be unencrypted.

We also wish to thank all the individuals, corporations, foundations, funds, and nonprofit organizations that have provided financial support for the continuing and evolving operation of Let's Encrypt, as well as for ISRG's newer projects to develop memory safe versions of crucial Internet infrastructure software (Prossimo) and to provide privacy-respecting application metrics (Divvi Up).

Today, ISRG is proud to be financially sponsored by more than 80 organizations and thousands of individuals from all over the world. In addition, ISRG has also received grants from the Ford Foundation, The Open Tech Fund, Comcast Innovation Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, OpenSSF, The Sovereign Tech Fund, the Internet Society Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Fundraising is never easy, and counterintuitively, especially when it comes to ongoing activities that have gone from success to success. Yet, public benefit Internet infrastructure is not a "once and done" project -- billions of people all over the world depend on that infrastructure continuing to be available, secure, resilient, and maintained. And even as Internet encryption has evolved to provide stronger security on the Internet, so have the threats to communication confidentiality and user privacy, requiring continued innovation from organizations like ISRG.

Thanks to the hard work of ISRG's fundraising team and the tireless support of our community, ISRG's financial supporters continue to grow and diversify.

As we enter our 11th year, we would like to see even more organizations contributing to ISRG's future financial sustainability and promoting the value of investing in infrastructure that improves security and privacy on the Internet for all users all over the world.