Mutual Internet
Practices Asssoc.

About Scope



About MIPA

The open Internet has grown to include a wide range of organizations, pursuing a wide range of ends, in a wide range of styles. This variety includes activities that are problematic to the general delivery of stable, safe service across the Internet.

Safe Internet service is achieved through collaboration among providers.



With MIPA, collaborative use of common best practices permits organizations to rely on the predictable, productive behavior of participants. This dramatically reduces operational complexity and user problems, thereby increasing the Internet's usefulness.

The MIPA seeks to unite responsible providers of Internet service into a cohesive group, through:

  • A venue for agreeing on specific best practices among service organizations
  • An operation to assist organizations in sharing and sustaining those practices
  • A community coordination effort for achieving the standards and tools needed to enable adoption and use of the practices

There are many productive groups for discussing Internet policy, technology and operations. However none has a focus on developing and supporting collective agreements for safe, robust Internet operation. MIPA provides a voluntary and open environment for achieving this.

Members develop, approve and use MIPA agreements. Membership permits organizations to learn from each other and to build a base of experience with each other, using a common set of best practices. It is for any enterprise or third-party service that operates Internet infrastructure service, such as email, DNS or BGP



Product Assurance Accreditation

Underwriter's Laboratories is an example of the role MIPA is pursuing. UL defines safety levels, tests product conformance, and authorizes display of the UL service mark, to show accreditation.

MIPA's details must be different from classic product safety. MIPA's focus is on services, rather than on physical products, and the Internet is a distributed environment, crossing governmental boundaries, so that a government-certified "service mark" accreditation mechanism is not feasible.

Internet safety involves interaction among independent participants, and the MIPA recommended mechanisms are developed collaboratively, by the organizations that adopt them. Further, MIPA provides ongoing assistance, to ensure continued adherence to the recommended practice.

Technical Standards

Standards organizations, like IETF, W3C, IEEE, ISO and ITU specify technical components. These are the underpinnings of a service. MIPA focuses on ways to use these components, enabling services to achieve explicit assurances about the practice of peers elsewhere on the Internet.

MIPA is an alternative, based on a coalition of providers.

MIPA solves service issues. Technical requirements flow from this focus, rather than drive it. Equally, authority flows from adoption, rather than drives it.


Registry services, like APNIC, ARIN and RIPE, assign entries into tables. They typically specify good practice for organizations assisting in the assignment process. However their scope is limited to the operation of the registries.

MIPA has a broader scope, covering delivery of general Internet services, rather than the narrow focus on administration of particular Internet infrastructure tables.


Operations-related groups, like Apricot, Ripe and Nanog, are for presentations and discussions. They serve as venues for learning and debate. MIPA complements these activities with a venue for gaining agreements on best practice and assisting in their correct implementation.


A number of organizations focus on the control of spam. NANAE, and Spamhaus are examples. MIPA seeks to leverage their experience into a common set of best anti-spam practices, as agreed to by the MIPA membership. Hence, MIPA seeks to provide a long-term effort that is a stable, community-based continuance of the pioneering effort from these early efforts.

A significant conceptual difference between most anti-spam efforts and the MIPA focus is that MIPA focuses on developing trust among participants, rather than on identifying misbehaving services.



Service Organization (SO) membership

SO membership is open to any organization with responsibility for delivering stable, safe Internet service. Service Organization members may participate in all Discussion Groups, vote on Best Practices specifications and receive MIPA reports. The first 10 SO members will be Founding Members.

Affiliate Organization (AO) membership

AO membership is open to any organization with an interest in stable, safe Internet service. Affiliates may participate in MIPA Discussion Groups and receive MIPA reports.



Board of Directors

The strategic decision-making body of the MIPA is the Board of Directors (BoD). It establishes direction for MIPA, negotiates management contracts, and sets other policy as appropriate.

The first election for the Board of Directors will occur when there are ten (10) SO members. The Board of Directors comprises five members elected by the organization members to serve terms of two years.

Management Council

The Management Council (MC) is responsible for administrative, financial and legal oversight of MIPA's daily operations. It consists of the MIPA Executive Director, plus two members from the b/d.

Best Practices Council

The Best Practices Council develops agreements on Best Practices (BPC). It adopts BPs from other organizations, as appropriate. Otherwise it develops recommendations directly. It may later seek to have them more widely adopted by a standards body.

The BoD appoints a BP Council Chair, to oversee BPC activities. Working groups develop recommendations. Working group participation is open to any MIPA member.

Assurance Council

Approving a Best Practices recommendation is the easy task. Gaining on-going use is more challenging. The Assurance Council operates a collaborative network of SO members that have adopted BPS  The network monitors use of BPS, providing feedback and assistance.

The BoD appoints a BP Council Chair, who oversees activities within the Council.

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