Craig Spiezle, newly appointed strategic executive advisor to the ISOC leadership team.
Craig Spiezle, newly appointed strategic executive advisor to the ISOC leadership team.

The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) and the Internet Society (ISOC) today announced a merger that will bring the two non-profit groups together to help promote online security.

The newly combined organizations will operate under the name Online Trust Alliance an Internet Society Initiative with the OTA effectively being absorbed by ISOC. In a blog post Craig Spiezle, executive director & CEO of the OTA, said the OTA's staff will be retained and his ongoing association with the new group will be as strategic executive advisor to the ISOC leadership team.

The merger agreement states that the OTA will operate within the Internet Society and the newly combined organization will continue to expand OTA's prior work, such as, the annual Online Trust Audit and Cyber Incident Response Guide, as well as the Internet of Things (IoT) Trust Framework.

“In sum, combining our resources with ISOC is the best of both worlds for OTA – we will continue to operate as a core ISOC initiative while gaining access to more resources, members and reach worldwide,” Spiezle wrote.

Speizle noted that the OTA's work on multi-stakeholder projects that result in actionable advice for members to follow is one of the reasons ISOC approached the OTA with the merger suggestion.

“Now is the right time for these two organizations to come together to help build user trust in the Internet. At a time when cyber-attacks and identity theft are on the rise, this partnership will help improve security and data privacy for users,” said ISO President and CEO Kathryn Brown, on the merger.

Spiezle launched the OTA in 2004 with start-up funding from Microsoft with the goal of creating an organization “to help address the mounting risks impacting businesses online and their users.”

ISOC was founded in 1992 and has more than 95,000 individual members and supporters, 122 Chapters around the world, as well as more than 110 organizational members.