Johan "Julf" Helsingius

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Organization: BaseN
Affiliation: GNSO
Stakeholder Group(s): Civil Society/Non-Governmental
Private Sector - General Business/Legal
Technical Community
Region: Europe
Country: Netherlands
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Johan "Julf" Helsingius, A Swedish-speaking Finn living in Amsterdam, is an European Internet pioneer, serial entrepreneur and privacy activist. He served as Nominating Committee Applointee to the GNSO Non-contracted Parties House from 2015 to 2017. He is currently the GNSO liaison to the GAC, and vice chair for GNSO Standing Selection Committee.

Julf is also co-chair for the RIPE co-operation working group.

Career History

  • 1984-1992 Oy Penetron Ab / Oy Penetic Ab, Helsinki, Finland - CEO and principal owner of Open Systems consulting and training company
    Member of IEEE Std 1003.1-1988 (POSIX) standardisation committee for Portable Operating System Interface
  • Co-founder and chairman of Finnish UNIX Users Group, Member of management board, European UNIX User Group / EurOpen
  • Managed the UUCP/USENET node for Finland
  • 1992-1996 EUnet Finland Oy, Helsinki, Finland - Managing Director/CEO.
    Responsible for starting up the first commercial Internet Service Provider in Finland
    Founder of Finnish Internet Exchange
    Responsible for developing first pan-European dial-up roaming Internet Access system (EUnet Traveller (1993))
    Participated in setting up network connectivity to the former Soviet Union
  • 1993-1996 Penet Remailer
    Implemented and operated one of the most widely-known and popular e-mail-based pseudonym servers,
  • 1996-1998 EUnet International BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Director of Product Development, Member of Management Team
    Responsible for product research & development at first Pan-European Internet Service Provider, with operations in 14 countries.
  • 1997 EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) Pioneer Award
  • 1998-2001 KPNQwest, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President
    Responsible for technology strategy, research and product development at global networking infrastructure and service company formed by Qwest Communications (Denver, Colorado) and KPN (Netherlands)
  • 2001-2009 Founding Member of the Board, Bits of Freedom, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2002-2007 Founding Member of the Board,, Washington, DC & Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2002-2004 Member of the Board, Viola Systems Oy, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2004-2015 Chairman of the Board, Viola Systems Oy, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2014-2016 Member of the Board, Technologia Incognita
  • 2002-present Member of the Board, BaseN Networks Oy, Helsinki, Finland

ICANN and Internet Governance Participation

Served as Nominating Committee Applointee to the GNSO Non-contracted Parties House from 2015 to 2017. Currently the GNSO liaison to the GAC. Member of GNSO Standing Selection Committee. Member of EPDP on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data.

Co-chair for the RIPE co-operation working group.

Past member of Accountability WS2 working groups on Transparency, Staff Accountability, SO/AC Accountability and Good Faith Conduct


  • 1979-1986 Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University)



  • 1997 EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) Pioneer Award