Johan "Julf" Helsingius

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Johan "Julf" HelsingiusPortrait.jpg
Organization: BaseN
Affiliation: GNSO
Region: Europe
Country: Netherlands
Facebook: Facebook.png   Johan "Julf" Helsingius
LinkedIn: LinkedInIcon.png   Johan "Julf" Helsingius
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png   @julfmobile

Johan "Julf" Helsingius, a Swedish-speaking Finn living in Amsterdam, is a European Internet pioneer, serial entrepreneur and privacy activist. He is currently serving as

the chair for the GNSO Noncommercial Stakeholder Group. Previously he served as the NCA to the GNSO Non-contracted Parties House from 2015 to 2017. He was the GNSO liaison to the GAC, and 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 the 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

Currently serving as chair for the GNSO Noncommercial Stakeholder Group.

Served as Nominating Committee Appointee to the GNSO Non-contracted Parties House from 2015 to 2017, and as the GNSO liaison to the GAC 2017-2020.

Former chair of the GNSO Standing Selection Committee.

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

Past member of the EPDP on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data and 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

ICANN76 Playing Card Illustration

Julf is dressed as a green archer in the Kyudo style with a small water vole in front of him dressed the same.