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Internet Standards Organizations (ISOC, IAB, IESG, IETF, IRSG, IRTF)
(Page 2 of 3)
Key Internet Standards Organizations
Here is a brief description, rather
simplified, of the key Internet standards organizations:
- Internet Society (ISOC): A professional
society responsible for general, high-level activities related to the
management, development and promotion of the Internet. ISOC has thousands
of individual and organizational members that engage in activities such
as research, education, public policy development and standardization.
It is responsible for providing financial and administrative support
to the other organizations listed below. From the standpoint of standards
development, ISOCs key role is its responsibility for oversight
of the IAB.
- Internet Architecture Board (IAB): Formerly
the Internet Activities Board, the IAB is charged with overall
management of the development of Internet standards. It makes big
picture policy decisions related to how Internet technologies
and structures should work, to ensure that various standardization efforts
are coordinated and consistent with overall development of the Internet.
It is responsible for publishing Internet
standards (RFCs). It advises the ISOC,
and oversees the IETF and IRTF; it also acts as an appeals body for
complaints about the standardization activities performed by the IETF.
The charter of the IAB is described in RFC 2850.
- Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF):
The IETF focuses on issues related to the development of current Internet
and TCP/IP technologies. It is divided into a number of working groups
(WGs), each of which is responsible for developing standards and
technologies in a particular area, such routing or security. Each area
is managed by an area director (AD), who serves on the IESG.
The IETF is overseen directly by the IESG and in turn by the IAB; it
is described in RFC 3160.
- Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG):
The IESG is directly responsible for managing the IETF and the Internet
standards development process. It consists of each of the area directors
of the IETF, who make final decisions about the approval of proposed
standards, and works to resolve any issues that may arise in the standardization
process. The IESG is technically considered part of the IETF and is
also described in RFC 3160.
- Internet Research Task Force (IRTF): Where
the IETF is focused primarily on short-term development issues, the
IRTF is responsible for longer-term research related to the Internet
and TCP/IP technologies. It is a much smaller organization than the
IETF, consisting of a set of research groups (RGs), which are
analogous to the IETFs working groups. The IRTF is overseen by
the IRSG and IAB. It is described in RFC 2014.
- Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG):
The IRSG manages the IRTF in a similar way to how the IESG manages the
IETF. It consists of the chairs of each of the IRTF research groups
and works with the chair of the whole IRTF to make appropriate decisions
on research activities. It is also discussed in RFC 2014.
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Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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