Internet Engineering Task Force

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The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) develops and promotes Internet standards, cooperating closely with the W3C and ISO/IEC standards bodies and dealing in particular with standards of the TCP/IP and Internet protocol suite. It is an open standards organization, with no formal membership or membership requirements. All participants and managers are volunteers, though their work is usually funded by their employers or sponsors; for instance, the current chairperson is funded by VeriSign and the U.S. government's National Security Agency.[1]

Contents

Organization

The IETF is organized into a large number of working groups and informal discussion groups (BoF)s, each dealing with a specific topic. Each group is intended to complete work on that topic and then disband. Each working group has an appointed chairperson (or sometimes several co-chairs), along with a charter that describes its focus, and what and when it is expected to produce.

The working groups are organized into areas by subject matter. Current areas include: Applications, General, Internet, Operations and Management, Real-time Applications and Infrastructure, Routing, Security, and Transport. Each area is overseen by an area director (AD), with most areas having two co-ADs. The ADs are responsible for appointing working group chairs. The area directors, together with the IETF Chair, form the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), which is responsible for the overall operation of the IETF.

The IETF is formally a part of the Internet Society. The IETF is overseen by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), which oversees its external relationships, and relations with the RFC Editor. The IAB is also jointly responsible for the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC), which oversees the IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA), which provides logistical, etc support for the IETF. The IAB also manages the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), with which the IETF has a number of cross-group relations.

History

The first IETF meeting was on January 16, 1986, consisting of 21 U.S.-government-funded researchers. It was a continuation of the work of the earlier GADS Task Force.

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