Browse Prior Art Database

Defining the IETF (RFC3233)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000007079D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Feb-25
Document File: 5 page(s) / 6K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

P. Hoffman: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This document gives a more concrete definition of "the IETF" as it understood today. Many RFCs refer to "the IETF". Many important IETF documents speak of the IETF as if it were an already-defined entity. However, no IETF document correctly defines what the IETF is.

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Network Working Group                                         P. Hoffman

Request for Comments: 3233                      Internet Mail Consortium

BCP: 58                                                       S. Bradner

Category: Best Current Practice                       Harvard University

                                                           February 2002

                           Defining the IETF

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the

   Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for

   improvements.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This document gives a more concrete definition of "the IETF" as it

   understood today.  Many RFCs refer to "the IETF".  Many important

   IETF documents speak of the IETF as if it were an already-defined

   entity.  However, no IETF document correctly defines what the IETF

   is.

1. Introduction

   Many RFCs refer to "the IETF".  Many important IETF documents speak

   of the IETF as if it were an already-defined entity.  However, no

   IETF document correctly defines what the IETF is.  This document

   gives a more concrete definition of "the IETF" as it understood

   today.

2. Defining the IETF

   BCP 9 ("The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3") [BCP 9], the

   primary document that describes the Internet standards process, never

   defines the IETF.  As described in BCP 11 ("The Organizations

   Involved in the IETF Standards Process") [BCP 11], the Internet

   Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an open global community of network

   designers, operators, vendors, and researchers producing technical

   specifications for the evolution of the Internet architecture and the

   smooth operation of the Internet.

Hoffman & Bradner        Best Current Practice                  [Page 1]

RFC 3233                   Defining the IETF               February 2002

   It is important to note that the IETF is not a corporation: it is an

   unincorporated, freestanding organization.  The IETF is partially

   supported by the Internet Society (ISOC).  ISOC is an international

   non-profit organization incorporated in the US with thousands of

   individual and corporate members throughout the world who pay

   membership fees to join.  The Internet Society provides many services

   to the IETF, including insurance and some financial and logistical

   support.

   As described in BCP 11, Internet standardization is an organized

   activity of the ISOC, with the ISOC Board of Trustees being

   responsible for ratifying the procedures and rules of the Internet

   standards process.  However, the IETF is not a formal subset of ISOC;

   for example, one does not have to join ISOC to be a member of the

   IETF.

   There is no board of directors for the IETF, no formally signed

   bylaws, no treasurer, and so on.  The structure of the IETF (its

   leadership, its working groups, the definition of IETF membership,

   and so on) are described in detail in BCP 11.  Procedures for

   choosing leadership are described in detail in BCP 10.

   Thus, wh...