Entitities Involved in the IETF Standards Process

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Author Rich Salz 
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???                                                              R. Salz
Internet-Draft                                       Akamai Technologies
Obsoletes: 2028 (if approved)                             4 October 2021
Intended status: Best Current Practice                                  
Expires: 7 April 2022

           Entitities Involved in the IETF Standards Process


   This document describes the individuals and organizations involved in
   the IETF standards process as described in IETF BCP 9.  It includes
   brief descriptions of the entities involved, and the role they play
   in the standards process.  This document obsoletes RFC 2028.

Discussion Venues

   This note is to be removed before publishing as an RFC.

   Discussion of this document takes place on the GENDISPATCH mailing
   list (gendispatch@ietf.org)], which is archived at

   Source for this draft and an issue tracker can be found at

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on 7 April 2022.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2021 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (https://trustee.ietf.org/
   license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document.
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
   and restrictions with respect to this document.  Code Components
   extracted from this document must include Simplified BSD License text
   as described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are
   provided without warranty as described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Key Individuals in the Process  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     3.1.  The Document Editor or Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     3.2.  The Working Group Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     3.3.  The Area Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     3.4.  The Request for Comments Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  Key Organizations in the Process  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     4.1.  Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)  . . . . . . . . .   4
     4.2.  Working Groups  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     4.3.  Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG)  . . . . . . .   6
     4.4.  Internet Architecture Board (IAB) . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     4.5.  Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)  . . . . . . .   6
     4.6.  Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     4.7.  The IETF Trust  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     4.8.  IETF Administration LLC (IETF LLC)  . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     4.9.  IETF Secretariat  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     4.10. Internet Society  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   5.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   7.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12

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1.  Introduction

   The process used by the IETF community for the standardization of
   protocols and procedures is described in [IETFPROCS].  That document
   defines the stages in the standardization process, the requirements
   for moving a document between stages, and the types of documents used
   during this process.  This document identifies some of the key
   individual and organizations and the roles they play in that process.

2.  Terminology

   In general, this document refers to individual roles as individuals,
   such as "a Document Editor."  In reality, many roles are filled by
   more than one person at the same time.  For clarity, this document
   does not use phrases like "Chair (or co-chair)," unless strictly
   necessary to do so.

3.  Key Individuals in the Process

   This section describes the individual roles involved in the process.
   It attempts to list the roles in the order in which they are involved
   in the process, but no meaning is otherwise attached.

3.1.  The Document Editor or Author

   Most Working Groups focus their efforts on one or more documents that
   capture the results of the group's work.  A Working Group generally
   designates a person to serve as the Editor for a particular document.
   The Document Editor is responsible for ensuring that the contents of
   the document accurately reflect the decisions that have been made by
   the Working Group.

   When a document is composed and edited mainly by an individual, they
   may be referred to as the Document Author.  The distinction is not
   significant.  This document will use the term Document Editor.

   When a Document Editor is a Chair of the same Working Group, a co-
   chair should manage the process around the document.  If a co-chair
   is not available, the process must be monitored carefully to ensure
   that the resulting documents accurately reflect the consensus of the
   Working Group and that all processes are followed.  This can be the
   collective obligation of all parties involved in the document.

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3.2.  The Working Group Chair

   Each Working Group is headed by a chair with the responsibility for
   directing the group's activities, presiding over the group's
   meetings, and ensuring that the commitments of the group with respect
   to its role in the Internet standards process are met.  In
   particular, the WG chair is the formal point of contact between the
   WG and the IESG, via the Area Director of the area to which the WG is

   The details on the selection and responsibilites of a Working Group
   chair can be found in [WGPROCS].

3.3.  The Area Director

   The Area Director assigned as the "Reponsible Area Director" for the
   Working Group will review the document after the Working Group has
   approved its last call, and when satisfied will request it to be put
   on the IESG agenda.

3.4.  The Request for Comments Editor

   The RFC publication series [IETFPROCS] is managed by an Editor
   responsible both for the mechanics of RFC publication and for
   upholding the technical and editorial standards of the RFC series.

4.  Key Organizations in the Process

   The following organizations and organizational roles are involved in
   the Internet standards process.

4.1.  Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)

   The IETF is an open international community of network designers,
   operators, vendors, researchers, and other interested parties who are
   concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the
   smooth operation of the Internet.  It is the principal body engaged
   in the development of new Internet Standard specifications.

4.2.  Working Groups

   The technical work of the IETF is done in its Working Groups, which
   are organized by topics into several Areas
   (https://www.ietf.org/topics/areas/), each one under the coordination
   of the Area Director.  Working Groups typically have a narrow focus
   and a lifetime bounded by completion of specific tasks as defined in
   their charter and milestones.

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   For all purposes relevant to the Internet Standards development
   process, membership in the IETF and its Working Groups is defined to
   be established solely and entirely by individuals who participate in
   IETF and Working Group activities.  These individuals do not formally
   represent their organizations, if any, although affiliations are
   often used for identification.

   Anyone with the time and interest to do so is entitled and urged to
   participate actively in one or more Working Groups and to attend IETF
   meetings which are usually held three times a year [MEETINGS].
   Active Working Group participation is possible without attending any
   in-person meeting.

   Participants in the IETF and its Working Groups must disclose any
   relevant current or pending intellectual property rights that are
   reasonably and personally known to the participant if they
   participate in discussions about a specific technology.  The full
   intellectual property policy is defined in [IPRRIGHTS1] and

   New Working Groups are established by the IESG and almost always have
   a specific and explicit charter.  The charter can be modified as the
   Working Group progresses.  The guidelines and procedures for the
   formation and operation of Working Groups are described in detail in

   A Working Group is managed by a Working Group chair, as described at
   Section 3.2.  Documents produced by the group will have an Editor, as
   described at Section 3.1.  Further details of Working Group operation
   can also be found in [WGPROCS].

   Working Groups ideally display a spirit of cooperation as well as a
   high degree of technical maturity; IETF participants recognize that
   the greatest benefit for all members of the Internet community
   results from cooperative development of technically superior
   protocols and services.

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4.3.  Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG)

   The IESG is responsible for the management of the IETF technical
   activities.  It administers the Internet Standards process according
   to the rules and procedures defined in [IETFPROCS].  The IESG is
   responsible for the actions associated with the progression of
   technical specification along the "standards track" including the
   initial approval of new Working Groups and the final approval of
   specifications as Internet Standards.  The IESG is composed of the
   IETF Area Directors and the IETF Chair, who also chairs the IESG and
   is the Area Director for the General Area.  The IAB Chair is an ex-
   officio member of the IESG.

   All members of the IESG are nominated by a nominations committee
   (colloquially, NomCom), and are confirmed by the IAB.  See [NOMCOM]
   for a detailed description of the NomCom procedures.  Other matters
   concerning its organization and operation, are described in the IESG
   charter [IESG].

4.4.  Internet Architecture Board (IAB)

   The IAB provides oversight of the architecture of the Internet and
   its protocols.  The IAB must approve all IESG candidates put forward
   by the NomCom.

   The IAB provides oversight of the process used to create Internet
   Standards and serves as an appeal board for complaints of improper
   execution of the standards process [IETFPROCS].  In general, it acts
   as source of advice to the IETF and other entities mentioned here
   about technical, architectural, procedural, and policy matters
   pertaining to the Internet and its enabling technologies.

   The members of the IAB are nominated by NomCom, and are confirmed by
   the Internet Society Board.  The IETF Chair is also a member of the
   IAB, and the IRTF Chair is an ex-officio member.  See [NOMCOM] for a
   detailed description of the NomCom procedures.  Other matters
   concerning its organization and operation, are described in the IAB
   charter [IAB].

4.5.  Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)

   Many protocol specifications include parameters that must be uniquely
   assigned.  Examples of this include port numbers, option identifiers
   within a protocol, and so on.  The Internet Assigned Numbers
   Authority (IANA) is responsible for assigning the values of these
   protocol parameters for the Internet.  These registries used to be
   published as RFCs entitled "Assigned Numbers," but are now maintained
   online (https://www.iana.org/protocols).  Assignments are coordinated

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   by writing an "IANA Considerations" section in a draft, as documented
   in [IANADOCS].  The IETF's relationship with IANA is defined by
   formal agreements, including [IANAMOU].

   IANA also is responsible for operating and maintaining several
   aspects of DNS (https://www.iana.org/domains) and coordination of IP
   address assignment (https://www.iana.org/numbers).

4.6.  Internet Research Task Force (IRTF)

   The IRTF focuses on longer-term research issues related to the
   Internet while the parallel organization, the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), focuses on the shorter term issues of engineering
   and standards making.

   The products of IRTF research groups are typically research results
   that are published in scholarly conferences and journals.  Research
   groups also sometimes develop experimental protocols or technologies,
   some of which may be suitable for possible standardisation in IETF.
   Similarly, IETF working groups sometimes ask research groups for
   advice or other input.  Contributions from research groups, however,
   carry no more weight than other community input, and go through the
   same standards setting process as any other proposal.

   The IRTF is managed by the IRTF Chair in consultation with the
   Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG).  The IRSG membership
   includes the IRTF Chair, the chairs of the various Research Group and
   possibly other individuals ("members at large") from the community.
   Details of the organization and operation of the IRTF, the ISRG, and
   its Research Groups may be found in [IRTF], [IABIRTF], [IRTFPRIMER],
   and [IRTFCHAIR].

4.7.  The IETF Trust

   The IETF Trust is the legal owner of a number of intellectual
   properties for the IETF and others (such as IANA).  This includes the
   IETF trademarks, the copyright licenses for IETF contributions
   including Internet Drafts.  The principles for the copyright licenses
   are described in [IPRRIGHTS1] and [COPYRIGHT], and the licenses
   themselves are online in the Trust Legal Provisions

   The trustees that govern the Trust are selected from the IETF
   community as described in [TRUSTEES].

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4.8.  IETF Administration LLC (IETF LLC)

   The IETF Administration Limited Liability Corporation (colloquially,
   the LLC) provides the corporate legal home for the IETF, the IAB, and
   the IRTF.

   The IETF LLC is responsible for supporting the ongoing operations of
   the IETF, managing its finances and budget, and raising money.  It
   regularly reports to the community.  The LLC is the legal entity who
   signs contracts, including the Secretariat, meeting hotels, tools
   development contractors, and so on.  The LLC also responds to legal
   requests; these are often subpoenas in patent suits.

   Selection of the LLC Board of Directors is defined in [NOMCOM].

   The IETF Executive Director handles the daily tasks and management,
   and is overseen by the LLC Board of Directors.

   [ISOCIETF], Section 6 describes the legal relationship between the
   LLC and the Internet Society.

4.9.  IETF Secretariat

   The administrative functions necessary to support the activities of
   the IETF are performed by a Secretariat hired by the IETF LLC.  The
   Secretariat handles much of the logistics of running the in-person
   meetings, and is responsible for maintaining the formal public record
   of the Internet standards process [IETFPROCS].

4.10.  Internet Society

   Internet standardization is an organized activity of the Internet
   Society, with the Board of Trustees being responsible for ratifying
   the procedures and rules of the Internet standards process

   The Internet Society also plays an important role in the standards
   process.  It appoints the NomCom Chair, confirms IAB candidates, and
   acts as the last resort in the appeals process.

   The way in which the members of the Internet Society Board of
   Trustees are selected, and other matters concerning the operation of
   the Internet Society, are described in their By-Laws [ISOC].

5.  Security Considerations

   This document introduces no new security considerations.

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6.  IANA Considerations

   This document has no IANA actions.

7.  Acknowledgements

   The author of this document would like to thank the IETF participants
   at the time [RFC2028] was written; in particular, those involved with
   the POISED effort and the authors of that document, Richard Hovey and
   Scott Bradner.

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

   [IAB]      Internet Architecture Board and B. Carpenter, Ed.,
              "Charter of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)",
              BCP 39, RFC 2850, May 2000.


   [IANADOCS] Cotton, M., Leiba, B., and T. Narten, "Guidelines for
              Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26,
              RFC 8126, June 2017.


              Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
              3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.

              Dusseault, L. and R. Sparks, "Guidance on Interoperation
              and Implementation Reports for Advancement to Draft
              Standard", BCP 9, RFC 5657, September 2009.

              Housley, R., Crocker, D., and E. Burger, "Reducing the
              Standards Track to Two Maturity Levels", BCP 9, RFC 6410,
              October 2011.

              Resnick, P., "Retirement of the "Internet Official
              Protocol Standards" Summary Document", BCP 9, RFC 7100,
              December 2013.

              Kolkman, O., Bradner, S., and S. Turner, "Characterization
              of Proposed Standards", BCP 9, RFC 7127, January 2014.

              Dawkins, S., "Increasing the Number of Area Directors in
              an IETF Area", BCP 9, RFC 7475, March 2015.

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              Halpern, J., Ed. and E. Rescorla, Ed., "IETF Stream
              Documents Require IETF Rough Consensus", BCP 9, RFC 8789,
              June 2020.


              Bradner, S., Ed. and J. Contreras, Ed., "Rights
              Contributors Provide to the IETF Trust", BCP 78, RFC 5378,
              November 2008.


              Bradner, S. and J. Contreras, "Intellectual Property
              Rights in IETF Technology", BCP 79, RFC 8179, May 2017.


   [IRTF]     Weinrib, A. and J. Postel, "IRTF Research Group Guidelines
              and Procedures", BCP 8, RFC 2014, DOI 10.17487/RFC2014,
              October 1996, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2014>.

   [MEETINGS] Krishnan, S., "High-Level Guidance for the Meeting Policy
              of the IETF", BCP 226, RFC 8719, DOI 10.17487/RFC8719,
              February 2020, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8719>.

   [NOMCOM]   Kucherawy, M., Ed., Hinden, R., Ed., and J. Livingood,
              Ed., "IAB, IESG, IETF Trust, and IETF LLC Selection,
              Confirmation, and Recall Process: Operation of the IETF
              Nominating and Recall Committees", BCP 10, RFC 8713,
              February 2020.

              Leiba, B., "Eligibility for the 2020-2021 Nominating
              Committee", BCP 10, RFC 8788, May 2020.


   [RFC2028]  Hovey, R. and S. Bradner, "The Organizations Involved in
              the IETF Standards Process", BCP 11, RFC 2028,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2028, October 1996,

   [WGPROCS]  Bradner, S., "IETF Working Group Guidelines and
              Procedures", BCP 25, RFC 2418, September 1998.

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              Wasserman, M., "Updates to RFC 2418 Regarding the
              Management of IETF Mailing Lists", BCP 25, RFC 3934,
              October 2004.

              Resnick, P. and A. Farrel, "IETF Anti-Harassment
              Procedures", BCP 25, RFC 7776, March 2016.

              Resnick, P. and A. Farrel, "Update to the IETF Anti-
              Harassment Procedures for the Replacement of the IETF
              Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) with the IETF
              Administration LLC", BCP 25, RFC 8716, February 2020.


8.2.  Informative References

              Halpern, J., Ed., "Advice to the Trustees of the IETF
              Trust on Rights to Be Granted in IETF Documents",
              RFC 8721, DOI 10.17487/RFC8721, February 2020,

   [IABIRTF]  Floyd, S., Ed., Paxson, V., Ed., Falk, A., Ed., and IAB,
              "IAB Thoughts on the Role of the Internet Research Task
              Force (IRTF)", RFC 4440, DOI 10.17487/RFC4440, March 2006,

   [IANAMOU]  Carpenter, B., Baker, F., and M. Roberts, "Memorandum of
              Understanding Concerning the Technical Work of the
              Internet Assigned Numbers Authority", RFC 2860,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2860, June 2000,

   [IESG]     Alvestrand, H., "An IESG charter", RFC 3710,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC3710, February 2004,

              Eggert, L., "The Role of the IRTF Chair", RFC 7827,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7827, March 2016,

              Dawkins, S., Ed., "An IRTF Primer for IETF Participants",
              RFC 7418, DOI 10.17487/RFC7418, December 2014,

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   [ISOC]     "Amended and restated By-Laws of the Internet Society",
              March 2021, <https://www.internetsociety.org/about-

   [ISOCIETF] Camarillo, G. and J. Livingood, "The IETF-ISOC
              Relationship", RFC 8712, DOI 10.17487/RFC8712, February
              2020, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8712>.

   [TRUSTEES] Arkko, J., "IETF Administrative Support Activity 2.0:
              Update to the Process for Selection of Trustees for the
              IETF Trust", RFC 8715, DOI 10.17487/RFC8715, February
              2020, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8715>.

Author's Address

   Rich Salz
   Akamai Technologies

   Email: rsalz@akamai.com

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