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Q5: ISOC and the IETF

Financial and administrative support of Internet Standardization through the IETF has been an important part of ISOC’s mission since it was founded. In the past few years, the IETF has reorganized its support services, routing money through the IETF’s Administrative Support Activity (IASA) housed within ISOC and having all of its services contracted through IASA and under the oversight of the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) and with “corporate” support from ISOC.

This reorganization is ongoing. In addition, ISOC has also recently funded programs in developing countries to increase awareness of and access to the IETF’s activities.

The IETF also supports ISOC educational and policy efforts, by publishing RFCs that address matters of interest to ISOC such as RFCs 1984 and 2804 and by writing technical briefings.

What changes would you like to see in the way ISOC supports the IETF, and the support the IETF offers to ISOC? Are there other services which ISOC should offer to the IETF? What, in your opinion, is the best way for ISOC to promote open Internet Standardization?

This entry was posted by the ISOC Elections Committee on Friday, March 9th, 2007 at 11:42 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 or Atom 1.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

6 Responses to “Q5: ISOC and the IETF”

  1. Comment by: Desiree Miloshevic   
    March 23rd, 2007 at 11:35 am

    ISOC should continue to support the IETF’s standards process which is central to the Internet’s development, as well as the IETF should conitnue to support ISOC educational and policy efforts.

    ISOC should continue to support Open Standards, especially by outreach programs to schools and universities. ISOC should publicise more widely about the work of the IETF and continue to publish the IETF Journal. It should further develop the IETF sponsorship program of travel grants and similar projects.

  2. Comment by: Alejandro Pisanty   
    March 25th, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    ISOC can further assist the IETF’s activities by insisting on the diffusion of standards-related knowledge; for this, we must also go out and explain the process by which a technology is first created and introduced, and then standardized. Thus, ISOC would not only be promoting the use of standards, but also the creation of more technology and services.

    Translation of key educational materials on the standards process, as well as identification of exisiting material and then validating and diffusing it widely, may gradually attract people in developing countries to share more into the collective labor of moving forward Internet technology.

    ISOC needs to help carry the IETF’s message to relevant organizations, including national and regional standards bodies, industry associations, and other organizations. The example of the value added by the IETF’s and IAB’s liaisons to ICANN shows that the Internet’s technical organizations have much to say and can positively influence the outcomes of other organizations which have to use technical input in their decisions and which, if they do the wrong thing, can really mess up the system.

    The same example also shows how far the IETF’s message as to how it works can be taken.

    The Board of Trustees may find it useful to consider a “name and shame” approach for organizations that particularly create obstacles to the definition, diffusion, and application of open standards; and this approach may be extensible to other forms of impeding the development of an open Internet. The politics of this approach is very sensitive so I will propose to do it with extreme care.

    Further, the recent changes, such as the operation of the IAOC, have to be propagated to make them well-known to the community and in particular to related organizations, so that they can understand better with which counterparts at ISOC and the IETF they have to work now. If ISOC firmly believes in the need for these changes, it must evaluate their impact and make sure the community know who to work with and for what. ISOC should be able to convene a relevant group to assess whether the progress made on the basis of these changes goes all the way to achieve the desired improvements.

  3. Comment by: Patrick Vande Walle   
    March 29th, 2007 at 12:44 am

    There are several ISOC can do to help the IETF beyond the financial contribution, which is vital for the IETF’s existence. Thanks to its broad, worldwide membership, ISOC could help the IETF identify the priorities in the development of new standards. As an example, although it has been known for many, many years that the current e-mail address format needs 7 bit ASCII only, and that the users would very much prefer to use their local script instead, it is only very recently that the IETF started a process to tackle this crucial issue.

    Promoting the work of the IETF is also very important, and this should be done with material targeted at the different audiences we want to reach, including non-IETF insiders like government officials.

  4. Comment by: Olivier Muron   
    March 29th, 2007 at 6:57 am

    The main task, the support of the administrative activities of Internet Standardization through the IETF, is an essential mission of ISOC. The reorganization (IASA, IAOC, IAD) is ongoing, showing significant progress in this area.

    An important task for ISOC in this domain is the program to increase awareness and access to the IETF’s activities in developing countries, for example by means of fellowships, recently initiated, concerning the cost of attending an IETF meeting for technologists from lesser developed regions who would not otherwise be able to participate in person. After the pilots conducted on the occasion of two meetings, these ISOC Fellowships to the IETF should be developed.

  5. Comment by: Amitabh Singhal   
    March 29th, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Considering that ISOCs core mission is to provide administrative and financial support to the Internet standarisation through IETF, the structure, methods and practices are already probably well established and hence we have exercise extreme caution in suggesting that it be tinkered with. ISOC can therefore just aim towards it’s own capacity building in order to ensure that it does not lack resources to keep encouraging and supporting IETF in it’s continuous quest for open standards. One could however consider piecing togther ISOC and IETF in a sort of ‘marketing’ relationship, where ISOC propagates and widely publisizes IETF’s enormous body of work, as well as ensure for it a significantly higher visibility and involvement in regional and national level standards bodies. Where such bodies are often run by governments, such inclusive interactions could actually become a tool for ISOC to create positive public policy influences.

  6. Comment by: Charles Mok   
    April 28th, 2007 at 4:30 am

    ISOC should continue to support IETF and increase the level of awareness among its members. More needs to be done to make local chapters take the most advantage of the processes and engagement with IETF. There is still a lack of understanding about this for most chapters. ISOC can promote Internet Standardization by setting up programs and information kits for chapters to use to lobby their local governments and engage local academics. Local chapters may not have the resources and expertise to take on these tasks on their own, and ISOC can well “standardize” the whole exercise by providing centralized support through regular campaigns.

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