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Q7: 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.

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 indirectly supports ISOC educational and policy efforts through its RFCs, 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 should ISOC’s relationship be with other standards development organizations like the W3C? ISOC has recently made a donation to the W3 for the purpose of advancing the evolution of W3C as an organization. Do you see a potential for an enhanced collaboration between theIETF and the W3C ?

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 5th, 2010 at 10:32 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.

8 Responses to “Q7: ISOC and the IETF”

  1. Comment by: Eduardo Diaz   
    March 12th, 2010 at 4:51 am

    [EN] The best way for ISOC to promote open Internet Standardization is by continuing to seek partnerships with organizations that clearly promote it like the W3C.


    [ES] La mejor manera de ISOC para promover la estandarización abierta de Internet es la de continuar relacionandose con organizaciones que claramente promueven esta como el W3C.

  2. Comment by: Michael Nelson   
    March 13th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    One way to understand an organization’s mission is to ask, “If this organization disappeared tomorrow, would it be missed–and why?” If ISOC were dissolved, the disappearance of the IETF would have a huge impact, both because of the standards it develops and promotes and because of the critical role it plays in bringing together the Internet community. It is essential that ISOC ensure the continued health and effectiveness of the IETF. The success of the IETF is the best example we have of how the open Internet model has worked and why it must continue.

    Establishing links to the W3C and other Internet-related organizations will further promote the development the Internet as an open platform for innovation. We have to keep reminding everyone that it wasn’t pre-ordained that the Internet would be open to new ideas and new competitors. In countries with only one mobile provider or only one cable TV company, we can see what happens when one company can control a critical network infrastructure and limit what applications can be provided over it.

  3. Comment by: narelle clark   
    March 17th, 2010 at 3:19 am

    The IETF is the most valuable part of ISOC’s work.

    Those programs that further enable participation in the IETF must continue, and need to be effective.

    The standardisation process can always be better, and improving the clarity of the standards, guides to which ones apply where, and improving the numbers and quality of ‘best current practice’ RFCs would also be a great benefit.

    Working with other standards bodies is also essential, and we must look to ways of making and keeping those interworking processes as efficient as possible: IETF is renown as the fastest when producing standards, while other groups take a different path and have produced standards that in some cases arguably overlap. Unfortunately it is a reality that other groups will always exist and have divergent views to ours – we need to ensure that our expertise is actively sought.

  4. Comment by: Eva Frolich   
    March 17th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    The link between ISOC and IETF needs to be continued and developed. IETF is crucial for the development of Internet and needs to be supported to continue the job with the same aims as always.

    To ensure that other standardization bodies are working with the same openness and transparency as IETF is of interest.

    There will always be bodies performing overlapping work, but as long as it´s done with openness and transparency there will be a possibility to ensure nothing really stupid comes out.

    IF ISOC can act as the guarantor for openness and transparency in other bodies than IETF – my support!

  5. Comment by: Leonard St-Aubin   
    March 18th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    ISOC and IETF are mutually reinforcing organizations and should pursue all avenues to enable cross-fertilization and information sharing. Outreach to other bodies involved in the technical standards process, and building bridges with a view to facilitating the goals of openness and a user-centric Internet, should be central to ISOC’s activities.

    As per my comments in Q 1, most Internet users are unaware of the protocols, standards, servers and transport media that make the Internet work. ISOC and IETF therefore play crucial roles in fostering open development of standards, education and advocacy. Left to their own devices, market forces could undermine the openness which has made the Internet so transformative. So ISOC’s goals are co-dependent: openness drives access and use; access and use drive growth and impact.

  6. Comment by: Lawrence Lessig   
    April 1st, 2010 at 8:11 am

    My concern is that ISOC and IETF have a clear consensus on the principles that should guide bodies such as these. The Internet must remain a platform that encourages the widest ranger of commercial and noncommercial activity. We need supporting organizations that have a mature understanding of how that is done. Both organizations need a vigilance to avoid capture by any specific interests. My focus in this context would be to push for an explicit statement of these principles, and for rules that help protect independence.

  7. Comment by: Richard Woundy   
    April 5th, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    As a 20 year participant in the IETF, a co-author of several RFCs, a two-time working group chair, and a member of the host committee for an IETF meeting, I sincerely appreciate ISOC’s support of the IETF over the years!

    The IETF (and IAOC) should continue plans on self-sustaining funding; the ‘IETF Hospitality’ plan is a good start. Of course, such plans must maintain the IETF’s integrity and independence from outside influences and special interests. I also suspect that the IETF could do more to promote ISOC membership and participation.

    Here’s a concrete way in which the ISOC could help the IETF using an existing program. The Trust and Identity program plans to deploy a federated identity solution in 2010 or 2011. The IETF has long had identity management issues! In my personal experience, multiple identities are required for internet-draft submissions, mailing list management, working group chair material management, and IETF meeting registration.

    I believe ISOC should consider support of SDOs with philosophical alignment with the IETF with regards to open standards, transparency, and collaborative governance (such as the W3C). ISOC and the IETF have established a model for other SDOs to follow, and it would be helpful for ISOC to communicate how the IETF is in fact different from most SDOs.

  8. Comment by: Andy Linton   
    April 6th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    I think it’s vital that ISOC continues to support and fund the work of the IETF so that the risk of capture by purely commercial interests is minimised. I support Lawrence Lessig’s idea of having a clear statement of those principles.

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