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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? What potential collaboration should ISOC enhance with those organizations?”

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 Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 at 7:42 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 or Atom 1.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Q7: ISOC and the IETF”

  1. Comment by: Jason Livingood   
    April 21st, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    There is an incredibly important and strong bond between ISOC and the IETF. This should undoubtedly continue, as the IETF is central to a growing, open, and consensus-based Internet community. I feel strongly that ISOC should continue to provide financial support to the IETF and that such support should be predictable (benefiting good long-term budget planning at both the IETF and ISOC). The IETF should also be the primary and central Internet standards body that ISOC supports, though ISOC should not limit itself to the IETF.

    ISOC may also be able to continue to improve its support of the IETF via increased assistance with the administrative functions of the IETF. Assisting the IETF with certain administrative burdens can help IETF volunteers better focus on their core competencies in technical areas, and can decease the steep time commitment expected of key IETF volunteers, such as IESG members, thereby helping the IETF to expand the number of potential volunteers.

    ISOC can best promote open Internet standardization via the aforementioned continued IETF support as well as by collaborating with new organizations. Groups like the W3C and others can benefit from ISOC support, involvement, and collaboration. Through such activities ISOC can support the development and vibrancy of a wide variety of standards groups and can widen the community that supports ISOC’s vision of the continued growth and success of the Internet, and of open Internet standards more generally.

    This may mean that ISOC should build relationships with standards groups that focus on particular protocols, applications, or technologies, as the W3C focuses on the web for example. There may be others worth collaborating with that focus in areas of security, privacy, anti-abuse, and addressing, as well as in operations and deployment areas.

    Jason Livingood

  2. Comment by: Theresa Swinehart   
    May 2nd, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    The IETF, its mission and the manner in which it functions is essential to the continued development of the Internet’s open standards, which have been one of the primary contributors to the Internet’s success and growth. ISOC should continue to retain its historical and key responsibilities to the IETF. The business plan outlines several objectives for IETF visibility, which should evolve in consultation with the IETF, and include increasing participation in the IETF particularly from emerging economies. The IETF also plays an important role in providing technical expertise to a wide range of ISOC projects and activities, including education and trainings.
    Additionally, it would be helpful to work with the IETF and participants to see what additional services ISOC could offer, as well as how to continue to scale the relationship as greater attention is paid to the important work of the IETF.
    ISOC’s education and awareness work, including through its regional bureaus, and its emerging leaders program, are important elements for ISOC to promote open Internet standardization. Additionally, ISOC’s work in policy and governance areas contributes to awareness that the work of the IETF, conducted in open and transparent manners, is fundamentally important to the Internet’s continued success.
    As the Internet relies on several types of technical standards, it’s also useful for ISOC to continue its support for the W3C and the open web standards.

  3. Comment by: Bill Smith   
    May 17th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    The IETF is unquestionably the preeminent Internet Standards organization. Its consensus based approach to standardization was initially derided (and in some quarters still is) but has proven to be not only inclusive but highly successful. ISOC’s role with respect to the IETF is unclear to many, but I wholeheartedly support continued, if not expanded support.

    The Internet Society should encourage developing countries to participate in the activities of the IETF. In addition, ISOC should encourage other fora, in the spirit of cooperation, to participate at the IETF to learn the benefits of consensus building and the technical multi-stakeholder model.

    Regarding other fora such as the W3C, I encourage ISOC to establish and maintain formal and informal relationships and to encourage dialogue amongst the group. This cooperation has already resulted in the ITAC as a recognized entity within the OECD giving the technical community a representative voice there.

  4. Comment by: Marcin Cieślak   
    May 25th, 2011 at 10:48 am

    The Internet Society should support IETF mission not only by the means of ASA but also by promoting awareness and using outreach programmes to bring more visibility to IETF principles and consensus-based process outside of the Internet technical community. I believe that IETF outreach projects outlined in the Business Plan are the right way to address this.

    The Internet Society should monitor latest developments in the Internet technology area and actively promote open standards development that happens outside of IETF. We should promote benefits of the open standard development model accross various organisations, including private sector and the Internet industry.

    Finally, one of the priorities should be to make sure that there is a good understanding of the Internet model among all, especially non-technical stakeholders. I think that providing feedback on policy issues back to the Internet technical community could be an important role for ISOC.