The Internet Society provides a corporate home for the administrative entity that supports the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), and the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), and supports the work of these groups through a variety of programs.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is the body that is responsible for the development and maintenance of the Internet Standards. The IETF is primarily a volunteer organization. Its driving force is a group of dedicated, high-quality engineers from all over the world. In a structure of working groups, these engineers exchange ideas and experience, and through discussion and collaboration (both electronically and face-to-face), they strive to achieve rough consensus and implement the standards through running code.
The growth of the Internet over several decades has also led to the growth of the IETF. More and more people, organizations, and companies rely on Internet Standards. Nontechnical issues, such as legal, administrative, and financial issues had long been an undesirable but unavoidable part of the IETF. To address these issues, the IETF established the Poised95 Working Group in 1995. Its goal was to structure and document the IETF processes in order to maximize the flexibility and freedom of IETF engineers so that they could work in the way the IETF had always been most successful and to honor the IETF credo: "Rough consensus and running code".
The Poised95 Working Group concluded that the Internet Society (ISOC), which was formed in 1992, was the best organization to handle all of these legal, administrative, and financial tasks on behalf of, and in close cooperation with, the IETF. This led to documenting things such as the IETF standards process [RFC 2026
], the IETF organizational structure [RFC 2028
], the IETF Nominating Committee (NomCom) procedures [RFC 2027
], and the IETF-ISOC relationship [RFC 2031
As time passed and operational experience accumulated, additional structure was necessary. As a result, the Internet Administrative Support Activity (IASA) was defined in 2005 and documented in [RFC 4071
] and [RFC 4371
In 2018, the IASA was revised under a new "IASA 2.0" structure by the IASA2 Working Group, which made significant revisions to the IETF's administrative, legal, and financial structure. One critical outcome was the formation, in close cooperation between the IETF and ISOC, of the IETF Administration Limited Liability Company (IETF LLC) as a subsidiary of ISOC.
As a result of the IASA 2.0 structure [RFC 8711
] and formation of the IETF LLC, the relationship between the IETF and ISOC has changed. This document summarizes the current state of the IETF-ISOC relationship at a high level and replaces [RFC 2031