IETF Administrative Support Activity 2
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) G. Camarillo
Request for Comments: 8712 Ericsson
Obsoletes: 2031 (if approved) J. Livingood
Category: Informational Comcast
Expires: February 27,
ISSN: 2070-1721 January 2020 August 26, 2019
The IETF-ISOC Relationship
This document summarises summarizes the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) -
Internet Society (ISOC) relationship, following a major revision to
the structure of the IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA) in
2018. The IASA was revised under a new "IASA 2.0" structure by the
IASA2 Working Group, which changed the IETF's administrative, legal,
and financial structure. As a result, it also changed the
relationship between the IETF and ISOC, which made it necessary to
revise RFC 2031.
Status of This Memo
This Internet-Draft document is submitted in full conformance with the
provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.
Internet-Drafts are working documents not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
published for informational purposes.
This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute
working documents as Internet-Drafts. The list It represents the consensus of current Internet-
Drafts is at https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.
Internet-Drafts are draft the IETF community. It has
received public review and has been approved for publication by the
Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Not all documents valid
approved by the IESG are candidates for a maximum any level of six months Internet
Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 7841.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
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This Internet-Draft will expire on February 27, 2020.
Copyright (c) 2019 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
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Table of Contents
1. Introduction and History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2. Philosophical Relationship with ISOC . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3. Main Division of Responsibilities between IETF and ISOC . . . 3
4. ISOC's Role in the IETF Standards Process . . . . . . . . . . 4
5. The IETF's Role in ISOC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
6. Legal Relationship with ISOC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
7. Financial and Administrative Relationship with ISOC . . . . . 5
8. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
9. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
10. Privacy Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
11. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
12. Changes from Previous Versions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
13. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
11.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
11.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1. Introduction and History
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
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 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) face-to-face), they strive to
achieve rough consensus and implement the standards through running
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. Non-technical Nontechnical issues, such as
legal, administrative, and financial issues had long been an
undesirable but unavoidable part of the IETF. To address these
issues in 1995
issues, the IETF established the Poised95 Working Group. 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 of,
and in close cooperation with with, the IETF. This led to documenting
things such as the IETF standards process [RFC2026], the IETF
organizational structure [RFC2028], the IETF Nominating Committee
(NomCom) procedures <BCP10>, [RFC2027], and the IETF-ISOC relationship
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
[RFC4071] and [RFC4371].
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 [I-D.ietf-iasa2-rfc4071bis] [RFC8711] and formation of the
IETF LLC, the relationship between the IETF and ISOC has changed.
This document summarises summarizes the current state of the IETF-
relationship at a high level and replaces [RFC2031].
2. Philosophical Relationship with ISOC
ISOC and the IETF have historically been philosophically aligned.
ISOC's connection with the IETF community has always played an
important role in its policy work, which has not changed. ISOC has
always been and continues to be an advocate for multistakeholder
processes, which includes the technical community. Open standards
are an explicit part of one of the focus areas in ISOC's mission:
advancing the development and application of Internet infrastructure,
technologies, and open standards <ISOC-Mission>. [ISOC-Mission].
3. Main Division of Responsibilities between IETF and ISOC
The IETF remains responsible for the development and quality of the
Internet Standards. Apart from the roles described below, the IETF
and ISOC acknowledge that ISOC as an organization has no direct
influence whatsoever on the technical content of Internet Standards
(though ISOC employees may independently continue to make technical
contributions as individuals).
4. ISOC's Role in the IETF Standards Process
ISOC plays a small role in the IETF standards process. In
particular, ISOC assists the standards process by appointing the IETF
NomCom chair and by confirming IAB candidates who are put forward by
the IETF NomCom, as described in [RFC7437], [RFC8713], and by acting as the last
resort in the appeals process, as described in [RFC2026].
ISOC maintains liaison relationships and memberships in other
Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and related organizations,
which directly benefits the IETF. For example, ISOC is a Sector
Member of the ITU-T. As a result, ISOC delegates are afforded the
same rights as other ITU-T Sector Members [RFC6756].
ISOC also supports the IETF standards process more indirectly (e.g., by
promoting it in relevant communities) through several programs. For
example, ISOC's Policymakers Program Programme to the IETF (usually referred
to simply as ISOC's policy fellows program) IETF Policy Program) gives policy experts an
opportunity to interact directly with the IETF technical community.
ISOC also performs technical work using the standards developed in
the IETF as its basis. An example of that is ISOC's
Deploy360 program, which helps encourage work in
encouraging and support supporting the deployment of IETF standards like DNSSEC [RFC4033] and IPv6 [RFC8200]. standards.
Otherwise, the involvement of ISOC's employees in the IETF standards
process (e.g., as document editors or in leadership positions) is as
individual contributors rather than on institutional grounds.
5. The IETF's Role in ISOC
The IETF plays a role in the governance of ISOC. Per ISOC's by-laws, bylaws,
the IETF appoints a set of trustees to the ISOC Board. The process
by which the IETF makes those appointments is defined in [RFC3677].
The charter of the IAB (Internet Architecture Board) [RFC2850] states
that "the IAB acts as a source of advice and guidance to the Board of
Trustees and Officers of the Internet Society concerning technical,
architectural, procedural, and (where appropriate) policy matters
pertaining to the Internet and its enabling technologies". This
connection between the IAB and ISOC ensures that ISOC's proposals in
the policy area are based on a sound understanding of the relevant
technologies and architectures. ISOC's strong connection to the
Internet technical community has always been one of its main
6. Legal Relationship with ISOC
The IETF LLC is a disregarded Limited Liability Company (LLC) of the
Internet Society - that was established to provide a corporate legal
framework for facilitating current and future activities related to
the IETF, IAB, and IRTF. It was established by the ISOC/IETF ISOC / IETF LLC
Agreement [OpAgreement] on August 27, 2018, and governs the
relationship between the IETF LLC and ISOC.
The IETF Trust, documented in [RFC5378], and updated in
[I-D.ietf-iasa2-trust-rationale] [RFC8714] and [I-D.ietf-iasa2-trust-update],
[RFC8715], provides legal protection for the RFC series Series of documents
and other aspects of the IETF. This includes things such as
protection for trademarks, copyrights, and intellectual property
rights. As part of the IETF Trust arrangement, IETF standards
documents can be freely downloaded, copied, and distributed without
financial or other distribution restrictions, though all rights to
change these documents lie with the IETF. The IETF Trust also
provides legal protection in case of disputes over intellectual
property rights and other rights. The creation of the IETF LLC has
changed the way that the IETF Trust's trustees are selected but did
not change the purpose or operation of the Trust. One of the IETF
Trust's trustees is appointed by the ISOC's Board of Trustees.
7. Financial and Administrative Relationship with ISOC
Under the terms of the Operating Agreement [OpAgreement] between ISOC
and the IETF, ISOC has agreed to provide significant funding support
for the IETF. In addition, the IETF LLC is responsible for creating
and managing an annual operating budget for the IETF; for
negotiating, signing, and overseeing contracts; for fundraising; for
maintaining bank accounts; and for liability insurance. The IETF LLC
is managed by a Board of Directors, one of whom is appointed by the
ISOC's Board of Trustees. The intention is that ISOC and the IETF
LLC operate at arm's length.
The IETF LLC establishes contracts with third parties to provide
different types of services to the IETF. Note that it is possible
that some of those services may be provided by ISOC or involve ISOC
Under the new IASA 2.0 structure, the IETF LLC is solely responsible
for its administration, including the IETF Trust, IAB, IESG, IETF
working groups, and other IETF processes. A further exploration of
this can be found in Section 4 of [I-D.ietf-iasa2-rfc4071bis]. [RFC8711].
8. IANA Considerations
This document introduces has no new IANA considerations. actions.
9. Security Considerations
This document introduces no new security considerations.
10. Privacy Considerations
This document introduces no new privacy considerations.
The authors would like to thank Erik Huizer for his contribution as
the author of [RFC2031], which this document replaces.
12. Changes from Previous Versions
RFC Editor: Please remove this section upon publication.
-00: Initial version published
-01: Several key updates to prepare WGLC based on WG feedback
-02: Fixed nits identified by Brian Carpenter on 12-21-2018, and text
on the tax status from John Levine.
-03: As we entered IESG review, added a short description of what
ISOC does (in relation to the IETF) that can be used in external
material by both the IETF and ISOC.
-04: Clarification adding text to Section 6 on legal issue.
-05: Fix nits
-06: Fix nits and other changes from IESG review
-07: Fixed one missed nit from IESG review
-08: Fixed two typographical errors
11.1. Normative References
[RFC8711] Haberman, B., Hall, J., and J. Livingood, "Structure of
the IETF Administrative Support Activity, Version 2.0",
draft-ietf-iasa2-rfc4071bis-11 (work in progress), April
BCP 101, RFC 8711, DOI 10.17487/RFC8711, January 2020,
11.2. Informative References
[BCP10] "BCP10", <https://www.rfc-editor.org/refs/ref-bcp10.txt>.
Arkko, J., "Discussion of the IASA 2.0 Changes as They
Relate to the IETF Trust", draft-ietf-iasa2-trust-
rationale-03 (work in progress), October 2018.
Arkko, J. and T. Hardie, "Update to the Process for
Selection of Trustees for the IETF Trust", draft-ietf-
iasa2-trust-update-03 (work in progress), February 2019.
Internet Society, "Internet Society Mission",
"Limited Liability Company Agreement of IETF
Administration LLC", August 2018,
[RFC2026] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, DOI 10.17487/RFC2026, October 1996,
[RFC2027] Galvin, J., "IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and
Recall Process: Operation of the Nominating and Recall
Committees", RFC 2027, DOI 10.17487/RFC2027, October 1996,
[RFC2028] Hovey, R. and S. Bradner, "The Organizations Involved in
the IETF Standards Process", BCP 11, RFC 2028,
DOI 10.17487/RFC2028, October 1996,
[RFC2031] Huizer, E., "IETF-ISOC relationship", RFC 2031,
DOI 10.17487/RFC2031, October 1996,
[RFC2850] Internet Architecture Board and B. Carpenter, Ed.,
"Charter of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)",
BCP 39, RFC 2850, DOI 10.17487/RFC2850, May 2000,
[RFC3677] Daigle, L., Ed. and Internet Architecture Board, "IETF
ISOC Board of Trustee Appointment Procedures", BCP 77,
RFC 3677, DOI 10.17487/RFC3677, December 2003,
[RFC4033] Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D., and S.
Rose, "DNS Security Introduction and Requirements",
RFC 4033, DOI 10.17487/RFC4033, March 2005,
[RFC4071] Austein, R., Ed. and B. Wijnen, Ed., "Structure of the
IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA)", BCP 101,
RFC 4071, DOI 10.17487/RFC4071, April 2005,
[RFC4371] Carpenter, B., Ed. and L. Lynch, Ed., "BCP 101 Update for
IPR Trust", BCP 101, RFC 4371, DOI 10.17487/RFC4371,
January 2006, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4371>.
[RFC5378] Bradner, S., Ed. and J. Contreras, Ed., "Rights
Contributors Provide to the IETF Trust", BCP 78, RFC 5378,
DOI 10.17487/RFC5378, November 2008,
[RFC6756] Trowbridge, S., Ed., Lear, E., Ed., Fishman, G., Ed., and
S. Bradner, Ed., "Internet Engineering Task Force and
International Telecommunication Union - Telecommunication
Standardization Sector Collaboration Guidelines",
RFC 6756, DOI 10.17487/RFC6756, September 2012,
[RFC8713] Kucherawy, M., Ed., Hinden, R., Ed., and J. Livingood,
Ed., "IAB, IESG, and IAOC IETF LLC Selection, Confirmation, and
Recall Process: Operation of the IETF Nominating and
Recall Committees", BCP 10, RFC 7437, 8713,
DOI 10.17487/RFC7437, 10.17487/RFC8713, January 2015,
[RFC8200] Deering, S. 2020,
[RFC8714] Arkko, J. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6
(IPv6) Specification", STD 86, T. Hardie, "Update to the Process for
Selection of Trustees for the IETF Trust", BCP 101,
RFC 8714, DOI 10.17487/RFC8714, January 2020,
[RFC8715] Arkko, J., "Discussion of the IASA 2.0 Changes as They
Relate to the IETF Trust", RFC 8200, 8715, DOI 10.17487/RFC8200, July 2017,
January 2020, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8715>.
The authors would like to thank Erik Huizer for his contribution as
the author of [RFC2031], which this document replaces.