(c/o Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), Reston, VA, www.ietf.org) Founded in 1986, the IETF is a non-membership, open, voluntary standards organization dedicated to identifying problems and opportunities in IP data networks and proposing technical solutions to the Internet community.|
The work of the IETF is done in working groups that are chartered to explore specific tasks. The groups are organized into areas, each with two directors. The directors, along with the IETF Chair, form the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). The IESG charters working groups and evaluates the proposals they develop. Proposals for IETF consideration are submitted by individuals in the form of temporary documents called "Internet Drafts." If proposals developed by the working groups are accepted by the IESG, they are published as RFCs.
The IETF works under the auspices of the Internet Society, which provides a legal framework and financial support. A small secretariat, provided by CNRI, supports the work of the IETF. The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) is an IETF committee that provides architectural advice to the IETF and deals with IETF relationships with other standards organizations. The Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) is made up of research groups that explore new technologies, some of which are later proposed to the IETF. See BOF and RFC.