The IAB is an independent committee of researchers and professionals with a technical interest in the health and evolution of the Internet system… IAB members are deeply committed to making the Internet function effectively and evolve to meet a large scale, high speed future.
The IAB evolved from the Internet Configuration Control Board (ICCB) originally established in 1979 by the ARPANET Program Manager Vinton Cerf, and oversees development of the Internet technology standards. In 1983, the ICCB was reorganized around a series of technical task forces by Cerf’s successor, Dr. Barry Leiner, and named the Internet Activities Board (IAB).
The IAB was supported throughout the 1980’s by the Federal Research Internet Coordinating Committee (FRICC), an informal group of US Government managers supporting inter-networking that was absorbed into the Federal Networking Council in 1990.
In June, 1992, the Internet Activities Board was renamed the Internet Architecture Board by the Internet Society at the INET92 conference in Kobe, Japan. The roles and responsibilities of the IAB are described in RFC 2850, and summarized below:
- Oversight. Provide oversight of the Internet architecture, protocols, procedures, and standards.
- RFC management. Provide editorial management and publication of the Request For Comments documents.
- IESG selection. Appoint the members of the Internet Engineering Steering Group, and the chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force.
- IETF oversight. Responsible for the IETF’s relationships with other standards bodies and related organizations.
- IANA administration. Provide administration of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which manages the various Internet numbers and parameters.
The IAB is composed of 13 members, made up of 12 members nominated by the IETF and approved by the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society, plus the IETF chair who may vote on all official actions except approval of Internet Engineering Steering Group members and IESG appeals. Each member serves for two years, and may serve more than one term. Interestingly, members of the IAB must serve as individuals, and not as representatives of a company, agency, or other organization. The process is further described in IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and Recall Process: Operation of the Nominating and Recall Committees, RFC 3777.
Resources. Request For Comments documents by and about the IAB are listed below:
- RFC 1160; Vinton Cerf; The Internet Activities Board; May 1990
- RFC 1601; C. Huitema; Charter of the Internet Architecture Board; Mar 1994
- RFC 2026; S. Bradner; The Internet Standards Process — Revision 3; 9 Oct 1996
- RFC 2850; B. Carpenter, Ed.; Charter of the Internet Architecture Board; May 2000
- RFC 3869; R. Atkinson, Ed.; S. Floyd, Ed.; IAB Concerns and Recommendations Regarding Internet Research and Evolution; Aug 2004.