Here I am, at 75th session of IETF (internet Engineering task force) in Stockholm and going to meet with the Gods of internet for the next whole week. This is all possible through the ISOC (internet Society) fellowship program for IETF, which helps internet community individuals throughout the world to participate in the sessions and get exposure about the IETF structure and working principals.

Like others, my first interaction with IETF was through its website which I refer for reading the RFCs on internet related topic and for a long time I used to think that IETF is the body which runs the internet – The holy Gods of the Cloud!. Well off course they are, but in a very different way than we perceive about them. They do not control it, they Counsel it and it’s really a difficult job to help shaping a self evolving world called internet.

The mission statement at IETF is “to produce high quality, relevant technical and engineering documents that influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet in such a way as to make the Internet work better. These documents include protocol standards, best current practices, and informational documents of various kinds.”

One would ask, from where all these protocol standards and informational documents comes from? IETF must be having a technical team working day and night researching in NASA like Labs formulizing the protocols of future Internet!! Well it’s not the case.

IETF works with Open Process Model. Any interested person having the right and relevant Technical Competence can participate. All of the mailing lists work group meetings and session attendance is open for all. The participants discuss, drive and formulate agenda items through the medium known to us as rough consensus. However engineering judgments plays a major part in the overall process.

IETF Structure comprises of Area Directors. These Area Directors manages the Areas under which different WGs (working Groups) are grouped. These Directors are member of IESG (Internet Engineering Steering Group). To provide the architectural oversight a board is being formulated known as IAB (internet Architecture Board). Both the IAB and IESG are chartered by Internet Society (ISOC) for these purposes.

Further, IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers authority) which is the central coordinator for the assignment of unique parameter values for Internet protocols is also chartered by ISOC to work as clearinghouse to assign and coordinate the use of Internet protocol parameters.

For the whole next week, every day I will be sharing a diary with you which will have my experience with the IETF and the community working as volunteer core for it. I would also be sharing the latest on different topics and working groups which I will be attending so stay tuned ……

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