Internet Architecture Board

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) is "a committee of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and an advisory body of the Internet Society (ISOC). Its responsibilities include architectural oversight of IETF activities, Internet Standards Process oversight and appeal, and the appointment of the Request for Comments (RFC) Editor. The IAB is also responsible for the management of the IETF protocol parameter registries."[1]

The body which eventually became the IAB was created originally by the United States Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency with the name Internet Configuration Control Board in 1979. Later, in 1983, the ICCB was reorganized by Dr. Barry Leiner, Vint Cerf's successor at DARPA, around a series of task forces considering different technical aspects of internetting. The re-organized group was named the Internet Activities Board.[2] It finally became the Internet Architecture Board, under ISOC, during January 1992, as part of the Internet's transition from a U.S.-government entity to an international, public entity.

The IAB is responsible for:

  • Providing architectural oversight of Internet protocols and procedures
  • Liaising with other organizations on behalf of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
  • Reviewing appeals of the Internet standards process
  • Managing Internet standards documents (the RFC series) and protocol parameter value assignment
  • Confirming the Chair of the IETF and the IETF Area Directors
  • Selecting the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) Chair
  • Acting as a source of advice and guidance to the Internet Society.

In its work, the IAB strives to:

  • Ensure that the Internet is a trusted medium of communication that provides a solid technical foundation for privacy and security, especially in light of pervasive surveillance,
  • Establish the technical direction for an Internet that will enable billions more people to connect, support the vision for an Internet of things, and allow mobile networks to flourish, while keeping the core capabilities that have been a foundation of the Internet's success, and
  • Promote the technical evolution of an open Internet without special controls, especially those which hinder trust in the network.


The IAB's current responsibilities include:[3]

  • Architectural Oversight: The IAB provides oversight of, and occasional commentary on, aspects of the architecture for the network protocols and procedures used by the Internet.
  • Standards Process Oversight and Appeal: The IAB provides oversight of the process used to create Internet Standards. The IAB serves as an appeal board for complaints of improper execution of the standards process, through acting as an appeal body in respect of an Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) standards decision.
  • Request for Comments series: The IAB is responsible for editorial management and publication of the Request for Comments (RFC) document series.
  • Internet Assigned Numbers Authority: In conjunction with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the IAB is responsible for the administration of the assignment of IETF protocol parameter values by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).
  • External Liaison: The IAB acts as representative of the interests of the IETF in liaison relationships with other organizations concerned with standards and other technical and organizational issues relevant to the worldwide Internet.
  • Advice to the Internet Society: The IAB acts as a source of advice and guidance to the Board of Trustees and Officers of ISOC concerning technical, architectural, procedural, and (where appropriate) policy matters pertaining to the Internet and its enabling technologies.
  • Internet Engineering Steering Group Confirmation: The IAB confirms the IETF Chair and IESG Area Directors, from nominations provided by the IETF Nominating Committee.
  • Internet Research Task Force Chair: The IAB selects a chair of the IRTF for a renewable two-year term.

RFC1087 – Ethics and the InternetEdit

The IAB's 1989 RFC "Ethics and the Internet"[4] strongly endorses the view of the Division Advisory Panel of the National Science Foundation Division of Network, Communications, Research and Infrastructure which, in paraphrase, characterized as unethical and unacceptable any activity which purposely:

  • seeks to gain unauthorized access to the resources of the Internet,
  • disrupts the intended use of the Internet,
  • wastes resources (people, capacity, computer) through such actions,
  • destroys the integrity of computer-based information
  • compromises the privacy of users.


The following people have served as chair of the IAB:[5]

  • David D. Clark – 1981 to July 1989
  • Vint Cerf – July 1989 to July 1991
  • Lyman Chapin – July 1991 to March 1993
  • Christian Huitema – March 1993 to July 1995
  • Brian Carpenter – July 1995 to March 2000
  • John Klensin – March 2000 to March 2002
  • Leslie Daigle – March 2002 to March 2007
  • Olaf Kolkman – March 2007 to March 2011
  • Bernard Aboba – March 2011 to March 2013
  • Russ Housley- March 2013 to March 2015
  • Andrew Sullivan – March 2015 to March 2017
  • Ted Hardie – March 2017 to March 2020
  • Mirja Kühlewind - March 2020 to present


  1. ^ "About | Internet Architecture Board".
  2. ^ "Status memo". Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  3. ^ "IAB Job Description". Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  4. ^ "RFC1087 – Ethics and the Internet". Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  5. ^ "History page from the IAB website". Retrieved 2017-06-30.

Further readingEdit

  • Carpenter, Brian (editor), Charter of the Internet Architecture Board (RFC 2850, May 2000)
  • Kozierok, Charles, The TCP/IP Guide (Sep 2005)
  • Comer, Douglas, Internetworking with TCP/IP vol I: Principles, Protocols, and Architecture (1991)

External linksEdit