Username / Password : Request For Comments

RFC Number : 2850

Title : Charter of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB).

Network Working Group Internet Architecture Board
Request for Comments: 2850 B. Carpenter, Editor
Obsoletes: 1601 May 2000
BCP: 39
Category: Best Current Practice

Charter of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)

Status of this Memo

This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the
Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
improvements. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000). All Rights Reserved.


This memo documents the composition, selection, roles, and
organization of the Internet Architecture Board. It replaces RFC

Table of Contents:

1. IAB Membership...............................................2
1.1 Selection of full IAB members..............................2
1.2 Ex-Officio and Liaison members..............................2
2. The Role of the IAB.........................................3
2.1 Architectural oversight in more detail......................4
3. IAB Organization.............................................5
3.1 IAB chair...................................................5
3.2 Executive Director..........................................5
3.3 Selection of the IRTF chair.................................5
3.4 Liaisons within the IETF....................................5
3.5 Decision taking.............................................6
3.6 Openness and confidentiality................................6
Security Considerations.........................................6
Summary of Changes from RFC 1601................................6
Author's Address................................................7
Full Copyright Statement........................................8

IAB Best Current Practice [Page 1]

RFC 2850 IAB Charter May 2000

1. IAB Membership

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) shall consist of thirteen full
members, composed of the chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF), and of twelve sitting members. The IETF chair, who is also
the chair of the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), may
participate in all official IAB actions except the approval of IESG
members and appeals against IESG decisions. Ex-officio and liaison
members of the IAB may also attend IAB meetings but shall not
participate in determination of official actions.

Members of the IAB shall serve as individuals, and not as
representatives of any company, agency, or other organization.
Members of the IAB shall owe no fiduciary duty of loyalty or care to

1.1 Selection of full IAB members

Full IAB members, including the IETF chair, are selected and
appointed according to the procedures defined in [BCP 10] . Normally,
six sitting members are appointed each year to sit for two years, and
the IETF chair is appointed every two years.

There is no limit to the number of terms that a member of the IAB may
serve, subject to the process defined by [BCP 10].

Mid-term vacancies are filled as defined in [BCP 10] and do not
affect the IAB's power to take decisions.

1.2 Ex-Officio and Liaison members

Ex-officio and liaison members of the IAB have no standing to
participate in IAB decisions but are expected to participate in IAB
discussions as appropriate to their roles. However, an ex-officio
position may be held by a full member, who does not thereby lose his
or her standing to participate in IAB decisions.

The chair of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) is an ex-officio
member of the IAB. The IAB has an Executive Director who is an ex-
officio member of the IAB.

The Internet Society, the RFC Editor, the IANA and the IESG each
appoints a liaison member to the IAB. These liaison positions may not
be held by a full member of the IAB.

Vacancies in the liaison and ex officio positions do not affect the
IAB's power to take decisions.

IAB Best Current Practice [Page 2]

RFC 2850 IAB Charter May 2000

2. The Role of the IAB

The IAB is chartered both as a committee of the IETF and as an
advisory body of the Internet Society. Its responsibilities include:

(a) IESG Appointment

The IETF nominating committee established under [BCP 10] annually
provides a list of candidates for vacant IESG seats and for the IETF
Chair if vacant. The IAB reviews the candidates, consenting to some,
all, or none.

(b) Architectural Oversight

The IAB provides oversight of the architecture for the protocols and
procedures used by the Internet. This point is expanded in Section
2.1 below.

(c) Standards Process Oversight and Appeal

The IAB provides oversight of the process used to create Internet
Standards [BCP 9].

The IAB serves as an appeal board for complaints of improper
execution of the standards process, with powers defined in [BCP 9].

(d) RFC Series and IANA

The RFC Editor executes editorial management and publication of the
IETF 'Request for Comment' (RFC) document series, which is the
permanent document repository of the IETF. The RFC series
constitutes the archival publication channel for Internet Standards
and for other contributions by the Internet research and engineering
community. RFCs are available free of charge to anyone via the
Internet. The IAB must approve the appointment of an organization to
act as RFC Editor and the general policy followed by the RFC Editor.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) administers various
protocol parameters used by IETF protocols, delegating this
administration as appropriate. The IAB must approve the appointment
of an organization to act as IANA on behalf of the IETF. The IANA
takes technical direction on IETF protocols from the IESG.

(e) ISOC Liaison

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

IAB Best Current Practice [Page 3]

RFC 2850 IAB Charter May 2000

pertaining to the Internet and its enabling technologies. If
necessary the IAB may convene panels of knowledgeable people, hold
hearings, and otherwise pursue the investigation of specific
questions or topics presented to it by the Internet Society.

(f) External Liaison

The IAB acts as representative of the interests of the IETF and the
Internet Society in technical liaison relationships with other
organizations concerned with standards and other technical and
organizational issues relevant to the world-wide Internet. Liaisons
are kept as informal as possible and must be of demonstrable value in
improving the quality of IETF specifications. Individual members of
the IETF are appointed as liaisons to other organizations by the IAB
or IESG as appropriate.

2.1 Architectural oversight in more detail

A major role of the IAB is long range planning and coordination
between different areas of IETF activity. The IAB, both collectively
and on an individual basis, is expected to pay attention to important
long-term issues in the Internet, and to make sure that these issues
are brought to the attention of the group(s) that are in a position
to address them. It is also expected to play a role in assuring that
the people responsible for evolving the Internet and its technology
are aware of the essential elements of the Internet architecture.

IAB members pay special attention to emerging activities in the IETF
and to 'Birds of a Feather' sessions at IETF meetings. The IAB
assists the IESG in evaluating such activities and in determining
whether an IETF or an IRTF group is more appropriate. When a new
IETF working group is proposed, the IESG will forward a preliminary
version of the charter to the IAB for review of architectural
consistency and integrity. The IAB shall review these proposed
charters and give feedback to the IESG as appropriate.

Pursuant to the architectural oversight function, the IAB sponsors
and organizes the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) [BCP 8]. The
IAB reviews proposed IRTF groups.

The IAB will convene invitational workshops to perform in-depth
reviews of particular architectural issues. Such reviews may include
consideration of relevant IETF and IRTF activities, and of work in
other organizations, and for this purpose the workshop may invite
presentations by qualified parties on the design goals and decisions,
technology choices, and other pertinent aspects of these activities.
The results of such a review will be a report which may give advice
to the IETF community and the IESG.

IAB Best Current Practice [Page 4]

RFC 2850 IAB Charter May 2000

The IAB may organize ad hoc bodies of independent technical experts
to adjudicate technical disputes.

3. IAB Organization

3.1 IAB chair

The members of the IAB shall select one of its full members to serve
as the chair of the IAB, with all of the duties and responsibilities
normally associated with such a position. The term of the IAB chair
shall be one year, with no restriction on renewal. The chair of the
IAB may be removed at any time by the affirmative vote of two-thirds
of the members of the IAB, or as a result of his or her departure
from the IAB.

The chair of the IAB shall have the authority to manage the
activities and meetings of the IAB.

3.2 Executive Director

The chair of the IAB shall have the authority to appoint an honorary
Executive Director (ExecD) for a one-year renewable term, and to
remove him or her. The ExecD shall administer the internal operation
of the IAB, e.g., organization of meetings and reporting of their

The ExecD is an ex-officio member as defined in Section 1.2.

3.3 Selection of the IRTF chair

The IAB shall have the authority to appoint the chair of the Internet
Research Task Force (IRTF) for a two-year renewable term, and to
remove him or her. The IRTF chair shall be responsible for the
management and organization of the IRTF according to [BCP 8].

The IRTF chair is an ex-officio member as defined in Section 1.2.

3.4 Liaisons within the IETF

The chair of the IAB and another full IAB member (other than the IETF
chair), to be selected by the IAB, shall serve as liaisons to the
IESG. In addition, the IESG will appoint one of its members (other
than the IETF chair) to serve as a liaison to the IAB. The IESG
liaison may attend IAB meetings.

Vacancies in these liaison seats have no effect on the IAB's or the
IESG's powers to make decisions.

IAB Best Current Practice [Page 5]

RFC 2850 IAB Charter May 2000

3.5 Decision taking

The IAB attempts to reach all decisions unanimously. If unanimity
cannot be achieved, the chair may conduct informal polls to determine
consensus. The IAB may make decisions and take action if at least
seven full members concur and there are no more than two dissents.

The IAB may reach decisions by face to face meeting, teleconference,
Internet communication, or any combination of the above.

3.6 Openness and confidentiality

The IAB publishes minutes of all its meetings on the Internet, and
conducts an open meeting at every IETF meeting. It publishes all its
findings as RFCs, Internet Drafts or messages to the IETF mailing
list. However, discussion of personnel matters and possibly legal and
financial matters may sometimes be required to be kept confidential,
and the chair may, with the consent of the full members, exclude
liaison and ex officio members from such discussions.

Specifically, the IAB makes use of the second level domain
and the URL to publish information.

Security Considerations

This memo does not raise any known security threats.

Summary of Changes from RFC 1601

This document replaces [RFC 1601]. The principal change is the
removal of material now covered in [BCP 8], [BCP 9] and [BCP 10],
with many consequent editorial changes. Additional changes are:

- description of decision making when unanimity cannot be achieved
- note on openness and confidentiality
- addition of liaison seats for the Internet Society and the IANA
- revised text concerning the IANA and the RFC Editor
- clarifications following legal review

IAB Best Current Practice [Page 6]

RFC 2850 IAB Charter May 2000


[RFC 1601] Huitema, C., 'Charter of the Internet Architecture Board
(IAB)', RFC 1601, March 1994.

[BCP 8] Weinrib, A., and J. Postel, 'IRTF Research Group
Guidelines and Procedures', BCP 8, RFC 2014, October

[BCP 9] Bradner, S., 'The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
3', BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.

[BCP 10] Galvin, J., 'IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and
Recall Process: Operation of the Nominating and Recall
Committees', BCP 10, RFC 2282, February 1998.

Author's Address

Brian E. Carpenter
c/o iCAIR
Suite 150
1890 Maple Avenue
Evanston IL 60201


IAB Best Current Practice [Page 7]

RFC 2850 IAB Charter May 2000

Full Copyright Statement

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000). All Rights Reserved.

This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this
document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than

The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

This document and the information contained herein is provided on an


Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
Internet Society.

IAB Best Current Practice [Page 8]

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