Internet Architecture Board
Charter of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
This memo documents the composition, selection, roles, and organization of the Internet Architecture Board and its subsidiary organizations.
1. IAB Membership
The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) shall consist of 13 voting members, composed of the IETF chair and 12 full members. The IETF chair, who is also the chair of the IESG, may vote on all official IAB actions except the approval of IESG members. Ex-officio members and a liaison from the IESG may also attend IAB meetings but shall have no vote on official actions.
Voting IAB members shall serve for a term of two years, but may serve any number of terms.
Members of the IAB shall serve as individuals, and not as representatives of any company, agency, or other organization.
1.1 Selection of voting IAB members
Voting IAB members shall be nominated by the nominating committee of the IETF and appointed by an appropriate group. The 12 full members shall be approved by vote of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society (ISOC), while the IETF chair shall be approved by vote of the 12 full IAB members then sitting. Normally, six new full members are nominated each year.
The IETF nomination committee is formed every year and consists of a non-voting chair designated by the Internet Society and seven members picked at random from a pool of volunteers. Any person who took part in two IETF meetings in the last two years may volunteer for this pool. The nomination committee also includes four non-voting liaison members, one designated by each of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society, the IAB, the IESG, and the IRSG.
New IAB members shall be selected each year to replace those whose terms have expired or been vacated. The nomination committee shall prepare a list containing at least one candidate for each open position, and present this list to the ISOC Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will by a vote appoint IAB members from the list of nominees to fill the open positions.
There is no limit to the number of terms that a member of the IAB may serve. A member that wishes to be re-nominated at the end of a term simply notifies the nomination committee. However, there is no obligation for renomination.
1.2 Ex-Officio Members
The IRSG chair and the RFC Editor shall be Ex-officio members of the IAB, with no vote in official actions. An ex-officio position may be held by a voting member.
2. The Role of the IAB:
The IAB was chartered as a component of the Internet Society in June of 1992. Its responsibilities under this charter include:
(a) IESG Selection
The IAB appoints a new IETF chair and all other IESG candidates, from a list provided by the IETF nominating committee.
(b) Architectural Oversight
The IAB provides oversight of the architecture for the protocols and procedures used by the Internet.
(c) 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.
(d) RFC Series and IANA
The IAB is responsible for editorial management and publication of the Request for Comments (RFC) document series, and for administration of the various Internet assigned numbers.
(e) External Liaison
The IAB acts as representative of the interests of the Internet Society in liaison relationships with other organizations concerned with standards and other technical and organizational issues relevant to the world-wide Internet.
(f) Advice to ISOC
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 pertaining to the Internet and its enabling technologies.
The following is an expanded discussion of these IAB functions.
2.1 IESG Selection
Members of the IESG are nominated for a period of two years by the IETF nomination committee, and are appointed by approval from the IAB. The committee shall select at least one nominee for each vacant IESG position, i.e., chair of the IESG or chair of a specific area. The nomination committee may present several candidates for an available position, in which case the IAB will select one of the nominees for that position.
The nominating committee shall present the IESG nomination list to the IAB for approval. Within two weeks of receiving the list, the IAB shall approve or disapprove of the nominations, by voting among the full members of the IAB. At least 8 affirmative votes, and no more than one negative vote, are required to approve an IESG appointment.
Should the IAB fail to approve a particular nomination, the nomination committee shall present a new nomination for that position. Should this process fail to converge rapidly, the sitting IESG is permitted to make a temporary appointment to one of their own positions whenever there is no IAB-selected person with an unexpired term filling that slot.
2.2 Architectural oversight
A major role of the IAB is long range planning. The IAB 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.
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).
On occasion, the IAB will convene panels to perform in-depth reviews of particular architectural issue. Such reviews may include consideration of relevant IETF Working Group activities, and for this purpose the panel may invite presentations by qualified parties on the design goals and decisions, technology choices, and other pertinent aspects of these IETF activities. The results of such a review will be a report which may give advice to the community and the IESG.
The IAB may organize ad hoc bodies of independent technical experts to adjudicate technical disputes.
2.3 Standards Process Oversight and Appeal
The development, review, and approval of Internet Standards is the responsibility of the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The standards process executed by the IESG is established and documented by the IAB, in consultation with the IESG and with the concurrence of the IETF.
2.4 RFC Series and Assigned Numbers
The RFC series constitutes the archival publication channel for Internet Standards and for other contributions by the Internet research and engineering community. The IAB shall select an RFC Editor, who shall be responsible for the editorial management and publication of the RFC series.
The IAB shall also designate an Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to administer the assignment of Internet protocol numbers.
2.5 External Liaison
The IAB is responsible for relationships between the Internet technical groups working under the auspices of ISOC and other interested parties such as the US Federal Networking Council (FNC); various organs of the European Commission (EC); the Coordinating Committee for Intercontinental Research Networking (CCIRN); standards bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); and other professional societies such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
2.6 Advice to ISOC
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.
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 organize the IAB.
3.2 Executive Director
The chair of the IAB hall have the authority to appoint or remove an Executive Director (ExecD). The ExecD shall administer the internal operation of the IAB, e.g., organization of conferences and meetings and reporting of their results.
The ExecD may be chosen among the full IAB members with voting rights; otherwise, the ExecD shall be an ex-officio non-voting member.
3.3 Selection of the IRSG chair
The chair of the IAB shall have the authority to appoint or remove the chair of the Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG). The IRSG chair shall be responsible for the management and organization of the IRSG.
The IRSG chair may be chosen among the full IAB member with voting rights; otherwise, the IRSG chair shall be an ex-officio non- voting member.
The chair of the IAB and another IAB member, to be selected by the chair, shall serve as liaisons to the IESG. The selected liaison may be a full member or an ex-officio member.
In addition, the IESG will appoint one of its members to serve as a liaison to the IAB. The IESG liaison may attend IAB meetings but shall have no vote.
Security issues are not discussed in this memo.
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