Date: 01/01/1979

Internet Activities Board (IAB) – A group that oversees the development of the Internet protocols.

Internet Architecture Board( Founded in 1983 as the Internet Activities Board, it is a volunteer organization that provides architectural guidance to and adjudicates conflicts for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It appoints the IETF Chair and all other Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) candidates. It also advises the Internet Society (ISOC) relating to technical and procedural matters.

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.”

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 during 1979; it eventually became the Internet Advisory Board during September, 1984, and then the Internet Activities Board during May, 1986 (the name was changed, while keeping the same acronym). 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 Internet Architecture Board provides long-range technical direction for Internet development, ensuring the Internet continues to grow and evolve as a platform for global communication and innovation.

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 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 source of advice and guidance to the Internet Society

The IAB convenes workshops of specialists, initiates and executes specific work programs, and writes documents that lead to comprehensive technical analyses of matters of interest. While its work may influence the industry broadly, the IAB does not operate from a grand-architecture blueprint of, or vision for, the Internet. Rather, the IAB’s efforts are guided by fundamental design principles—the Internet’s building blocks and their interactions—that make the global open Internet what it is.

The IAB is comprised of 13 members who serve as individuals, and not as representatives of any company, agency, or other organization. The IAB is chartered both as a committee of the IETF and an advisory body of the Internet Society. Further details about the IAB are documented in RFC 2850.


The IAB’s current responsibilities include-

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 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.