datahacker Blog

Who is the IETF and Why Should I Care?

Is that another term for the illuminati?

It's one of the most powerful organizations in the world that you've probably never heard of and writes lots of documents no one reads, such as RFC's. Yet, we have CAT-5 and CAT-6 network cables, WiFi, and a host of other technological goodies to thank for them.

IETF stands for, "The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)," and is part of The Internet Society. A holier-than-thou organization that wields substantial power over the Internet (after the U.S. government, of course). BTW, don't even bother considering submitting a job application to them unless you belong to Mensa.

The IETF basically writes internet standards. They are overseen by the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), which is a group of geeks that probably need to take Vitamin D supplements regularly, because they are locked away in a dungeon working on future internet standards, and overseeing how those come to fruition.

Matrixed to both the IETF and IESG is the Internet Architecture Board or IAB. Those are another set of geeks that tell the first two groups why their new ideas won't work unless they listen to the IAB's advice and include them on discussions of new internet toys.

Finally, all those folks work for the Internet Society (ISOC), who basically pays them all to create and write up new internet standards.

Now, I know what you're thinking. No, the ISOC is not the illuminati. There are reportedly ~100,000 ISOC members, which explains why it takes so long for new internet standards to be adopted. However, the Board of Trustees of the ISOC is um... 13 members. Hmm. Seems like an odd number, eh? Yeah, they might be illuminati. Maybe.

Contrary to mainstream belief, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) does not hold the real power over the Internet. IANA controls various numbering systems, such as IPv4 and IPv6. ISOC is where the real power is. Let's hope they continue to wield it responsibly.

The bottom line is a bunch of people you will never know, who work for an organziation you've never heard of, are responsible for the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of the Internet as we know it. And don't expect that to change anytime soon.

Is how the Internet works clear as mud, now?