Internet Standards Organizations

The following organizations are principal players in Internet standards development.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is a loosely self-organized group that contributes to the Internet's engineering and standards development. Working groups in several technology areas are headed by area directors. A nominating committee of members from the ranks nominates members of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).

The Internet Society (ISOC) is a professional society concerned with the growth and evolution of the Internet, the way it's used and resultant social, political and technical issues. The ISOC board of trustees approves appointments to the IAB from a list of nominees submitted by the IETF.

The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) is part of the ISOC and manages the Internet standards process and technical activities for the IETF. It follows rules and procedures set by the ISOC trustees. The IESG oversees the progress and final approval of standards proposals.

The Internet Architecure Board (IAB) is a technical advisory group of ISOC and oversees Internet architecture and protocols. It acts as an appeals body for decisions of the IESG. The IAB approves appointments to the IESG from the IETF's nominees.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Laboratory for Computer Science and is directed by Tim Berners-Lee, developer of the Web. W3C concerns itself with developing common standards for the Web; for example, a standard for embedding active objects into hypertext documents is under development by W3C members.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) coordinates the U.S. voluntary consensus standards system and approves American national data processing and communications standards. ANSI does not develop standards.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a voluntary body of national standardization organizations. It accepts and certifies international standards for telecommunications. ANSI is a member of ISO.