Premier Internet Standards Body Celebrates 25th Anniversary
January 16, 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the IETF, the Internet's premier technical standards body. The IETF attracts a large open international community of volunteer network designers, engineers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet.
The IETF has enabled the development of standards that have supported every aspect of the Internet's phenomenal growth. The IETF pioneered a unique, open process for standards development. Open to all, and based on principles such as "rough consensus and running code." While the work of the IETF takes place online to reduce barriers to participation and to maximize contributions from around the world, its in-person meetings have gathered more than 80,000 participants over the past 25 years.
Since its first meeting was held on the afternoon of January 16, 1986 in San Diego, California with 21 participants, the IETF has published more than 4500 documents, called RFCs, that describe standards for the fundamental technologies and widely used services on today's global Internet. These include the email people use every day around the world, and the TCP/IP protocol suite, which is the foundation for Internet communications.
Technologies such as IPv6 and DNSSEC defined by the past work of the IETF are currently at the forefront of efforts to ensure the Internet's continued growth as a trusted platform of communications and innovation for billions of people around the world. Current challenges being addressed by the IETF include the increasing importance of mobile Internet access and privacy.