New agreement marks major milestone in IETF Administrative Restructuring

By: IETF Journal, Peter Godwin

Date: December 7, 2005

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After nearly twenty years of existence, the Internet Engineering Task Force has assumed oversight over the services that support the operations of the world’s leading Internet standards development group.

A new agreement with NeuStar Secretariat Services LLC marks a major milestone in efforts to ensure that the IETF administrative support infrastructure will meet the future needs of the expanding IETF community.

The agreement (which was signed on December 15, 2005) was the outcome of extensive discussions and consultations between the IETF community and the IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA) – a group created in April 2005 to examine ways of improving the IETF’s administrative operations in support of the IETF standards process and technical activities.

A two-year Services Agreement with NeuStar Secretariat Services (NSS) was executed on behalf of IASA by Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO of the Internet Society. Mark Foster, Senior Vice President and CTO of NeuStar, Inc., represented NSS in the transaction.

Under the terms of the agreement, NeuStar Secretariat Services began work immediately on managing the IETF’s secretariat, meetings, and document and data management services.

Speaking after signing the agreement with NeuStar, Lynn St. Amour said “The Internet Society is delighted to be able to bring this new level of support to the IETF.”

Earlier in the day, NeuStar had reached agreement with the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), to acquire the assets of CNRI subsidiary Foretec Seminars Inc – the incumbent secretariat service provider.

The IETF Trust was created at the time of the closing to ensure the utilization, maintenance, preservation and protection of IETF intellectual property for the benefit of the IETF. The agreement document was executed by CNRI President and CEO, Robert Kahn, and Lynn St. Amour as settlors, on behalf of their respective organizations.

Members of the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee and the IETF Administrative Director will serve as trustees. CNRI and the Internet Society donated their IETF related Intellectual Property to the Trust at its creation; the IETF also transferred its rights to its intellectual property to the Trust.

Following the Trust’s first business meeting, a Trust Licensing Agreement was executed by and between the Trust and NeuStar Secretariat Services for its use of certain specified IETF intellectual property appropriate or necessary to its delivery of services to the IETF community in accordance with the Services Agreement.

“The IETF is not just getting older, it’s growing up,” said Leslie Daigle, IAB Chair and a leader in the IETF restructuring initiative. “Today marks the convergence of many hours and weeks of thoughtful discussion all around – we are coming together to set the IETF on a new administrative foundation to continue its technical work.”