Internet Architecture Board


Report from the IAB before IETF 95

Dear colleagues,

This is the report to the community from the IAB about our activities since IETF 94 (which was in Yokohama). We used to go over much of this sort of material in the plenary sessions. Shorter time for plenary sessions in the weekly agenda led us to try this form of report, and it was popular. So we are continuing with it. We hope that this form allows you to prepare topics you might want to discuss during the open mic. But of course, if you have views you want to make known by email, we’re easy to reach: send mail to to reach our public discussion list, and to reach just the IAB.

The IAB has a few chartered roles. We confirm the appointments to the IESG and perform standards process oversight and handle appeals. We also perform architectural oversight, we manage the RFC series and the IETF’s relationship with IANA, and we handle liaisons both to ISOC and to other organizations. We try to ensure that anything we do is part of one of these areas of responsibility, and we try to make sure these are all covered.

Since IETF 94, here is what we’ve done:

  • RFC 7720, “DNS Root Name Service Protocol and Deployment Requirements”. This is a BCP and therefore ended up an AD sponsored RFC. The purpose of this was to modernize RFC 2870 and take out the parts that are not really the IETF’s or IAB’s job. (External liaisons)
  • RFC 7687, “Report from the Strengthening the Internet (STRINT) Workshop”. More on workshops below. (Architectural oversight)
  • RFC 7749, “The ‘xml2rfc’ Version 2 Vocabulary”. More about documents about the RFC series below. (Manage the RFC series)
  • RFC 7754, “Technical Considerations for Internet Service Blocking and Filtering”. This is the sort of architectural analysis document that is a big part of the IAB’s job. It is fair to say that most of us prefer this sort of work over the administrative pieces. (Architectural oversight)
  • RFC 7827, “The Role of the IRTF Chair”. This is an IAB stream document because the IAB appoints the IRTF Chair.
  • Internet Of Things Semantic Interoperability (IOTSI) workshop. The IAB gratefully acknowledges the sponsorship of Ericsson in holding this workshop. (Architectural oversight)
  • Comments on the ICANN CCWG-Accountability third draft report. (External liaison)
  • Comments on ICANN’s “Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) Operational Profile for gTLD Registries and Registrars”. (External liaison)
  • Confirmed the IESG appointments from the Nomcom, for members whose term will start at IETF 95. (Confirm IESG)
  • Selected Adam Roach as a new member for the RFC Series Oversight
    Committee. (Manage the RFC series)
  • Selected a new appointment to the ISOC Board of Trustees. As of this writing, the new appointment hasn’t been announced. The IAB’s selection is to be confirmed by the IESG. (ISOC liaison)


The first IETF meeting of the year is when the new IAB is seated. This also means we sometimes have to say good-bye to departing IAB members.

This year, we wish our colleagues Mary Barnes and Marc Blanchet a fond farewell. Mary joined the IAB in 2014 after serving from 2012 to 2014 as the IAB Executive Director. Marc joined the IAB in 2012. The IAB and the Internet community have benefitted greatly from their insights and service, and we thank them both.

This year, we are pleased to welcome Lee Howard and Martin Thomson. We know that they will both bring their usual sharp observations and vigour to the IAB’s activities. We thank them for being willing to serve the community this way, and thank the Nomcom for their appointment.


The IAB has several documents in flight. Find the current list of every IAB document in the datatracker, at Architectural oversight makes up an important chunk of the current documents:

  • draft-iab-privsec-confidentiality-mitigations-06
    Confidentiality in the Face of Pervasive Surveillance
  • draft-iab-protocol-transitions-01
    Out With the Old and In With the New: Planning for Protocol Transitions
  • draft-iab-rfc3677bis-00
    IETF ISOC Board of Trustee Appointment Procedures
  • draft-iab-web-pki-problems-01
    Problems with the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for the World Wide Web

Currently, there are also quite a few documents related to the planned RFC series format change:

  • draft-iab-html-rfc-02
    HyperText Markup Language Request For Comments Format
  • draft-iab-rfc-css-00
    CSS Requirements for RFCs
  • draft-iab-rfc-framework-04
    RFC Format Framework
  • draft-iab-rfc-nonascii-01
    The Use of Non-ASCII Characters in RFCs
  • draft-iab-rfc-plaintext-02
    Requirements for Plain-Text RFCs
  • draft-iab-rfc-use-of-pdf-01
    PDF for an RFC Series Output Document Format
  • draft-iab-rfc5741bis-02
    On RFC Streams, Headers, and Boilerplates
  • draft-iab-rfcv3-preptool-01
    RFC v3 Prep Tool Description
  • draft-iab-svg-rfc-02
    SVG Drawings for RFCs: SVG 1.2 RFC
  • draft-iab-xml2rfc-03
    The “xml2rfc” version 3 Vocabulary

These have been out for public comment. As we said previously, the way these are getting handled is that they all note that they’re likely to change. We’ll publish them, then get some experience. Later, we might find that some of our choices turn out to be less than ideal, so we’ll have a chance to adjust the final implementation.


As noted above, the IAB held the IOTSI workshop in March. We’ve decided to continue using the mailing list for further follow-on discussion; you can join at

An issue came up with this workshop that has come up before and that we mentioned last time: workshop transparency and remote participation.

As part of the IAB’s job of architectural oversight, we try to convene workshops to inform observations. These are usually about gaps or issues we see, in an effort to draw attention to those things from the wider IETF community. Workshops of this sort work best when the group is somewhat small and informal, because that tends to encourage informal discussion and easy exploration of the issues.

But of course, the IAB is often not the only group that notices the issues or gaps, and others often want to participate. Some people can’t make the trip to a workshop; others just want to follow along. Yet the necessary style to support remote participation is probably more formal and presentation-oriented than may always be good.

The IAB’s current policies about this are reflected in a note we posted at
The short version is that we are not going to commit to remote participation generally, but it will be something we ask workshop organizers to consider in designing workshops. Please have a look at the full posting for all the considerations on this topic.


The IAB organizes its work, for the most part, into programs. There are basically two classes: management programs and architectural programs. The former are how we handle the oversight of various things, and the latter are where we do architectural work. The former are expected to last as long as the IAB continues to have that oversight function; the latter last until the IAB has come to a conclusion on the relevant group of topics, and we expect them to wind down afterwards.

Since IETF 94, we have taken to reviewing the programs as part of our regular teleconferences. The goal is to perform one review of every program between every IETF meeting, though that won’t always be possible. We’d noticed that program reviews were too infrequent (historically, just once a year, at the IAB retreat). More regular review allows us to adjust program priorities and membership more often, and we hope that it will ensure that programs remain vital (or else close down). Minutes of the reviews appear in the regular IAB meeting minutes, which you can find at Every program has an associated discussion list where topics relevant to the program can be discussed by anyone who wants to join. You can find the lists at

Management programs:
IANA Evolution
IETF Protocol Registries Oversight Committee (IPROC, with IAOC)

These programs have been attending to the anticipated change to the IANA’s relationship to the US Government. The former of these is responsible to keep track of the IETF’s use of IANA, and the latter ensures that the IANA Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN is administered effectively. Participants in this area have been, perhaps unfortunately, extremely busy as a result of the IANA changes. IPROC was reviewed on 2016-01-27 and IANA oversight was reviewed on 2016-02-10.

Liaison Oversight

Reviewed on 2016-03-23.

RFC Editor (includes RSOC)

This program has of course been at the centre of the RFC series format changes; it was reviewed 2016-02-24.

Architectural issues:
Emergency Services

Reviewed 2016-02-03, closed as of 2016-04-03


This program is up for review soon. At a previous technical plenary we had some discussion of the state of affairs with internationalization, and there is still reason to be concerned that this topic is in serious trouble around the IETF.

IP Stack Evolution

Reviewed 2016-03-02

Names and Identifiers

The Names and Identifiers program has not been reviewed yet (it is up next), but it has been generating quite a bit of discussion on The arcing BoF at IETF 95 was inspired in part by some of those discussions.

Privacy and Security

Reviewed 2016-01-13.


The IAB appoints the IRTF Chair. Lars Eggert, the current IRTF Chair, has announced that he will not seek re-appointment, having served since March of 2011. The IAB is starting its search for a new Chair. We are grateful for Lars’s tremendous service in this role, and we’ll have our work cut out for us. We will be making announcements soon about our search, so look for those. In the meantime, if you are interested or know someone who you think might be a good candidate, have a look at RFC 7827 to see what the job entails.

Respectfully submitted,
Andrew Sullivan
For the IAB

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