Sunday, October 5, 2014

Internet Management


Internet Management
Who manages the Internet? It is often said that there is no central control, administration, or management of the Internet. While this is generally true, there are several well-known organizations that work together in a relatively well structured and roughly democratic environment to collectively participate in the research, development, and management of the Internet, shown with inter-relationships in the chart below.
Internet Management and Technical Organizations
These Internet management organizations are described in the following sections, where the ASO, CCNSO, and GNSO are part of the ICANN:
Other organizations and procedures that play a role in the management of the Internet are listed below:


The Internet Society (ISOC) is the international, umbrella Internetorganization, founded in 1992. It is a non-governmental organization, made up of more than 100 organizations and thousands of individuals, with an international mission to foster global cooperation and coordination on Internet technologies, and serve as a global clearinghouse for Internet related information.
The ISOC was also created in part to provide a legal umbrella for theIAB and the IETF, which had been operating almost entirely as self-perpetuating bodies with no legal standing, in order to provide liability insurance to protect members from suits by vendors.
The ISOC oversees the other Internet management organizations described in the following pages, and in some cases provides financial and other support. It also holds an annual International Networking (INET) conference, and coordinates Internet related public policy and trade activities, regional and local chapters, standardization activities, and an international secretariat.
One of the most important legal activities of the ISOC is a defense of the free use of the word "Internet", ensuring that it remains a generic term that is not trademarked or owned by any Individual or corporation.
The ISOC has an international network of chapters in various countries, and is open to membership from any interested individual. Members receive a bimonthly magazine called "OnTheInternet", a monthly newsletter called "ISOC Forum", and discounts on various products and services.
The ISOC supports a number of education programs, for example ThinkQuest, an international contest that provides scholarships for high school students who develop educational tools for the Web, run in conjunction with other organizations. It was awarded the rights to management of the .org domain in October, 2002.
The IAB evolved from the Internet Configuration Control Board (ICCB) originally established in 1979 by the ARPANET Program Manager Vinton Cerf, and oversees development of the Internettechnology standards. In 1983, the ICCB was reorganized around a series of technical task forces by Cerf's successor, Dr. Barry Leiner, and named the Internet Activities Board (IAB).
The IAB was supported throughout the 1980's by the Federal Research Internet Coordinating Committee (FRICC), an informal group of US Government managers supporting inter-networking that was absorbed into the Federal Networking Council in 1990.
In June, 1992, the Internet Activities Board was renamed theInternet Architecture Board by the Internet Society at the INET92 conference in Kobe, Japan. The roles and responsibilities of the IAB are described in RFC 2850, and summarized below:
  • Oversight. Provide oversight of the Internet architecture, protocols, procedures, and standards.
  • RFC management. Provide editorial management and publication of the Request For Comments documents.
  • IETF oversight. Responsible for the IETF's relationships with other standards bodies and related organizations.
The IAB is composed of 13 members, made up of 12 members nominated by the IETF and approved by the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society, plus the IETF chair who may vote on all official actions except approval of Internet Engineering Steering Group members and IESG appeals. Each member serves for two years, and may serve more than one term. Interestingly, members of the IAB must serve as individuals, and not as representatives of a company, agency, or other organization. The process is further described in IAB and IESG Selection, Confirmation, and Recall Process: Operation of the Nominating and Recall CommitteesRFC 3777.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) was created in 1986 by the Internet Architecture Board. It consists of Internetadministrators, designers, vendors, researchers, and individuals interested in the evolution of the Internet architecture, and is responsible for improvement of the Internet technology protocols and standards.
The culture of the IETF has always been open and informal, an influence taken from its predecessor, the Network Working Group. For example, their voting members are selected according to a random process to guarentee unbaised selections, as described inPublicly Verifiable Nominations Committee (NomCom) Random Selection, RFC 3797.
The first IETF meeting was held in January, 1986 in San Diego, and had 15 attendees. The seventh meeting was hosted by the MITRE corporation in McLean, Virginia, in July, 1987, and had more than 100 attendees. The fourteenth meeting was hosted by Stanford University in July, 1989, and led the Internet Architecture Board to consolidate many task forces into the IETF and the IRTF. The first IETF meeting held in Europe was in Amsterdam in July, 1993.
The IETF studies operational and technical problems with the Internet, specifies protocols and architectural solutions, and makes recommendations to its steering committee, the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Most of the work done by the IETF is performed by several working groups, each interested in a particular Internet topic and led by a working group chair. Working groups often document their work in one or more Request For Comments, which sometimes go on to become standards that help define how the Internet works.
The IETF also facilitates technology transfer from the Internet Research Task Force, and provides a forum for the exchange of information between Internet vendors, users, researchers, contractors, and managers.
With the continued increase in the scale and technical complexity of the Internet, the IETF went through some growing pains adjusting to the similar increase in their own responsibilities and challenges. In conformance with their open culture, their members conducted a searching self-examination in 2002 and 2003 as documented in The IETF in the Large: Administration and Execution, RFC 3716, and IETF Problem Statement, RFC 3774. Recommendations of a working group to address the issues were described in IETF Problem Resolution Process, RFC 3844.
The mission of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) is to conduct research into the long term future of the Internet. The IRTF is guided by the Internet Research Steering Group, and is composed of a number of small research groups that work on the development of the Internet protocols, applications, architecture, and technology. Befitting its long term focus, it is composed of members that serve for extended periods, but as individuals, and not as representatives of organizations.
The role of the IRTF is not to set Internet standards, but to take the long view of the future of the Internet, to research this future within its various research groups, and document the results in journals, white papers, and at conferences. Any technologies created as a result are brought to the Internet Engineering Task Force working groups.
The chair of the IRTF is appointed by the Internet Architecture Board. The Internet Research Steering Group is composed of the chairs of the IRTF research groups.
The Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG) manages the IRTF research groups, and holds workshops focused on various Internet research areas.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages the domain name system and allocation of IP addresses.
Up until 1998, the technical infrastructure of the Internet had been run by US Government agencies, such as DARPA and the National Science Foundation. However, as the Internet began to grow into a world wide resource, the US Government began to look for a way to transfer these administration functions to the private sector. To achieve this goal, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers on November 25, 1998.
ICANN describes their goal as being to "preserve the central coordinating functions of the global Internet for the public good." The ICANN has responsibility for the assignment of Internet protocol parameters, oversight of the domain name system, allocation of IP addresses, and management of the root server system.
ICANN is comprised of three Supporting Organizations (SO's):
  • The Address Supporting Organization (ASO) manages the IP address space and its allocation to various organizations. The ASO is supported by three existing Regional Internet Registries, APNICARIN, and RIPE NCC.
  • The Country Code Names Supporting Organization (CCNSO) is a policy development body responsible for developing consensus positions and recommending global policies relating to country-code top-level domain names.
  • The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GSO) advises the ICANN Board with respect to policy issues relating to the Domain Name System.
Each of these support organizations has the responsibility to name three Directors to the ICANN Board.
The following committees also support ICANN:
  • The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) provides advice to ICANN from governments on issues of public policy, such as where there may be interaction between ICANN's policies and national laws or international agreements.
  • The ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) is responsible for providing advice to ICANN on issues that affect the interests of individual Internet users -- the "At-Large" community.
The IANA also supports the ICANN in managing the assignment of Internet protocol parameters required to enable the Internet to operate in practice, and is supported by various organizations including the Internet Engineering Task ForceWorld Wide Web ConsortiumInternational Telecommunications Union, and European Telecommunications Standards Institute.
The ICANN information page page provides more information on the structure and responsibilities of the organization. The ICANNWatchorganization is an independent organization monitoring ICANN activities.

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