Internet Draft                           Internet Architecture Board and
Expires: December 1993               Internet Engineering Steering Group
                                                               June 1993

              The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 2


Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft.  Internet-Drafts are working
   documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its Areas,
   and its Working Groups.  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six
   months.  Internet-Drafts may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by
   other documents at any time.  It is not appropriate to use Internet-
   Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as a
   ``working draft'' or ``work in progress.''


   This document is a draft of the first revision of RFC-1310, which
   defines the official procedures for creating and documenting Internet
   Standards.  This draft revision is being distributed to the Internet
   community for comments and suggestions.

   This revision includes the following major changes:

   (a)  The new management structure arising from the POISED Working
        Group is reflected.  These changes were agreed to by the IETF
        plenary and by the IAB and IESG in November 1992 and accepted by
        the ISOC Board of Trustees at their December 1992 meeting.

   (b)  Prototype status is added to the non-standards track maturity
        levels (Section 2.4.1).

   (c)  The Intellectual Property Rights section is completely revised,
        in accordance with legal advice.  Section 5 of this document
        replaces Sections 5 and 6 of RFC-1310.  Note however, that the
        new Section 5 is still incomplete and that it is awaiting review
        by legal counsel.

   (d)  An appeals procedure is added (Section 3.6).

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                 [Page 1]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

   Finally, the document was reorganized into a more logical and
   coherent structure.


   1.  INTRODUCTION .................................................  2
      1.1  Internet Standards. ......................................  2
      1.2  Organizations ............................................  5
      1.3  Standards-Related Publications ...........................  6
      1.4  Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) ................  8
   2.  NOMENCLATURE .................................................  9
      2.1  The Internet Standards Track .............................  9
      2.2  Types of Specifications ..................................  9
      2.3  Standards Track Maturity Levels .......................... 11
      2.4  Non-Standards Track Maturity Levels ...................... 12
      2.5  Requirement Levels ....................................... 14
   3.  THE INTERNET STANDARDS PROCESS ............................... 15
      3.1  Review and Approval ...................................... 15
      3.3  Advancing in the Standards Track ......................... 17
      3.4  Revising a Standard ...................................... 18
      3.5  Retiring a Standard ...................................... 19
      3.6  Conflict Resolution and Appeals .......................... 19
   4.  EXTERNAL STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS ........................ 20
   5.  INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS ................................. 22
      5.1  Trade Secret Rights ...................................... 23
      5.2  Patent Rights ............................................ 23
      5.3  Copyright ................................................ 24
      5.4  Notices And Agreements ................................... 25
   6.  REFERENCES ................................................... 25
   APPENDIX A: GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS ................................. 26
   APPENDIX B: CONTACT POINTS ....................................... 26
   APPENDIX C: FUTURE ISSUES ........................................ 27


   This memo documents the process currently used by the Internet
   community for the standardization of protocols and procedures.

   1.1  Internet Standards.

      The Internet, a loosely-organized international collaboration of
      autonomous, interconnected networks, supports host-to-host
      communication through voluntary adherence to open protocols and
      procedures defined by Internet Standards.  There are also many
      isolated internets, i.e., sets of interconnected networks, which
      are not connected to the Internet but use the Internet Standards.

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                 [Page 2]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      Internet Standards were once limited to those protocols composing
      what has been commonly known as the "TCP/IP protocol suite".
      However, the Internet has been evolving towards the support of
      multiple protocol suites, especially the Open Systems
      Interconnection (OSI) suite.  The Internet Standards process
      described in this document is concerned with all protocols,
      procedures, and conventions that are used in or by the Internet,
      whether or not they are part of the TCP/IP protocol suite.  In the
      case of protocols developed and/or standardized by non-Internet
      organizations, however, the Internet Standards process may apply
      only to the application of the protocol or procedure in the
      Internet context, not to the specification of the protocol itself.

      In general, an Internet Standard is a specification that is stable
      and well-understood, is technically competent, has multiple,
      independent, and interoperable implementations with substantial
      operational experience, enjoys significant public support, and is
      recognizably useful in some or all parts of the Internet.

      The procedures described in this document are designed to be fair,
      open and objective; to be retrospective; and to be flexible.

      o    These procedures are intended to provide a fair, open, and
           objective basis for developing, evaluating, and adopting
           Internet Standards.  They provide ample opportunity for
           participation and comment by all interested parties.  At each
           stage of the standardization process, a specification is
           repeatedly discussed and its merits debated in open meetings
           and/or public electronic mailing lists, and it is made
           available for review via world-wide on-line directories.

      o    These procedures are explicitly aimed at recognizing and
           adopting generally-accepted practices.  Thus, a candidate
           specification is implemented and tested for correct operation
           and interoperability by multiple independent parties and
           utilized in increasingly demanding environments, before it
           can be adopted as an Internet Standard.

      o    These procedures provide a great deal of flexibility to adapt
           to the wide variety of circumstances that occur in the
           standardization process.  Experience has shown this
           flexibility to be vital in achieving the goals listed above.

      The goal of technical competence, the requirement for prior
      implementation and testing, and the need to allow all interested
      parties to comment, all require significant time and effort.  On
      the other hand, today's rapid development of networking technology
      places an urgency on timely development of standards.  The

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                 [Page 3]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      Internet standardization rules described here are intended to
      balance these conflicting goals.  The process is believed to be as
      short and simple as possible without undue sacrifice of technical
      competence, prior testing, or openness and fairness.

      In summary, the goals for the Internet standards process are:

      *    technical excellence;

      *    prior implementation and testing;

      *    clear, short, and easily understandable documentation;

      *    openness and fairness; and

      *    timeliness.

      In outline, the process of creating an Internet Standard is
      straightforward: a specification undergoes a period of development
      and several iterations of review by the Internet community and
      revision based upon experience, is adopted as a Standard by the
      appropriate body (see below), and is published.  In practice, the
      process is more complicated, due to (1) the difficulty of creating
      specifications of high technical quality; (2) the need to consider
      the interests of all of the affected parties; (3) the importance
      of establishing widespread community consensus; and (4) the
      difficulty of evaluating the utility of a particular specification
      for the Internet community.

      From its inception, the Internet has been, and is expected to
      remain, an evolving system whose participants regularly factor new
      requirements and technology into its design and implementation.
      Users of the Internet and providers of the equipment, software,
      and services that support it should anticipate and embrace this
      evolution as a major tenet of Internet philosophy.

      The procedures described in this document are the result of three
      years of evolution, driven both by the needs of the growing and
      increasingly diverse Internet community, and by experience.
      Comments and suggestions are invited for improving these

      The remainder of this section describes the organizations and
      publications involved in Internet standardization.  Section 2
      presents the nomenclature for different kinds and levels of
      Internet standard technical specifications and their
      applicability.  Section 3 describes the process and rules for
      Internet standardization.  Section 4 defines how relevant

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                 [Page 4]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      externally-sponsored specifications and practices, developed and
      controlled by other standards bodies or by vendors, are handled in
      the Internet standardization process.  Section 5 presents the
      rules that are required to protect intellectual property rights
      and to assure unrestricted ability for all interested parties to
      practice Internet Standards.

   1.2  Organizations

      The following organizations are involved in setting Internet

      *    ISOC

           Internet standardization is an organized activity of the
           Internet Society (ISOC).  The ISOC is a professional society
           that is concerned with the growth and evolution of the
           worldwide Internet, with the way in which the Internet is and
           can be used, and with the social, political, and technical
           issues that arise as a result.

      *    IETF

           The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is the primary
           body developing new Internet Standard specifications.  The
           IETF is composed of many Working Groups, which are organized
           into areas, each of which is coordinated by one or more Area

      *    IESG

           The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) is responsible
           for technical management of IETF activities and the approval
           of Internet standards specifications, using the rules given
           in later sections of this document.  The IESG is composed of
           the IETF Area Directors, some at-large members, and the
           chairperson of the IESG/IETF.

      *    IAB

           The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) has been chartered by
           the Internet Society Board of Trustees to provide quality
           control and process appeals for the standards process, as
           well as external technical liaison, organizational oversight,
           and long-term architectural planning and research.

      Any member of the Internet community with the time and interest is
      urged to participate actively in one or more IETF Working Groups

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                 [Page 5]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      and to attend IETF meetings.  In many cases, active Working Group
      participation is possible through email alone; furthermore,
      Internet video conferencing is being used experimentally to allow
      remote participation.  Participation is by individual technical
      contributors rather than formal representatives of organizations.
      The process works because the IETF Working Groups display a spirit
      of cooperation as well as a high degree of technical maturity;
      IETF participants recognize that the greatest benefit for all
      members of the Internet community results from cooperative
      development of technically superior protocols and services.

      Members of the IESG and IAB are nominated for two-year terms by a
      committee that is drawn from the roll of recent participation in
      the IETF and chartered by the ISOC Board of Trustees.  The
      appointment of IESG and of IAB members are made from these
      nominations by the IAB and by the ISOC Board of Trustees,

      The Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) is not directly part of
      the standards process.  It investigates topics considered to be
      too uncertain, too advanced, or insufficiently well-understood to
      be the subject of Internet standardization.  When an IRTF activity
      generates a specification that is sufficiently stable to be
      considered for Internet standardization, the specification is
      processed through the IETF using the rules in this document.

   1.3  Standards-Related Publications

      1.3.1  Requests for Comments (RFCs)

         Each distinct version of a specification is published as part
         of the "Request for Comments" (RFC) document series.  This
         archival series is the official publication channel for
         Internet standards documents and other publications of the
         IESG, IAB, and Internet community.  RFCs are available for
         anonymous FTP from a nunber of Internet hosts.

         The RFC series of documents on networking began in 1969 as part
         of the original ARPA wide-area networking (ARPANET) project
         (see Appendix A for glossary of acronyms).  RFCs cover a wide
         range of topics, from early discussion of new research concepts
         to status memos about the Internet.  RFC publication is the
         direct responsibility of the RFC Editor, under the general
         direction of the IAB.

         The rules for formatting and submitting an RFC are defined in
         reference [5].  Every RFC is available in ASCII text, but some
         RFCs are also available in PostScript*.  The PostScript version
*PostScript is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems,

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                 [Page 6]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

         of an RFC may contain material (such as diagrams and figures)
         that is not present in the ASCII version, and it may be
         formatted differently.

         *  A stricter requirement applies to standards-track    *
         *  specifications: the ASCII text version is the        *
         *  definitive reference, and therefore it must be a     *
         *  complete and accurate specification of the standard, *
         *  including all necessary diagrams and illustrations.  *
         *                                                       *

         The status of Internet protocol and service specifications is
         summarized periodically in an RFC entitled "Official Protocol
         Standards" [1].  This RFC shows the level of maturity and other
         helpful information for each Internet protocol or service
         specification.  See Section 3.1.3 below.

         Some RFCs document Internet standards.  These RFCs form the
         'STD' subseries of the RFC series [4].  When a specification
         has been adopted as an Internet Standard, it is given the
         additional label "STDxxxx", but it keeps its RFC number and its
         place in the RFC series.

         Not all specifications of protocols or services for the
         Internet should or will become Internet Standards.  Such non-
         standards track specifications are not subject to the rules for
         Internet standardization.  Generally, they will be published
         directly as RFCs at the discretion of the RFC editor and the
         IESG.  These RFCs will be marked "Prototype", "Experimental" or
         "Informational" as appropriate (see section 2.3).

         *   It is important to remember that not all RFCs      *
         *   are standards track documents, and that not all    *
         *   standards track documents reach the level of       *
         *   Internet Standard.                                 *

      1.3.2  Internet Drafts

         During the development of a specification, draft versions of
         the document are made available for informal review and comment
         by placing them in the IETF's "Internet Drafts" directory,

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                 [Page 7]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

         which is replicated on a number of Internet hosts.  This makes
         an evolving working document readily available to a wide
         audience, facilitating the process of review and revision.

         An Internet Draft that is published as an RFC, or that has
         remained unchanged in the Internet Drafts directory for more
         than six months without being recommended by the IESG for
         publication as an RFC, is simply removed from the Internet
         Draft directory.  At any time, an Internet Draft may be
         replaced by a more recent version of the same specification,
         restarting the six-month timeout period.

         An Internet Draft is NOT a means of "publishing" a
         specification; specifications are published through the RFC
         mechanism described in the previous section.  Internet Drafts
         have no formal status, are not part of the permanent archival
         record of Internet activity, and are subject to change or
         removal at any time.

         *   Under no circumstances should an Internet Draft    *
         *   be referenced by any paper, report, or Request-for-*
         *   Proposal, nor should a vendor claim compliance     *
         *   with an Internet-Draft.                            *

         Note: It is acceptable to reference a standards-track
         specification that may be reasonably be expected to be
         published as an RFC using the phrase "RFC in preparation",
         without referencing an Internet Draft.

   1.4  Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA)

      Many protocol specifications include numbers, keywords, and other
      parameters that must be uniquely assigned.  Examples include
      version numbers, protocol numbers, port numbers, and MIB numbers.
      The IAB has delegated to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
      (IANA) the task of assigning such protocol parameters for the
      Internet.  The IANA publishes tables of all currently assigned
      numbers and parameters in RFCs titled "Assigned Numbers" [3].

      Each category of assigned numbers typically arises from some
      protocol that is on the standards track or is an Internet
      Standard.  For example, TCP port numbers are assigned because TCP
      is a Standard.  A particular value within a category may be
      assigned in a variety of circumstances; the specification
      requiring the parameter may be in the standards track, it may be
      Experimental, or it may be private.  Note that assignment of a

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                 [Page 8]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      number to a protocol is independent of, and does not imply,
      acceptance of that protocol as a standard.

      Chaos could result from accidental conflicts of parameter values,
      so we urge that every protocol parameter, for either public or
      private usage, be explicitly assigned by the IANA.  Private
      protocols often become public.  Programmers are often tempted to
      choose a "random" value or to guess the next unassigned value of a
      parameter; both are hazardous.

      The IANA is expected to avoid frivolous assignments and to
      distinguish different assignments uniquely.  The IANA accomplishes
      both goals by requiring a technical description of each protocol
      or service to which a value is to be assigned.  Judgment on the
      adequacy of the description resides with the IANA.  In the case of
      a standards track or Experimental protocol, the corresponding
      technical specifications provide the required documentation for
      IANA.  For a proprietary protocol, the IANA will keep confidential
      any writeup that is supplied, but at least a short (2 page)
      writeup is still required for an assignment.


   2.1  The Internet Standards Track

      Specifications that are destined to become Internet Standards
      evolve through a set of maturity levels known as the "standards
      track".  These maturity levels -- "Proposed Standard", "Draft
      Standard", and "Standard" -- are defined and discussed below in
      Section 3.2.

      Even after a specification has been adopted as an Internet
      Standard, further evolution often occurs based on experience and
      the recognition of new requirements.  The nomenclature and
      procedures of Internet standardization provide for the replacement
      of old Internet Standards with new ones, and the assignment of
      descriptive labels to indicate the status of "retired" Internet
      Standards.  A set of maturity levels is defined in Section 3.3 to
      cover these and other "off-track" specifications.

   2.2  Types of Specifications

      Specifications subject to the Internet standardization process
      fall into two categories:  Technical Specifications (TS) and
      Applicability Statements (AS).

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                 [Page 9]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      2.2.1  Technical Specification (TS)

         A Technical Specification is any description of a protocol,
         service, procedure, convention, or format.  It may completely
         describe all of the relevant aspects of its subject, or it may
         leave one or more parameters or options unspecified.  A TS may
         be completely self-contained, or it may incorporate material
         from other specifications by reference to other documents
         (which may or may not be Internet Standards).

         A TS shall include a statement of its scope and the general
         intent for its use (domain of applicability).  Thus, a TS that
         is inherently specific to a particular context shall contain a
         statement to that effect.  However, a TS does not specify
         requirements for its use within the Internet; these
         requirements, which depend on the particular context in which
         the TS is incorporated by different system configurations, is
         defined by an Applicability Statement.

      2.2.2  Applicability Statement (AS)

         An Applicability Statement specifies how, and under what
         circumstances, one or more TSs are to be applied to support a
         particular Internet capability. An AS may specify uses for TSs
         that are not Internet Standards, as discussed in Section 4.

         An AS identifies the relevant TSs and the specific way in which
         they are to be combined, and may also specify particular values
         or ranges of TS parameters or subfunctions of a TS protocol
         that must be implemented.  An AS also specifies the
         circumstances in which the use of a particular TS is required,
         recommended, or elective.

         An AS may describe particular methods of using a TS in a
         restricted "domain of applicability", such as Internet routers,
         terminal servers, Internet systems that interface to Ethernets,
         or datagram-based database servers.

         The broadest type of AS is a comprehensive conformance
         specification, commonly called a "requirements document", for a
         particular class of Internet systems, such as Internet routers
         or Internet hosts.

         An AS may not have a higher maturity level in the standards
         track than any standards-track TS to which the AS applies.  For
         example, a TS at Draft Standard level may be referenced by an
         AS at the Proposed Standard or Draft Standard level, but not by
         an AS at the Standard level.  Like a TS, an AS does not come

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 10]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

         into effect until it reaches Standard level.

      Although TSs and ASs are conceptually separate, in practice a
      standards- track document may combine an AS and one or more
      related TSs.  For example, Technical Specifications that are
      developed specifically and exclusively for some particular domain
      of applicability, e.g., for mail server hosts, often contain
      within a single specification all of the relevant AS and TS
      information.  In such cases, no useful purpose would be served by
      deliberately distributing the information among several documents
      just to preserve the formal AS/TS distinction.  However, a TS that
      is likely to apply to more than one domain of applicability should
      be developed in a modular fashion, to facilitate its incorporation
      by multiple ASs.

   2.3  Standards Track Maturity Levels

      ASs and TSs go through stages of development, testing, and
      acceptance.  Within the Internet standards process, these stages
      are formally labeled "maturity levels".

      This section describes the maturity levels and the expected
      characteristics of specifications at each level.  The general
      procedures for developing a specification and processing it
      through the maturity levels along the standards track were
      discussed in Section 2 above.

      2.3.1  Proposed Standard

         The entry-level maturity for the standards track is "Proposed
         Standard".  A Proposed Standard specification is generally
         stable, has resolved known design choices, is believed to be
         well-understood, has received significant community review, and
         appears to enjoy enough community interest to be considered
         valuable.  However, further experience might result in a change
         or even retraction of the specification before it advances.

         Usually, neither implementation nor operational experience is
         required for the designation of a specification as a Proposed
         Standard.  However, such experience is highly desirable, and
         will usually represent a strong argument in favor of a Proposed
         Standard designation.

         The IESG may require implementation and/or operational
         experience prior to granting Proposed Standard status to a
         specification that materially affects the core Internet
         protocols or that specifies behavior that may have significant

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 11]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

         operational impact on the Internet.  Typically, such a
         specification will be published initially with Experimental or
         Prototype status (see below), and moved to the standards track
         only after sufficient implementation or operational experience
         has been obtained.

         A Proposed Standard should have no known technical omissions
         with respect to the requirements placed upon it.  However, the
         IESG may recommend that this requirement be explicitly reduced
         in order to allow a protocol to advance into the Proposed
         Standard state, when a specification is considered to be useful
         and necessary (and timely), even absent the missing features.
         For example, some protocols have been advanced by explicitly
         deciding to omit security features, since an overall security
         architecture was still under development.

      2.3.2  Draft Standard

         A specification from which at least two independent and
         interoperable implementations have been developed, and for
         which sufficient successful operational experience has been
         obtained, may be elevated to the "Draft Standard" level.  This
         is a major advance in status, indicating a strong belief that
         the specification is mature and will be useful.

         A Draft Standard must be well-understood and known to be quite
         stable, both in its semantics and as a basis for developing an
         implementation.  A Draft Standard may still require additional
         or more widespread field experience, since it is possible for
         implementations based on Draft Standard specifications to
         demonstrate unforeseen behavior when subjected to large-scale
         use in production environments.

      2.3.3  Internet Standard

         A specification for which significant implementation and
         successful operational experience has been obtained may be
         elevated to the Internet Standard level.  An Internet Standard
         (which may simply be referred to as a Standard) is
         characterized by a high degree of technical maturity and by a
         generally held belief that the specified protocol or service
         provides significant benefit to the Internet community.

   2.4  Non-Standards Track Maturity Levels

      Not every TS or AS is on the standards track.  A TS may not be
      intended to be an Internet Standard, or it may be intended for
      eventual standardization but not yet ready to enter the standards

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 12]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      track.  A TS or AS may have been superseded by more recent
      Internet Standards, or have otherwise fallen into disuse or

      Specifications not on the standards track are labeled with one of
      four off-track maturity levels: "Prototype, "Experimental",
      "Informational", and "Historic".  There are no time limits
      associated with these non-standard track labels, and the documents
      bearing these labels are not Internet standards in any sense.

      2.4.1  Prototype

         The "Prototype" designation on a TS indicates a specification
         for which the eventual destination may be the standards track,
         but which is not at present sufficiently mature to enter the
         standards track.  For example, a Prototype TS may result in
         behavior that is not completely understood, or it may have
         known technical omissions or architectural defects.  It may
         undergo significant changes before entering the standards
         track, or it may be discarded in favor of another proposal.
         One use of the Prototype designation is the dissemination of a
         specification as it undergoes development and testing.

         A Prototype specification will generally be the output of an
         organized Internet engineering effort, for example a Working
         Group of the IETF.  An IETF Working Group should submit a
         document that is intended for Prototype status to the IESG.
         The IESG will forward it to the RFC Editor for publication,
         after verifying that there has been adequate coordination with
         the standards process.

      2.4.2  Experimental

         The "Experimental" designation on a TS typically indicates a
         specification that is part of some research or development
         effort.  Such a specification is published for the general
         information of the Internet technical community and as an
         archival record of the work.  An Experimental specification may
         be the output of an organized Internet research effort (e.g., a
         Research Group of the IRTF), or it may be an individual

         Documents intended for Experimental status should be submitted
         directly to the RFC Editor for publication.  The procedure is
         intended to expedite the publication of any responsible
         Experimental specification, subject only to editorial
         considerations, and to verification that there has been
         adequate coordination with the standards process.

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 13]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      2.4.3  Informational

         An "Informational" specification is published for the general
         information of the Internet community, and does not represent
         an Internet community consensus or recommendation. The
         procedure is intended to expedite the publication of any
         responsible informational document, subject only to editorial
         considerations and to verification that there has been adequate
         coordination with the standards process.

         Specifications that have been prepared outside of the Internet
         community and are not incorporated into the Internet standards
         process by any of the provisions of Section 4 may be published
         as Informational RFCs, with the permission of the owner.

      2.4.4  Historic

         A TS or AS that has been superseded by a more recent
         specification or is for any other reason considered to be
         obsolete is assigned to the "Historic" level.  (Purists have
         suggested that the word should be "Historical"; however, at
         this point the use of "Historic" is historical.)

   2.5  Requirement Levels

      An AS may apply one of the following "requirement levels" to each
      of the TSs to which it refers:

      (a)  Required:  Implementation of the referenced TS, as specified
           by the AS, is required to achieve minimal conformance.  For
           example, IP and ICMP must be implemented by all Internet
           systems using the TCP/IP Protocol Suite.

      (b)  Recommended:  Implementation of the referenced TS is not
           required for minimal conformance, but experience and/or
           generally accepted technical wisdom suggest its desirability
           in the domain of applicability of the AS.  Vendors are
           strongly encouraged to include the functions, features, and
           protocols of Recommended TSs in their products, and should
           omit them only if the omission is justified by some special

      (c)  Elective:  Implementation of the referenced TS is optional
           within the domain of applicability of the AS; that is, the AS
           creates no explicit necessity to apply the TS.  However, a
           particular vendor may decide to implement it, or a particular
           user may decide that it is a necessity in a specific

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 14]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      As noted in Section 2.4, there are TSs that are not in the
      standards track or that have been retired from the standards
      track, and are therefore not required, recommended, or elective.
      Two additional "requirement level" designations are available for
      such TSs:

      (d)  Limited Use:  The TS is considered appropriate for use only
           in limited or unique circumstances.  For example, the usage
           of a protocol with the "Experimental" designation should
           generally be limited to those actively involved with the

      (e)  Not Recommended:  A TS that is considered to be inappropriate
           for general use is labeled "Not Recommended".  This may be
           because of its limited functionality, specialized nature, or
           historic status.

      The "Official Protocol Standards" RFC lists a general requirement
      level for each TS, using the nomenclature defined in this section.
      In many cases, more detailed descriptions of the requirement
      levels of particular protocols and of individual features of the
      protocols will be found in appropriate ASs.


   3.1  Review and Approval

      A "standards action" -- entering a particular specification into,
      advancing it within, or removing it from, the standards track --
      must be approved by the IESG.

      3.1.1  Initiation of Action

         Typically, a standards action is initiated by a recommendation
         to the appropriate IETF Area Director by the individual or
         group that is responsible for the specification, usually an
         IETF Working Group.

         After completion to the satisfaction of its author and the
         cognizant Working Group, a document that is expected to enter
         or advance in the Internet standardization process shall be
         made available as an Internet Draft.  It shall remain as an
         Internet Draft for a period of time that permits useful
         community review, at least two weeks, before submission to the
         IESG with a recommendation for action.

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 15]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      3.1.2  IESG Review and Approval

         The IESG shall determine whether a specification satisfies the
         applicable criteria for the recommended action (see Sections
         3.2 and 3.3 of this document).

         The IESG shall determine if an independent technical review of
         the specification is required, and shall commission one when
         necessary.  This may require creating a new Working Group, or
         an existing group may agree to take responsibility for
         reviewing the specification.  When a specification is
         sufficiently important in terms of its potential impact on the
         Internet or on the suite of Internet protocols, the IESG shall
         form an independent technical review and analysis committee to
         prepare an evaluation of the specification.  Such a committee
         is commissioned to provide an objective basis for agreement
         within the Internet community that the specification is ready
         for advancement.

         The IESG shall communicate its findings to the IETF to permit a
         final review by the general Internet community.  This "last-
         call" notification shall be via electronic mail to the IETF
         mailing list.  In addition, for important specifications there
         shall be a presentation or statement by the appropriate Working
         Group or Area Director during an IETF plenary meeting.  Any
         significant issues that have not been resolved satisfactorily
         during the development of the specification may be raised at
         this time for final resolution by the IESG.

         In a timely fashion, but no sooner than two weeks after issuing
         the last-call notification to the IETF mailing list, the IESG
         shall make its final determination on whether or not to approve
         the standards action, and shall notify the IETF of its decision
         via email.

      3.1.3  Publication

         Following IESG approval and any necessary editorial work, the
         RFC Editor shall publish the specification as an RFC.  The
         specification shall then be removed from the Internet Drafts

         An official summary of standards actions completed and pending
         shall appear in each issue of the Internet Society Newsletter.
         This shall constitute the Journal of Record for Internet
         standards actions.  In addition, the IESG shall publish a
         monthly summary of standards actions completed and pending in
         the Internet Monthly Report, which is distributed to all

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 16]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

         members of the IETF mailing list.

         Finally, the IAB shall publish quarterly an "Official Protocol
         Standards" RFC, summarizing the status of all Internet protocol
         and service specifications, both within and outside the
         standards track.

   3.2  Entering the Standards Track

      A specification that is potentially an Internet Standard may
      originate from:

      (a)  an ISOC-sponsored effort (typically an IETF Working Group),

      (b)  independent activity by individuals, or

      (c)  an external organization.

      Here (a) represents the great majority of cases.  In cases (b) and
      (c), the work might be tightly integrated with the work of an
      existing IETF Working Group, or it might be offered for
      standardization without prior IETF involvement.  In most cases, a
      specification resulting from an effort that took place outside of
      an IETF Working Group will be submitted to an appropriate Working
      Group for evaluation and refinement.  If necessary, an appropriate
      Working Group will be created.

      For externally-developed specifications that are well-integrated
      with existing Working Group efforts, a Working Group is assumed to
      afford adequate community review of the accuracy and applicability
      of the specification.  If a Working Group is unable to resolve all
      technical and usage questions, additional independent review may
      be necessary.  Such reviews may be done within a Working Group
      context, or by an ad hoc review committee established specifically
      for that purpose.  It is the responsibility of the appropriate
      IETF Area Director to determine what, if any, review of an
      external specification is needed and how it shall be conducted.

   3.3  Advancing in the Standards Track

      A specification shall remain at the Proposed Standard level for at
      least six (6) months.

      A specification shall remain at the Draft Standard level for at
      least four (4) months, or until at least one IETF meeting has
      occurred, whichever comes later.

      These minimum periods are intended to ensure adequate opportunity

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 17]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      for community review without severely impacting timeliness.  These
      intervals shall be measured from the date of publication of the
      corresponding RFC(s), or, if the action does not result in RFC
      publication, the date of IESG approval of the action.

      When a standards-track specification has not reached the Internet
      Standard level but has remained at the same status level for
      twenty-four (24) months, and every twelve (12) months thereafter
      until the status is changed, the IESG shall review the viability
      of the standardization effort responsible for that specification.
      Following each such review, the IESG shall approve termination or
      continuation of the development. This decision shall be
      communicated to the IETF via electronic mail to the IETF mailing
      list, to allow the Internet community an opportunity to comment.
      This provision is not intended to threaten a legitimate and active
      Working Group effort, but rather to provide an administrative
      mechanism for terminating a moribund effort.

      A specification may be (indeed, is likely to be) revised as it
      advances through the standards track.  At each stage, the IESG
      shall determine the scope and significance of the revision to the
      specification, and, if necessary and appropriate, modify the
      recommended action.  Minor revisions are expected, but a
      significant revision may require that the specification accumulate
      more experience at its current maturity level before progressing.
      Finally, if the specification has been changed very significantly,
      the IESG may recommend that the revision be treated as a new
      document, re-entering the standards track at the beginning.

      Change of status shall result in republication of the
      specification as an RFC, except in the rare case that there have
      been no changes at all in the specification since the last
      publication.  Generally, desired changes will be "batched" for
      incorporation at the next level in the standards track.  However,
      deferral of changes to the next standards action on the
      specification will not always be possible or desirable; for
      example, an important typographical error, or a technical error
      that does not represent a change in overall function of the
      specification, may need to be corrected immediately.  In such
      cases, the IESG or RFC Editor may be asked to republish the RFC
      with corrections, and this will not reset the minimum time-at-
      level clock.

   3.4  Revising a Standard

      A new version of an established Internet Standard must progress
      through the full Internet standardization process as if it were a

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 18]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      completely new specification.  Once the new version has reached
      the Standard level, it will usually replace the previous version,
      which will move to Historic status.  However, in some cases both
      versions may remain as Internet Standards, to honor the
      requirements of an installed base.  In this situation, the
      relationship between the previous and the new versions must be
      explicitly stated in the text of the new version or in another
      appropriate document (e.g., an Applicability Statement; see
      Section 2.2.2).

   3.5  Retiring a Standard

      As the technology changes and matures, it is possible for a new
      Standard specification to be so clearly superior technically that
      one or more existing Internet Standards for the same function
      should be retired.  In this case, the IESG shall approve a change
      of status of the superseded specification(s) from Standard to
      Historic.  This recommendation shall be issued with the same
      Last-Call and notification procedures used for any other standards

   3.6  Conflict Resolution and Appeals

      IETF Working Groups are generally able to reach consensus, which
      sometimes requires difficult compromises between differing
      technical solutions.  However, there are times when even
      reasonable and knowledgeable people are unable to agree.  To
      achieve the goals of openness and fairness, such conflicts must be
      resolved with a process of open review and discussion.
      Participants in a Working Group may disagree with Working Group
      decisions, based either upon the belief that their own views are
      not being adequately considered or the belief that the Working
      Group made a technical choice which essentially will not work.
      The first issue is a difficulty with Working Group process, and
      the latter is an assertion of technical error.  These two kinds of
      disagreements may have different kinds of final outcome, but the
      resolution process is the same for both cases.

      Working Group participants always should first attempt to discuss
      their concerns with the Working Group chair.  If this proves
      unsatisfactory, they should raise their concerns with an IESG Area
      Director or other IESG member.  In most cases, issues raised to
      the level of the IESG will receive consideration by the entire
      IESG, with the relevant Area Director or the IETF Chair being
      tasked with communicating results of the discussion.

      For the general community as well as Working Group participants
      seeking a larger audience for their concerns, there are two

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 19]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

      opportunities for explicit comment.  (1) When appropriate, a
      specification that is being suggested for advancement along the
      standards track will be presented during an IETF plenary.  At that
      time, IETF participants may choose to raise issues with the
      plenary or to pursue their issues privately, with any of the
      relevant IETF/IESG management personnel.  (2) Specifications that
      are to be considered by the IESG are publicly announced to the
      IETF mailing list, with a request for comments.

      Finally, if a problem persists, the IAB may be asked to adjudicate
      the dispute.

      *    If a concern involves questions of adequate Working Group
           discussion, the IAB will attempt to determine the actual
           nature and extent of discussion that took place within the
           Working Group, based upon the Working Group's written record
           and upon comments of other Working Group participants.

      *    If a concern involves questions of technical adequacy, the
           IAB may convene an appropriate review panel, which may then
           recommend that the IESG and Working Group re-consider an
           alternate technical choice.

      *    If a concern involves a reasonable difference in technical
           approach, but does not substantiate a claim that the Working
           Group decision will fail to perform adequately, the Working
           Group participant may wish to pursue formation of a separate
           Working Group.  The IESG and IAB encourage alternative points
           of view and the development of technical options, allowing
           the general Internet community to show preference by making
           its own choices, rather than by having legislated decisions.


   Many standards groups other than the IETF create and publish
   standards documents for network protocols and services.  When these
   external specifications play an important role in the Internet, it is
   desirable to reach common agreements on their usage -- i.e., to
   establish Internet Standards relating to these external

   There are two categories of external specifications:

   (1)  Open Standards

        Accredited national and international standards bodies, such as
        ANSI, ISO, IEEE, and ITU-TS, develop a variety of protocol and

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 20]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

        service specifications that are similar to Technical
        Specifications defind here.  National and international groups
        also publish "implementors' agreements" that are analogous to
        Applicability Statements, capturing a body of implementation-
        specific detail concerned with the practical application of
        their standards.

   (2)  Vendor Specifications

        A vendor-proprietary specification that has come to be widely
        used in the Internet may be treated by the Internet community as
        if it were a "standard".  Such a specification is not generally
        developed in an open fashion, is typically proprietary, and is
        controlled by the vendor or vendors that produced it.

   To avoid conflict between competing versions of a specification, the
   Internet community will not standardize a TS or AS that is simply an
   "Internet version" of an existing external specification, unless an
   explicit cooperative arrangement to do so has been made.  However,
   there are several ways in which an external specification that is
   important for the operation and/or evolution of the Internet may be
   adopted for Internet use.

   (a)  Incorporation of an Open Standard

        An Internet Standard TS or AS may incorporate an open external
        standard by reference.  The reference must be to a specific
        version of the external standard, e.g., by publication date or
        by edition number, according to the prevailing convention of the
        organization that is responsible for the specification.

        For example, many Internet Standards incorporate by reference
        the ANSI standard character set "ASCII" [2].  Whenever possible,
        the referenced specification shall be made available online.

   (b)  Incorporation of a Vendor Specification

        Vendor-proprietary specifications may be incorporated by
        reference to a specific version of the vendor standard.  If the
        vendor-proprietary specification is not widely and readily
        available, the IESG may request that it be published as an
        Informational RFC.

        For a vendor-proprietary specification to be incorporated within
        the Internet standards process, the proprietor must meet the
        requirements of section 5 below, and in general the
        specification shall be made available online.

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 21]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

        The IESG shall not favor a particular vendor's proprietary
        specification over the technically equivalent and competing
        specifications of other vendors by making it "required" or

   (c)  Assumption

        An IETF Working Group may start from an external specification
        and develop it into an Internet TS or AS, if the specification
        is provided to the Working Group in compliance with the
        requirements of section 5 below, and if change control must have
        been conveyed to IETf by the original developer of the
        specification.  Continued participation in the IETF work by the
        original owner is likely to be valuable, and it is encouraged.

   The following sample text illustrates how a vendor might convey
   change control to the Internet Society, per (c):

        "XXXX Organization asserts that it has the right to transfer to
        the Internet Society responsibility for further evolution of the
        YYYY protocol documented in References (1-n) below. XXXX
        Organization hereby transfers to the Internet Society
        responsibilty for all future modification and development of the
        YYYY protocol, without reservation or condition."


   [This section is current under review by ISOC counsel, and is not

   In all matters of intellectual property rights, the intention is to
   benefit the Internet community and the public at large, while
   respecting the known, legitimate rights of others.

   In this section:

   o    "applicable patents" or "applicable pending patents" means
        purportedly valid patents or patent applications that
        purportedly apply to technology required to practice an Internet

   o    "Trade secrets" means confidential, proprietary information.

   o    "ISOC" includes the Internet Society, its trustees, officers,
        employees, contractors, and agents, IAB, IETF, IESG, IRTF, IRSG,
        and Internet Working Groups, Research Groups, and committees.

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 22]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

   o    "Standards work" includes the creation, development, testing,
        revision, adoption, or maintenance of an Internet standard.

   o    "Standards documents" include specifications, RFCs, and
        Proposed, Draft, and Internet Standards.

   o    "Internet community" means the entire set of people using the
        Internet standards, directly or indirectly.

   5.1  Trade Secret Rights

      ISOC will not accept, in connection with its standards work, any
      technology or information subject to any commitment,
      understanding, or agreement to keep it confidential or otherwise
      restrict its use or dissemination.

   5.2  Patent Rights

      (A)  ISOC will not propose, adopt, or continue to maintain any
           standard which can only be practiced using technology that is
           subject to known applicable patents or patent applications,
           except with prior written assurance that:

           1.   ISOC may, without cost, freely use the technology in its
                standards work, and

           2.   upon adoption and during maintenance of a standard, any
                party will be able to obtain the right to use the
                technology under specified, reasonable, non-
                discriminatory terms.

           3.   the party giving the assurance has the right and power
                to grant the licenses and knows of no other applicable
                patents or patent applications or other intellectual
                property rights that may prevent ISOC and users of
                Internet standards from practicing the standard.

           When such written assurance has been obtained, the standards
           documents shall include the following notice:

                "__________(name of patent owner) has provided written
                assurance to the Internet Society that any party will be
                able to obtain, under reasonable, nondiscriminatory
                terms, the right to use the technology covered
                by__________(list patents and patent applications) to
                practice the standard.  A copy of the assurance may be
                obtained from ________.  The Internet Society takes no
                position on the validity or scope of the patents and

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 23]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

                patent applications, nor on the appropriateness of the
                terms of the assurance.  The Internet Society makes no
                representation there are no other intellectual property
                rights which apply to practicing this standard, nor that
                it has made any effort to identify any such intellectual
                property rights."

      (B)  ISOC encourages all interested parties to bring to its
           attention, at the earliest possible time, the existence of
           any applicable patents or patent applications.  For this
           purpose, each standards document will include the following

                "The Internet Society invites any interested party to
                bring to its attention any patents or patent applications
                which purport to cover technology that may be required to
                practice this standard.  Address the information to
                the Executive Director of the Internet Society."

           When applicable, the following sentence will be included in
           the notice:

                "As of __________, no information about any applicable patents
                or patent applications has been received."

      (C)  ISOC disclaims any responsibility for identifying the
           existence of or for evaluating applicable patents or patent
           applications on behalf of or for the benefit of any member of
           the Internet community.

      (D)  ISOC takes no position on the validity or scope of any
           applicable patent or patent application.

      (E)  ISOC will take no position on the ownership of inventions
           made during standards work, except for inventions of which an
           employee or agent of the Internet Society is a joint
           inventor.  In the latter case, the Internet Society will make
           its rights available to anyone in the Internet community on a
           royalty-free basis.

      [The following sections are to be written.]

   5.3  Copyright

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 24]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

   5.4  Notices And Agreements

      5.4.1 Notices to appear in Standards Documents

      5.4.2 Confirmation of implied Licenses

      5.4.3 Text


   [1]  Postel, J., "IAB Official Protocol Standards", RFC 1410, IAB,
   March 1993.

   [2]  ANSI, Coded Character Set -- 7-Bit American Standard Code for
   Information Interchange, ANSI X3.4-1986.

   [3]  Reynolds, J., and J. Postel, "Assigned Numbers", RFC 1340, ISI,
   July 1992.

   [4]  Postel, J., "Introduction to the STD Notes", RFC 1311, ISI,
   March 1992.

   [5]  Postel, J., "Request for Comments on Request for Comments", RFC
   1111, August 1989.

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 25]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993


   ANSI: American National Standards Institute
   ARPA: (U.S.) Advanced Research Projects Agency
   AS:   Applicability Statement
   ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Interchange
   ITU-TS: Telecommunications Standardization sector of the International
            Telecommunications Union (ITU), a UN treaty organization;
            ITU-TS was formerly called CCITT.
   IAB:  Internet Architecture Board
   IANA: Internet Assigned Number Authority
   IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
   ICMP: Internet Control Message Protocol
   IESG: Internet Engineering Steering Group
   IETF: Internet Engineering Task Force
   IP:   Internet Protocol
   IRTF: Internet Research Task Force
   ISO:  International Organization for Standardization
   ISOC: Internet Society
   MIB:  Management Information Base
   OSI:  Open Systems Interconnection
   RFC:  Request for Comments
   TCP:  Transmission Control Protocol
   TS:   Technical Specification


   To contact the RFC Editor, send an email message to: "rfc-".

   To contact the IANA for information or to request a number, keyword
   or parameter assignment send an email message to: "".

   To contact the IESG, send an email message to: "".

   To contact the IAB, send an email message to: ""

   To contact the Executive Director of the ISOC, send an email message

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 26]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993


   It has been suggested that additional procedures in the following
   areas should be considered.

   o    Policy Recommendations and Operational Guidelines

        Internet standards have generally been concerned with the
        technical specifications for hardware and software required for
        computer communication across interconnected networks.  The
        Internet itself is composed of networks operated by a great
        variety of organizations, with diverse goals and rules.
        However, good user service requires that the operators and
        administrators of the Internet follow some common guidelines for
        policies and operations.  While these guidelines are generally
        different in scope and style from protocol standards, their
        establishment needs a similar process for consensus building.
        Specific rules for establishing policy recommendations and
        operational guidelines for the Internet in an open and fair
        fashion should be developed, published, and adopted by the
        Internet community.

   o    Industry Consortia

        The rules presented in Section 4 for external standards should
        be expanded to handle industry consortia.

   o    Tracking Procedure

        It has been suggested that there should be a formal procedure
        for tracking problems and change requests as a specification
        moves through the standards track.  Such a procedure might
        include written responses, which were cataloged and
        disseminated, or simply a database that listed changes between
        versions.  At the present time, there are not sufficient
        resources to administer such a procedure.

        A simpler proposal is to keep a change log for documents.

   o    Time Limit

        An explicit time limit (e.g., 3 months) has been suggested for
        IESG resolution concerning a standards action under the rules of
        Section 3.1.2.  If it were necessary to extend the time for some
        reason, the IETF would have to be explicitly notified.

   o    Bug Reporting

IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 27]

Internet Draft         Internet Standards Process              June 1993

        There is no documented mechanism for an individual community
        member to use to report a problem or bug with a standards-track
        specification.  One suggestion was the every standards RFC
        should include an email list for the responsible Working Group.

Security Considerations

   Security issues are not substantially discussed in this memo.

Author's Address

   Christian Huitema, IAB Chairman
   INRIA, Sophia-Antipolis
   2004 Route des Lucioles
   BP 109
   F-06561 Valbonne Cedex

   Phone:  +33 93 65 77 15

   EMail: Christian.Huitema@MIRSA.INRIA.FR

   Phill Gross, IESG Chairman
   Advanced Network and Services
   100 Clearbrook Road
   Elmsford, NY  10523

   Phone: 914-789-5335


IAB                      Expires: December 1993                [Page 28]