How this came about
This almanac is a reflection of the work and knowledge of the community of public interest technologists, human rights defenders, and civil society advocates who are already engaged in the internet standards' space. In 2022, we surveyed various networks, organisations, and individuals who engage in global and regional technical standards development organisations, or SDOs. We asked them to identify key activities occurring in these SDOs that would have implications for human rights. We received 18 responses, which we used to build a map of the relevant working groups, study groups, and committees within SDOs. We then conducted desk research and document analysis to further detail current and concluded standardisation activities. We then submitted the almanac to a series of external technical reviews and beta testing before releasing it into the world.
There’s a lot about the IETF
You might have noticed this, because we certainly did. The almanac has information about more standardisation activities happening in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) than in any other SDO. That’s simply because a majority of the survey respondents identified crucial work being done in the IETF. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the IETF is the most important SDO. We’ve found that some SDOs are more transparent and open to the community than others. That’s the case of the IETF, which creates this bias of information. Our hope is that, as this almanac grows and supports the community’s engagement in more SDOs, we can keep building a more complete picture of the standards landscape.
Where’s The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)?
Important question, thanks for asking! We decided to focus on technical internet-related standards rather than the much broader and complex world of technical internet policy. Nevertheless, ICANN’s technical policies are really important, as they impact the operations of the Domain Name System, and we encourage you to find out more about it here.