The RFC series (ISSN 2070-1721) was originated in 1969 by Steve Crocker of UCLA, to organize the working notes of the new ARPAnet research program. For 28 years, this RFC series was managed and edited by the Internet pioneer Jon Postel. For the history of the series, see “30 Years of RFCs“, “40 Years of RFCs“, and “Fifty Years of RFCs“.
RFC Editor operations were funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the US government until 1998. From 1998-2018, the RFC Editor was funded by a contract with the Internet Society, to continue to edit, publish, and catalog RFCs. The RFC Editor was a project at the USC Information Sciences Institute in Marina del Rey, California, through 2009. Currently, the RFC Production Center and Publisher functions are provided by Association Management Solutions, LLC (AMS) under contract with the IETF Administration LLC (IETF LLC).
The “RFC Editor” comprises the set of functions that serve the Internet technical community in editing, publishing, and archiving RFCs. RFC 9280, “RFC Editor Model (Version 3)”, divides the responsibilities for the RFC series into two main concepts:
- Policy development that guides the RFC Series: policies are set by RFC Series Working Group (RSWG) participants via rough consensus. Documents are approved by the RFC Series Advisory Board (RSAB), which includes representatives of each stream and an RFC Series Consulting Editor (RSCE). Approved policy documents are published as RFCs in the Editorial Stream.
- Policy implementation: implementation is carried out by the RFC Production Center (RPC), who continues to edit and publish the RFCs. The RPC implements policy updates in coordination with stream managers and as overseen by the IETF LLC. In addition, the RPC engages in the RSWG.
- the Independent Submissions Editor (ISE) and
- the Independent Submissions Editorial Board, which provides review for the ISE.
For more information, see the list of RFCs that govern the RFC Editor function.
The RFC Editor regularly attends IETF meetings – see Office Hours.