Who makes the Internet? A longitudinal analysis of the IETF

23 Jun

Ignacio Castro, Lecturer, Queen Mary University of London, UK

External Presentation (External Speaker)

Operation of the Internet requires interoperability between networks, systems, and applications, as well as cooperation among a growing number of stakeholders. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is critical in supporting this cooperation and interoperability by bringing together interested parties and standardizing the protocols that enable Internet interconnectivity such as IPv4/6, HTTP/s or BGP.

In this talk I will present our work covering more than 50 years of IETF data, including the participants of the IETF, the emails they exchange, the documents they produce and institutions they are affiliated to. We measure the shifts and trends that have emerged, including the rise and fall of large Internet players, and the shift in relevance between industry and academia. We show how Internet’s growth and maturity has given rise to a longer and complex standardisation process with a rich social network where participants gain and exercise influence.


  1. McQuistin, M. Karan, P. Khare, C. Perkins, G. Tyson, M. Purver, P. Healey, W. Iqbal, J. Qadir, I. Castro.

“Characterising the IETF Through the Lens of RFC Deployment”. ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC). [PDF]

  1. Khare, S. McQuistin, M. Karan, C. Perkins, G. Tyson, M. Purver, P. Healey, I. Castro.

“The Web We Weave: Untangling the Social Graph of the IETF”. International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM), 2022 [PDF]

About Ignacio Castro

Ignacio Castro is Lecturer in Data Analytics at Queen Mary University of London. He obtained his PhD while researching at the Institute IMDEA Networks (Madrid, Spain), and visiting UC Berkeley (California, USA). His work sits at the intersection between economics and computer systems. His interest spans from online social networks and moderation to the macroscopic evolution of the Internet. He has been an investigator on three major EPSRC grants that hold over £6 million in funding. His work appears in top tier journals and conferences including Web Conference, ACM SIGCOMM, ACM SIGMETRICS, ACM IMC, ICWSM, and IEEE/ACM Trans. on Networking. He also serves in TPCs and organises top tier conferences including IMC, CoNEXT and SIGCOMM.

Site: https://icastro.info/

This event will be conducted in English

More info

You can also follow the seminar online: https://zoom.us/j/99448700647pwd=VnhoVjJOL0RFU0RQZ3N5cjd6Y2Z6dz09

  • Location: MR-A1 [Ramón] & MR-A2 [Cajal], IMDEA Networks Institute, Avda. del Mar Mediterráneo 22, 28918 Leganés – Madrid
  • Organization: NETCOM Research Group (Telematics Engineering Department, UC3M); IMDEA Networks Institute
  • Time: 12:00
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