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RE: Message from the IEEE Standards Association

Don, Judy,

I do not know the source of the definition of "Endorsement" in paragraph 2
of your message below.  Webster defines ENDORSE:

1a: to write on the back of; esp: to sign one's name as payee on the back of
(a check) in order to obtain the cash, check, bill, or note

  b: to inscribe (one's signature) on a check bill, or note 

  c: to inscribe (as an official document) with a title or memorandum 

  d: to makeover to another (the value represented in a check bill or note)
by inscribing one's name on the document 

  e: to acknowledge receipt of (a sum specified) by one's signature on a

2: to express approval of publicly and definitely <~ a mayoral candidate>

syn see approve


There is no concept of conformity, compliance, or testing in any part of
this definition.  Endorse is synonymous with Approve.  The IEEE-SA places
the IEEE seal of approval on Standards (as well as the IEEE's literal seal
-- its logo) in an act of public approval.  I do not know how any
organizational action could be more precisely fit the second definition of
Endorse to the letter and spirit of the definition 2; in sprit it is also
consistent with the first definition, particularly "1c".

The formal IEEE Standards approval process through IEEE-SA, IEEE's universal
ownership of the copyright for standards developed under its governance, and
inscription in the document's title of "IEEE Standard ..." leads rational
individuals to believe that the IEEE has endorsed (i.e., expressed approval
of publicly) those standards.  I believe that essentially all of the
audience for these documents believes they have been so endorsed.  No manner
of disclaimer can change the public opinion that these documents are
endorsed to be "the best that they can be."  IEEE's reputation is in fact
that it endorses standards are "the best that they can be."  This is good.
It derives from the development and approval process.

Confusion in the eye of the public about what has benefited from the
rigorous IEEE standards development and approval process through the
careless application of the term "IEEE Standard," or anything confusingly
similar to it, will rapidly destroy the public, business, and technical
community confidence in IEEE Standards, past and future, and will tarnish
the image of the IEEE itself.  IEEE endorsement (in the above sense) is real
and is a real asset to documents receiving it.  It is in this sense that all
discussion about the SA/ISTO refers to IEEE endorsement.

Thank you for considering my opinion.  I give it as a businessman reliant on
standards, as a technologist having contributed to standards, and as one who
has devoted three decades to standards development in many venues (IEEE and
elsewhere) because I believe in the value of the result - endorsement by
recognized technical bodies representing excellence.

John Montague

-----Original Message-----
From:	Jim Carlo []
Sent:	Wednesday, August 30, 2000 7:18 PM
To:	IEEE802
Subject:	FW: Message from the IEEE Standards Association


Jim Carlo( Cellular:1-214-693-1776 Voice&Fax:1-214-853-5274
TI Fellow, Networking Standards at Texas Instruments
Chair, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC6 Telecom and Info Exchange Between Systems
Chair, IEEE802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee 

-----Original Message-----
From: [] 
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2000 3:32 PM
Subject: Message from the IEEE Standards Association

Bruce Eisenstein, IEEE President
Ken Laker, IEEE Past President
Joel Snyder, IEEE President Elect
Robert Dent, IEEE Vice President Technical Activities
Larry Hamerman, IEEE Region 6 Director Elect
Peter Staecker, IEEE Division IV Director Elect
Michael Lightner, IEEE Vice President Elect Technical Activities
Roger Sudbury, IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society President
Roger Pollard, IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Past President
Steve Diamond, Chair IEEE Computer Society Standards Activities Board
Jim Carlo, Chair IEEE Computer Society 802 Committee
IEEE Computer Society Standards Activities Board
IEEE Computer Society 802 Executive Committee
IEEE-SA Board of Governors
IEEE-ISTO Board of Directors

Donald C. Loughry, President, IEEE Standards Association
Judith Gorman, Managing Director, IEEE Standards

29 August 2000

Many IEEE volunteers and other members have recently received messages
regarding the IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization
(IEEE-ISTO) and its relationship with the IEEE. These messages have
resulted as part of a dialog involving an IEEE standards committee (802
and 802.16) and a recently announced new program of the IEEE-ISTO, the
Broadband Wireless Internet Forum (BWIF).

The IEEE-SA Board of Governors and the IEEE-ISTO Board of Directors are
both actively involved in attempting to resolve concerns that have been
expressed. Both bodies want to assure all parties that the issues are being
worked vigorously, with appropriate review by legal counsel. These two
along with other key volunteers, members, and staff, are committed to a
professional resolution of this situation that will be in the best
of the IEEE.

In the meantime, certain facts need to be stated concerning two key
policy/procedural aspects of this situation.

1.   The right to represent the IEEE on any standards-related matter is
assigned to the IEEE-SA by the Bylaws of the Institute. This is as it
should be because of the large number of standards activities within the
IEEE, representing many different technologies and industry sectors.  At
present, 20 IEEE Technical Societies are actively developing standards
under the auspices of the IEEE-SA. The IEEE-SA itself oversees an
additional 16 Standards Coordinating Committees. Thus, any effort to speak
formally for the IEEE on standards matters must first be approved by the
IEEE-SA.  Committees or individuals that wish to address IEEE
standards-related issues on their own behalf must be explicit as to who
they represent.

2.   It has been implied that the IEEE "endorses" standards in its
Standards Program, but in fact, the IEEE specifically does not offer that
category of support.  The IEEE Standards Association approves a process for
developing standards, and devotes its oversight to guaranteeing due
process, the right of appeal, and other related operating principles.
"Endorsement" in the IEEE Standards Association could only take place in a
conformity assessment or product certification context.  And in that case,
the IEEE would be endorsing compliance with specific requirements that were
part of a standard's testing program.

We welcome your comments and questions as we work to resolve this current
situation.  Please direct them to and

Sent on behalf of Donald C. Loughry and Judith Gorman by
Linda A. Gargiulo
Senior Administrator
IEEE Standards
445 Hoes Lane, PO Box 1331
Piscataway, NJ  08855-1331 USA
+1 732 562 3801
+1 732 562 1571