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RE: Message from the IEEE Standards Association

Don, Judy-

I fully endorse John Montague's position on this, every single word. In 
addition, I would add that one of the greatest values of "the IEEE asset" 
is the ability to convene a standards forum and populate it with 
volunteers. If the SA loses the value of that asset then it loses everything.


Geoff Thompson, Chair IEEE 802.3 Working Group

At 01:00 PM 8/31/00 -0400, Montague, John E wrote:

>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