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HERE’S A LIST OF SOME COMMON U.S. INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS FOUND THROUGHOUT THIS SITE.

 MANY DEVELOP STANDARDS FOR OR PROMOTE COMPUTER HARDWARE OR SOFTWARE.  OTHERS CHAMPION USAGE RIGHTS OR GENERALLY FURTHER THE COMPUTER INDUSTRY

WE’VE ALWAYS FOUND THAT, WHEN LEARNING ABOUT MANY SUBJECTS REFERENCED IN THIS SITE, IT IS OFTEN QUITE USEFUL TO CONTACT THESE ORGANIZATIONS, WHICH GENERALLY HAVE LOTS OF PROMOTIONAL AND EXPLANATORY MATERIALS ON HAND :

ACLU =  American Civil Liberties Union.  A non-profit organization started in 1920, with the stated mission to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the U.S. by the Constitution”.

ACM =  Association for Computing Machinery.  A non-profit organization started in 1947, which is the world’s largest scientific and educational computin society, headquartered in New York City.  (It is similar to the IEEE (below), but the ACM is solely dedicated to computing.  It conducts various competitions (such as programming) and grants award, as well as publishing over 50 journals.

AIIM = Association for Information and Image Management.  The group that defines the standards, for example, for enterprise content management (“ECM”).

ALLSEEN ALLIANCE = A nonprofit consortium, initially based on the AllJoyn open source project, which is dedicated to the widespread adoption of products, systems and services supporting IoT.  Established in 2013, by the Linux Foundation and others, members include LG, Sharp, Panasonic and Sears.

ANSI = American National Standards Institute.  This private organization created in 1918 manages a voluntary standardization system for U.S. companies.  It dies not actually write or set the standards, but rather provides a place for parties to come together to work for common agreement for standards in a number of technical fields like computing, science, health care and technology.

ASTM = American Society for Testing and Materials, now ASTM International. Much like ANSI above, this is a group of voluntary members created in 1898 that test and specify standards for materials and procedures for some 12,000 products and techniques in over 130 industries.

ATA = American Telemedicine Association.  A trade group established in 1988, representing the world’s largest software makers (Microsoft

BSA = Business Software Alliance.  A trade group established in 1988, representing a number of the world’s largest software makers (Microsoft, IBM, Xerox, etc.), the principal activity of which is to stop the copyright infringement of the software produced by its members.

Bluetooth SIG = Bluetooth Special Interest Group.  A non-profit organication founded in Washington state in September, 1998 that oversees the development of Bluetooth standards and the licensing of the technology as well as its trademarks to manufacturers.

CCIA = Computer & Communications Industry Association.  A trade association dedicated to promoting and protecting the interests of computer and communications industries.  Over 50 years old, located in Washington, DC,

CCRI = Cyber Civil Rights Initiative.  An association for the purpose of providing counseling, support to victims and developing policies for the prevention of non-consensual pornography and online harrassment.

CDD = Center for  Digital Democracy.  A public policy group that promotes Internet freedom and advocates consumer privacy.

CDT = Center for Democracy and Technology.  Another public policy group that promotes Internet freedom.

CEA= Consumer Electronics Association, best known for its sponsorship of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

Cloud Security Alliance = CSA.  The leading organization dedicated to defining and raising awareness of best practices to ensure a secure cloud computing environment, the CSA operates the most popular security provider certification, the CSA Security, Trust and Assurance Registry (“STAR”) and launched the first cloud security user certification, the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (“CCSK”).

CTIA = The Wireless Association.  An industry trade group that represents the international wireless telecommunications industry.  It has made its interests known, for example, in the area of Net Neutrality (see LAWS).

DARPA = [Sometimes, just ARPA]  Stands for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. Department of Defense’s independent research branch.  Responsible for such military and commercial successes as GPS, the computer mouse, the Internet (“ARPANET”), Unix and parallel computing.  DARPA (originally ARPA) came into being in 1958 as a response to the success of Sputnik, Russia’s first manned satellite. 

Defense Information Systems Agency (“DISA”)=  DISA.  Started in 1960 and known as the Defense Communications Agency until it was renamed in 1991, this federal agency is composed of military, federal civilians and contractors, and provides IT and communications support to the defense and U.S. executive departments with the mission of providing, operating and assuring command and control and information sharing capabilities to a globally accessible enterprise information infrastructure in direct support to joint war fighters, national level leaders and other mission and coalition partners across the full spectrum of operations.  Succinctly, its mission is “information superiority in defense of our Nation”.

Digital Due Process Coalition = Google and others (e.g. Apple, Amazon, ACLU, Facebook and Twitter) have formed a coalition to push for reform of the ECPA (see LAWS) to restrict the amount of access to stored e-mails by government investigators under the law.

DLNA = Digital Living Network Alliance.  An organization that certifies wired and wireless digital products such as personal computers, consumer electronics and mobile devices toward the end of enabling a seamless environment for sharing those devices and their content. 

DMTF = Distributed Management Task Force. An organization composed of computer hardware and application developers, device and system manufacturers and distributors, systems integrators and government agencies started in the early 1990s which issues various standards, including Web-Based Enterprise Management, Systems Management BIOS and Alert Standard Format.

ECMA =  Ecma International.    European Computer Manufacturers Assn. An industry association, founded in 1961, which creates and supports a wide range of information, consumer electronics and communications technology standards.  It has been instrumental in the development of ISO/IEC JTC 1 (hundreds of standards in the field of intormation technology) and has also been first to approve Google DART as an alternative to JavaScript.

EFF =  Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Founded in 1990, this organization champions the public interest against the government and public corporations in the area of digital rights and privacy.  For example, it publishes the 2014 report “Who Has Your Back: Protecting Your Data From Government Requests” [LINK]

EIA = Electronic Industries Alliance (Electronic Industries Association, until 1997).  This standards and trade organization which was an alliance of trade associations for various electronics manufacturers in the U.S., which developed standards for interchangeability and compatibility of electronics equipment, ceased operations on February 11, 2011.  But it was responsible for many useful and continuing standards.  After disbanding, the individual associations which were its members continued to exist separately.  They were the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association); TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association); GEIA (Gov’t Electronics & Information Technology Assn - now part of TechAmerica); JEDEC (Joint Electron Devices Engineering Councils) and ECA (Electronic Components, Assemblies & Supplies Assn.).

EPIC =  Electronic Privacy Information Center.  A non-profit public interest research center established in 1994 in Washington, D.C, focusing on public attention about emerging privacy and civil liberties issues, much like the ACLU, but not as broad.

ESA =  Entertainment Software Association.  A Washington, D.C. based non-profit association dedicated to serving the needs of computer and video gaming companies (both hardware and software) and which owns and operates the Electronic Entertainment Expo (“E3”) each year in Los Angeles.

ETSI =  European Telecommunication Standards Institute.  An independent standardization organization that has been instrumental in developing standards for information and communications technologies (ICT) (like NFV) within Europe, created in 1988 as a nonprofit by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administration (CEPT), which has been the coordinating body for European telecommunications and postal organizations since 1959. The not-for-profit organization has more than 700 member organizations representing more than 62 countries around the world.

FBI INTERNET CRIME COMPLAINT CENTER [“IC3”]:  A separate division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that tracks viruses, scams, intrusions of the like that take place over the Internet.

FIDO ALLIANCE =  Fast Identity Online Alliance.  A non-profit organization  formed in July, 2012 with the mission of changing the nature of online authentication by development and support of open source technical specifications which rely less on password experience and more on local device authentication like biometrics and other verification procedures.

FNC =  Federal Networking Council. A group comprised of representatives from the U.S. Dept. of Defense, National Science Foundation and NASA, among others, chartered by the U.S. National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Computing, Information and Communications (“CCIC”) for the purpose of acting as a forum for networking collaborations among U.S. federal agencies to meet their research, education and operational missions.  Publicaly, its claim to fame came in 1995, when the FNC published its (relatively incomprehensible) resolution defining the Internet (see that Glossary definition), but by October, 1997 it was de-chartered, many of its activities transferred to the Large Scale Networking subcommittee of the Computing, Information and Communications division of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program.  Members included such notables as Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn.

GLM =  Global Language Monitor. A Texas-based media company which develops lists by analyzing the frequency and usage of English words, phrases and names across the Internet, including Twitter and Facebook, as well as the top print and electronic media sources, and which publishes an annual survey of the top words used for that year.

GSMA =  Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (?).  This association represents the interests of mobile operators, both software and hardware worldwide. It produces industry events such as the Mobile World Congress, and the Network 2020 program to address the complexities of an all-IP network toward providing a “green button” or seamless level of interoperability.

GS1 US =  The U.S. member organization for the United States.  Until 1975, it was the Uniform Code Council.  GS1 is responsible for managing the bar code system in the U.S., including all UPCs and Global Trade Item numbers.

IADAS =  The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 550 member body of leading experts, business figures, visionaries and creative celebrities which confers the Webbie Awards each year, honoring excellence on the Internet.

IANA =  Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, an organization responsible for assigning Internet-wide IP addresses, TCP ports and the like.

IARPA =  Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.  A part of the office of the Director of National Intelligence. 

IBIA =  International Biometrics & Identification Association.  A Washingon, D.C. trade association founded in 1998 for the purpose of promoting the use of technology to securely determine identity.  For example, through facial recognition, biometric scanning, etc.

ICANN =  Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  This non-profit entity, created in 1998, is headquartered in Marina Del Rey, California, and is responsible for managing the Domain Name System (“DNS”) to make sure that every address is unique and that all users of the Internet can find valid addresses.  Every domain name must map to the correct IP address.  It is Icann which manages the assignment (“registration”) of Internet domain names.  Icann took over the duties previously performed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (“IANA”) on behalf of the U.S. Government, taking the management of Internet-related tasks away from the Government and placing them with an independent authority.

IC3 = The Internet Crime Complaint Center.  A partnership between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance created specifically to investigate such crimes as internet scams.

ICSG = Industry Connections Security Group.  An assembly of six security companies:  McAfee, Sophos, Symantec, Microsoft, AVG, and Trend Micro (later expect banks and ISPs to be added) with the goal of creating best practices for computer security.

IEC = International Electrotechnical Commission.  Founded in 1906, this organization provides a platform for companies, industries and governments to develop international standards so that the millions of devices that contain electronics or use electricity can perform (se e.g. IP), fit and work safely together.

IEEE = Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.  The world’s largest technical professional society, serving professionals in the electrical, electronics and computing fields.  IEEE sets, for example, the Bluetooth standard, by managing the 17000 member companies of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group in developing a unified standard.

IETF: Internet Engineering Task Force.  This is the body that defines standard Internet operating protocols, such as TCP/IP and VPN security protocols.  The IETF is supervised by, and its members are drawn from, the IAB (Internet Society Internet Architecture Board).  Standards are expressed in the form of Requests for Comments (“RFCs”).  It is a division of The Internet Society, below.

INCITS = International Committee for Information Technology Standards.  Develops international standards, such as the UAS SCSI protocol.  SCSITA, below, promotes the technology.

The Internet Society.  A U.S. non-profit organization that represents America’s leading internet companies to strengthen and protect their interests.    Recently the Association has paired with the National Restaurant and others to urge politicians to take action over patent trolls who are extorting money from U.S. shops and restaurants for their use of QR codes and online store locators.

ISO = International Organization for Standardization.  This is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from about 100 countries, one from each country.  Established in 1947, the ISO’s work results in published International Standards which are used by various industries.  Hence, when you hear of an ISO 9000 certified company, you know that the company has adopted the ISO 9000 family of standards for quality management systems in its daily operations. Or DASH7  or the OSI Model in this glossary.

The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences = a 550 member body of leading experts, business figures, visionaries and creative celebrities which since 1996 has presented the annual Webby Awards, the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. 

ITU =  International Telecommunications Union, the international group that, among other things, provides precise definitions for 3G and 4G and regulates all non-Internet telecommunications.

Large Scale Networking Group (LSN), formerly Federal Networking Council (until 10/1/97) =  A subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Computing, Information and Communications (“CCIC”) which  coordinates activities and definitions (such as for the “Internet”) among U.S. Federal agencies and commercial interests.

Linux Foundation. A non-profit technology consortium founded in 2007 for the purpose of fostering the growth of the Linux open-source operating system.

MoCA =  Multimedia over Coax Alliance.  A trade group started in 2004 which promotes a specification which uses coaxial cables to transfer audio, video and cable across pre-wired home networks to connect consumer devices.

MOPRIA =  MOPRIA ALLIANCE.  A group (MObile PRInting Alliance) founded by industry leaders Canon, HP, Samsung and Xerox and joined by others (Like Epson) dedicated to establishing consensus support for a single platform that enables printing from mobile device OEMs, printer manufacturers and app developers.  It is hoped that the MOPRIA logo will alert users of the ability to print seamlessly and wirelessly from their mobile devices. 

GSMA/Mobile World Congress.  GSMA represents the interests of nearly 800 mobile operators worldwide and more than 250 companies, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organizations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress (“MWC”), which it describes as The world’s biggest and most influential mobile event,” with 94,000 attendees from 200 countries in 2015.  It also works on projects and initiatives that address the collective interests of the mobile industry, and of mobile operators in particular, often defining things such as new smartphone features. It is presently undertaking strategic initiatives across several key areas including Spectrum, Connected Living, Personal Data and Digital Commerce.Mo

NBASE-T ALLIANCE - A group of over 35 companies started in 2014 by Cisco, Aquantia, Freescale and Xilinx that focus on building the 2.5GBASE-T/5GBASE-T ethernet standard and interoperability of equipment over such networks.

NIST =  National Institute of Standards & Technology.  The federal technology agency in Washington, DC that works with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards for many industries, including computers.

NSWC =  National Security Whistleblowers Coalition.  Founded in 2004 by a former FBI translator, Sibel Edmonds and comprised of dozens of former and current employees from the NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, DEA and other federal agencies, it is an independent, non-partisan alliance of whistleblowers who have come forward to address their perceived weaknesses in all U.S. security agencies.  They propose legislation to expand protection for federal whistleblowers in the intelligence agencies.

NTIA = National Telecommunication and Information Administration. A division of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce which, among other things, sets standards for protections to individuals from technology.  See, e.g. facial recognition definition.

OASIS =  Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards.  Develops standards for things like “Open Document Format, requiring a free and open file format for electronic office documents such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing, promoting sharing between applications from differing manufacturers.

OHA = Open Handset Alliance.    An alliance of some 84 technology and mobile companies which started on November 6, 2007 by Google, developer of  Android, the first complete, open and free mobile platform and which continues to develop open standards for mobile devices.

OIC = Open Interconnect Consortium.   An organization formed in 2014 between Intel, Samsung and Dell to create standards for the IoT so that devices can connect to each other.  Members will create standards for the hassle-free flow of data between devices, regardless of O/S, device type or wireless communication technology.

OPC = Open Platform Communications Foundation - A non-profit organization started in 1994 which develops interoperability standards for industrial automation which use OLE (Object Linking & Embedding) for Process Control (a Microsoft technology) to manage devices across diverse platforms from multiple vendors with seamless integration. OPC isn’t the only organization that does this.  There are others, like MT Connect, which share a similar mission.

OpenSSL Project - An organization founded in 1998 for the purpose of developing a free set of encryption tools for internet transmissions.  It is completely voluntary, open source and supported by volunteers.

Open Technology Institute - An organization run by the New America Foundation which formulates policy and regulatory reforms which support open architectures and facilitates their development through partnerships with communities, researchers, industry and the public.

PMA =  Power Matters Alliance.  A trade group, which has joined up with Alliance for Wireless Power (“A4WP”) to create a wireless charging technology which will allegedly work at greater distances than Qi (see WPC, below.  Powermat is a primary member.

PRC =  Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer education and advocacy project whose purpose is to advocate for consumers’ privacy rights (for example, the collection of customers’ Zip codes by retailers) in public policy proceedings.  It also tracks cybersecurity breaches, like the 2016 Yahoo hack.

RSA Conference.  An annual conference held in the U.S. and other countries devoted to computer security.  For example, the 2016 conference held in san Francisco was dominated by talk of the Dept of Justice demand that Apple unlock its iPhone.  RSA us a forum for cryptographers (see RSA definition).

SCSITA =  SCSI Trade Association.  Promotes SCSI technology.

3GPP =  Third Generation Partnership Project.  This organization oversees cellular communications standards (like 5G Wi-Fi).  It unites seven telecommunications standard development organizations (ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TSDSI, TTA AND TTC, known as “Organization Partners”) to produce the reports and specifications that define the 3GPP technologies.

TIA = Telecommunications Industry Association.  An organization accredited by the ANSI to develop voluntary, consensus-based industry standards for information and communications products such as cell towers, satellites, data centers, computer cabling and networks.  TIA writes, for example, the standards for fibre cables and connectors.

Tizen Association:  Launched in 2012, and working closely with the Linux Foundation (above) it actively develops and promotes the Tizen open source operating system for devices.

Trusted Computing Group - Established the Trusted Platform Module, an initiative started by AMD, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and others which relies heavily on encryption and features built directly into both hardware and software. 

UCIF =  Unified Communications Interoperability Forum.  Established in 2010 with initial members HP, Juniper, Microsoft, Logitech/LifeSize Communications and Polycom, it is a nonprofit organization for the purpose of creating open standards for communications equipment.

University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory = UNH-IOL.  A nonprofit group which develops standards for ethernet environments, particularly 3 new industry-specific “time sensitive” standards for automotive networking, industrial networking andProAV networking to provide precise time, guaranteed bandwidth andguaranteed worst-case latency in converged ethernet networks such as those for IoT.

UC = Unicode Consortium.  A nonprofit group which maintains character software standards, including fonts, emojis and other characters.

U.N. INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS UNION = Part of the U.N. which is presently working on spectrum harmonization, which designates the use of the same radio frequencies (e.g. 5G) worldwide.

USB-IF = USB Implementers Forum.  A non-profit corporation founded by a group of companies that developed the USB specification, including HP, Intel, Microsoft and others.  It’s purpose is to provide support for the technology and develop new standards, like USB-OTG (“On-The-Go”), along with Mini and Micro USB technology, for connecting mobile devices (see USB definition).

VESA = Video Electronics Standards Association.  Among other things, developed the DisplayPort, primarily used to connect a video source to a display device, replacing VGA, DVI and LVDS.

Vodaphone Americas Foundation. An association organized by Vodaphone, Inc. to foster and increase the development of mobile and wireless technology throughout the world.

Wireless Power Consortium = (“WPC)  The trade group promoting Qi (pronounced “cheee”) wireless charging technology.  Similary to the Power Matters Alliance, above, which uses a different technology.  Members include LG, Philips, Samsung and Sony.  See “wireless charging” for more...

Wi-Fi Alliance = Founded in 1999, this non-profit organization has developed an interoperability certification program to ensure that Wi-Fi devices across brands seamlessly work together.

Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance = (“WECA”) In 1999, this organization was responsible for coining the term Wi-Fi, and since then has specialized in standards for wireless networks of all kinds.

World Wide Web Consortium (“W3C”) =  An international community where member organizations and the public work together to develop new standards for such things as web design and architecture, software (like browsers) and other services and devices.

Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access = A wireless industry coalition, formed in April 2001, whose members (led by Sprint/Nextel) promote the 802.16 wireless specification (a/k/a WiMax, which has a range of up to 30 miles and a bandwidth of up to 75bps, used to provide Wi-Fi access to an entire city of geographic area. 

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