The IETF can be viewed as the semi unofficial standards organisation for the Internet. It has no formal membership and is organized around working groups. Meeting three times a year it started in 1986 with a meeting at Linkabit in San Diego.
Acronyms that have passed into common usage that originated with the IETF include FYI (For Your Information) and RFC (Request For Comments)
One of the fundamental rules of the IETF is that the standard process is open to anyone for comment and contribution. As they put it, you join by showing up.