Dave Crocker

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Country: USA
Email: dcrocker[at]bbiw.net

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David H. Crocker is a Senior Advisor of the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group, active in the IETF, and a self-employed consultant, working under the company name Brandenburg InternetWorking. He designs network-based applications businesses and system architectures.[1] He has forty-five years of work experience in the Internet industry, including early work on the ARPANET, including designing and standardizing Internet mail services.

He has held a variety of positions in the IETF, as one of its first area directors, chairing working groups, and serving on the administrative oversight committee (IAOC/Trust).[2] He originated training for IETF working group chairs and co-authored an RFC describing working group processes. He is also a member of Association of Computing Machinery, Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers, and ISOC.[3]

Dave is well-known for his work on RFC 822, which defines the format of an Internet mail message and was the first 'customer' specification using domain names. He is the brother of Steve Crocker, who is also well known in the Internet Industry for his pioneering work, such as creating the RFC series and chairing the ICANN board.

Much of Crocker's recent work revolves around email anti-abuse, working towards a trust overlay on the Internet.[4]

Career History

Dave started his networking career In the 1970's, when he worked for four years at UCLA with ARPANET.[5]

From 1989 to 1991, he worked as the Manager of Network Systems Laboratory, Digital Equipment Corp. Prior to this he was the Vice President of Engineering at The Wollongong Group, Inc., building Internet protocol stacks for various vendor platforms. He has managed the development of the TCP/IP stack at Ungermann-Bass, Inc. and was co-architect and Director of System Development at MCI Digital Information Services Corp, where he worked with Vint Cerf to build a national email service that included the ability to printer letters around the country and have them delivered by courier, as well as interconnecting with the global Telex service. Prior to this, he worked as the Co-Principal Investigator, for the CSNet project and an ARPA/Internet email gateway project, housed at the University of Delaware.[6][7]

Dave was also an Advisor at Goodmail Systems, the Co-Founder of Portola Software, an Engineer at Silicon Graphics, and started an Internet technology transfer laboratory while a Director at Digital Equipment Corporation.[8]

Work with the Internet

He was one of the original IETF Area Directors, serving from 1989-1996. He participated in the effort to standardize facsimile and electronic data exchange over the Internet. He chaired the Silicon Valley–Public Access Link ISP, for the under-served, in the early 1990s.[9] Besides the focus on email, he has also contributed to work on Internet commerce, DNS, emergency services, and TCP/IP enhancements. He has also taught several classes on Internet, TCP/IP and Open Systems Networking.

[10] Dave was one of Jon Postel's appointees to the IAHC, which was tasked to propose an initial set of new DNS gTLDs; it's proposal introduced the concept of registry/registrar and the concept of a dispute resolution mechanism. (Also see[11].)


Dave's various efforts facilitated the email. While at The Rand Corporation, he developed the [12] mail system, providing alternative user interfaces, including [MSG], which was the first integrated email user program. MS was designed for UNIX operating system and led to a wide range of significant Internet activities over the years.[13] The project was initiated by Steve Walker, who was then the Program Manager at DAPRA. Dave designed the functional specifications and Steve Tepper and Bill Crosby did the programming, reporting to the Rand department head, Bob Anderson, and had Dave Farber as an adviser.

In 1977, Dave, John Vittal, Kenneth Pogran, and Austin Henderson worked on a DARPA initiative to produce a single, coherent ARPANET standard for an email object. The result of their work was RFC 733. In 1982, Dave made some specific changes to adapt RFC 733 for use on the emerging Internet; this resulted in RFC 822.

In 1978, Dave was once again with Dave Farber at the University of Delaware, where he developed the first versions of the Multi-purpose Memo Distribution Facility (MMDF), for relaying and gatewaying mail. This project was initially for the U.S. Army Materiel Command[14], and then served as the foundation of CSNet.[15] Dave has developed two national email services and designed two others.[16]


Dave actively participates in meetings in the Internet industry. He has chaired and presented at several conferences, including:

  • N+I Interop
  • Electronic Messaging Association
  • APRICOT '06, '05, '04, '99
  • RIPE, Edinburgh[17]
  • Email World
  • Unix Expo
  • FTC email authentication conference in 2004.[18]


He is the author of book chapters, magazine articles, presentations, and specifications on open systems networking, standards, electronic mail, and electronic commerce. A complete list of his presentations and publications can be read here.

Awards and Honors

In 2004, he received the IEEE Internet Award.[19]


  • Doctoral work in Computer Science from the University of Delaware (1978-1982)
  • M.A. in Communication from Annenberg School, USC (1977)
  • B.A. in Psychology from UCLA (1975)

External Links