According to the New York Times, a move that started in innocence has stalled as members of the task force have debated the history of slavery and the prevalence of racism in tech.
One of the big issues apparently is the use of the terms "master" and "slave" which has different meanings to different people. It is proving difficult when the engineering world needs broad agreement so technologies work together.
Vint Cerf, one of the founders of the task force and a vice president at Google said: "We have big fights with each other, but our intent is always to reach consensus.
"I think that the spirit of the IETF still is that, if we're going to do anything, let's try to do it one way so that we can have a uniform expectation that things will function."