Founded on October 19, 1918, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, nonprofit organization that has the dual function of both administering and coordinating the U.S. standardization and conformity assessment system. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Institute’s mission is to improve not only the global competitiveness of U.S. businesses but also the quality of life for U.S. citizens by doing three things: (1) promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards; (2) providing conformity assessment systems; and (3) safeguarding their integrity. Though the Institute was started by five engineering societies and three government agencies, it now represents the interests of almost 1,000 companies, organizations, government agencies, and international members. Accreditation by ANSI indicates an acceptance that the procedures used by the standards body meet the multiple and essential requirements of balance, consensus, due process, and openness. To maintain accreditation by ANSI, developers must consistently adhere to the ANSI Essential Requirements governing the consensus development process. The United States has ANSI as its representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ANSI has standardized the C programming language and the encoding of characters into a binary format. The C programming language is widely used in the hacker community to write programs, and encoding is used to protect data from crackers. American National Standards Institute. About ANSI Overview. [Online, July 6, 2004.] American National Standards Institute Website. http://www.ansi.org/about_ansi/ overview/overview.aspx?menuid=1.