The following terms are commonly used by the ICANN Community.
- CA – a third-party company that issues digital certificates and public-private keys as a part of a chosen Public Key Infrastructure.
- Domainer – a person who buys and sells domain names, seeking to profit from selling at a higher price later or from advertising activities.
- I* Leaders – a loose category of organizations responsible for technical infrastructures on the Internet.
- ICANN Fellow – A member of the Internet community and recipient of a grant provided by the ICANN Fellowship Program.
- Independent Objector – a position created by ICANN to determine if a new gTLD application is in the best interest of the Internet community.
- Internet Service Provider companies that provide customers with Internet services, such as access with telephone, television, email accounts, and customizable web pages.
- NIC – A network information center manages a registry and contracts with the registrars accredited to sell domains under a given TLD.
- Registrant – A person who has registered a domain name through a registrar.
- Registrar – A company that is authorized to sell domain names.
- TCRs – Trusted Community Representatives participate in ceremonies that manage the DNS Root Key Signing Key, which is central to implementing DNSSEC.
Communities of Practice
- GA – the General Assembly Mailing List is an open forum for participation for the GNSO.
- Constituency – a group of people who support or are served or represented by an organization or business.
- Empowered Community – oversees the legal enforcement of the community powers of ICANN's Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) under California law.
- ICANN Bodies – The structures that comprise the corporation that runs the technical operations of DNS resources and defines policies for how the names and numbers of the Internet should run.
- ICANN Studienkreis – an open network of experts dedicated to organizing high-level seminars on Internet industry and governance
- IESG – the Internet Engineering Steering Group oversees the technical management of the IETF.
- MAG – The Multistakeholder Advisory Group was established by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on May 17, 2006, to help him set-up the Internet Governance Forum
- PAB – The gTLD Policy Advisory Body comprising the signatories of the MoU, which was created along with the CORE and POC, to represent the voices of Internet stakeholders.
- RIPE – Reseaux IP Europeens is an open forum on the technical development of the Internet in Europe and abroad.
- SG – Stakeholder Groups comprise the GNSO, each of which represents a set of interests in the policymaking process.
- Working Group – A group of individuals or experts in a particular field who came together to achieve specific objectives.
- World Summit on the Information Society – A two-phase, UN-sponsored conference, where heads of state and other high-profile leaders met to form the principles of an Information Society that would work for all; a WSIS forum continues to be held annually.
- BGC – a committee established to enhance the performance of the Board, lead the annual Board performance review, including the CEO, and recommend nominees for Board Chair, Vice Chair, and other leadership positions.
- CEO Search Committee – the committee formed following Rod Beckstrom's August 2011 announcement that he would not continue as CEO past 1 July 2012.
- IPOC – gTLD-MoU Interim Policy Oversight Committee
- OSC – GNSO Operations Steering Committee
- SIC – The Structural Improvements Committee reviews policies and provides oversight, as part of ICANN's ongoing organizational review process.
- Comparative Evaluation Panel – checks applications for new gTLDs against the criteria published in the Applicant Guidebook
- DNS Stability Panel – reviews proposed new TLD applications to ensure that they will not harm the security and stability of the Internet.
- Financial Evaluation Panel – assesses new gTLD applications to determine if the applicants are financially capable of maintaining the proposed operations of the new gTLD registry.
- Geographic Names Panel – determines whether proposed new gTLDs represent geographic names (a country, territory, sub-national geographic region, city, continent, or UN Region) under the standards set forth by Applicant Guidebook.
- RSTEP – The Registry Services Technical Evaluation Panel is a technical team in the GNSO Generic Name Supporting Organization that assists in the evaluation of requests for new registry services.
- String Similarity Panel – determines whether there are any similar gTLD strings that may confuse Internet users, compares new gTLD strings with any reserved names, existing TLDs, requested IDN ccTLDs, or other new gTLD string proposals, and examines the IDN tables submitted by applicants.
- Technical Evaluation Panel – evaluates the technical components of every new gTLD application based on the Applicant Guidebook, examining whether the applicant can technically operate a new gTLD registry and ensure the stability, security and interoperability of the DNS.
- Fellowship Program – provides financial grants to 25-42 individuals to attend an ICANN meeting and actively contribute to ICANN processes.
- NextGen@ICANN – a regionally based outreach initiative to introduce 25 under/graduate end-users and stakeholders aged 18 to 30 to ICANN meetings.
- IETF – The Internet Engineering Task Force is a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet.
- ATRT – The Accountability and Transparency Review Team is one of four Review Teams created by ICANN to comply with the requirements set forth by the U.S. DOC in the Affirmation of Commitments and written into the ICANN Bylaws.
- CERT – A Computer Emergency Response Team or Computer Security Incident Response Team is a group designated to handle computer security.
- Communications and Coordination Work Team – GNSO team for developing proposals for the Council in response to recommendations made by the BGC WG.
- DT – A Drafting Team is established by the GNSO to advise ICANN staff and Council members on amendments to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement
- GCOT– the GNSO team for identifying areas for review to best seat a new Council and gather OSC feedback
- IRT The Implementation Recommendation Team is an Intellectual Property Constituency-created group of consumer protection and trademark law experts.
- ASIWG – Arabic Script IDN Working Group
- CCWG-IG – Cross-Community Working Group on Internet Governance
- FFWG – The Fast Flux Working Group was formed by ICANN in 2008 to deal with problems and gain expert opinion on the best use of fast flux and its scope for the GNSO.
- IDN WG An Internationalized Domain Name Working Group formed by the IETF in 2000 to develop standards for the use of non-ASCII scripts or characters in domain names; ICANN established its IDN Working Group in 2001.
- JIG – The Joint ccNSO-GNSO IDN Working Group deals with the introduction of IDN ccTLDs under the Fast Track Implementation Process
- PDP-WT – Work team charged with improving the GNSO policy development process.
- RAP WG – The Registration Abuse Policies Working Group defines domain name registration abuse independently from abuse that occurs from the use of a registered domain name and identifies whether the issues fall under the purview of ICANN's mission.
- VIWG – The Vertical Integration Working Group oversees gTLD issues that may arise when the functions of a Registry Operator and a Registrar are handled by a single body.
- WGIG – a multi-stakeholder working group established by the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan following WSIS to define Internet governance, identify policy issues, develop a common understanding of the roles of governments, international organizations, forums, the private sector, and civil society.
- Multistakeholder Model – approach to governance or policymaking that brings together the primary stakeholders, such as businesses, civil society, governments, research institutions, and non-government organizations, to engage in the dialogue, decision-making, and implementation of solutions to common problems or goals.
- Net Neutrality – determining the degree to which Internet Service Providers can selectively promote certain Internet content and applications to their customers, whether through Zero-Rating, paid prioritization, or other means.
- Right to Be Forgotten – (aka Article 17 of the GDPR) refers to a subject's right to obligate the controller of the data in question the erasure of personal information without undue delay.
- Universal Acceptance – The principle of accepting, validating, storing, processing, and displaying all domain names and email addresses evenly across all applications, devices, and systems.
- Universal Access – the concept that top-level domain names are accessible globally through any internet browser, server, email client, and computer program.
- DNS – The database responsible for translating between alphanumeric domain names and IP Addresses.
- PSL – The Public Suffix List is a database of TLDs including the respective registry's policies on domain registrations at different levels.
- Registry – a database of all domain names registered under a certain TLD.
- Root Zone – the highest level of the DNS structure, this database contains the names and the numeric IP addresses for all TLDs.
- TAS – the official online application system implemented by ICANN.
- Trademark Clearinghouse – The database of trademarks established by ICANN to enhance the protection of intellectual property on the Internet.
- Unicode – a character coding system designed to support the worldwide interchange, processing, and display of the written texts.
- URS – The Uniform Rapid Suspension System provides trademark owners with a quick, low-cost process to take down websites that infringe on their intellectual property rights.
- ACPA – U.S. legislation to protect services or trademarks against cybersquatting.
- Applicant Guidebook – ICANN guidebook for applying for new gTLDs in the New gTLD Program
- Community Objection – a formal public comment made during the objection period of the New gTLD Program.
- FOA – the Form of Authorization is the first step towards transferring a global domain name from one registrar to another.
- GDPR – The General Data Protection Regulation is the EU privacy and security law whose reach includes any organization around the world that targets or collects data on people in the EU.
- GPML – Global Protected Marks List was created to provide additional protection to Intellectual Property holders.
- Green Paper – The Proposal to Improve the Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses was released by the NTIA in the Federal Register on February 20, 1998.
- GTLD-MoU – Generic Top Level Domain Name-Memorandum of Understanding, containing proposals to resolve problems associated with DNS domain name allocations, was introduced on February 28, 1997, by the Internet Ad Hoc Committee.
- ICANN Bylaws – the internal rules set forth for ICANN by the ICANN Board.
- JPA – The Joint Project Agreement signed to reach a Memorandum of Understanding between ICANN and the US Department of Commerce in September 2006 to transition DNS management to the private sector (ICANN).
- MoU – a legal document of agreement between two or more parties. It is not completely obligatory like a legal contract is, but it is more powerful and legitimate than the earlier "gentleman’s agreement."
- NOIF – a Notice of Intent to form a new GNSO constituency.
- RFC – A Request For Comments is a series of organizational and technical documents containing specifications and policies pertaining to aspects of the Internet, such as computer networking, protocols, procedures, programs, and concepts, meeting notes, and opinions that have been prepared by the ISOC, particularly its Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, or the Internet Research Task Force.
- Registrar Accreditation Agreement – the contract that governs the relationship between ICANN and its accredited registrars.
- Registry Agreement – a generic document constructed by ICANN and the community at large to formalize a relationship between the designated Registry of a TLD and ICANN.
- SOI – The Statement of Interest is an application completed by any individual who wishes to be selected for membership by an ICANN body.
- STI – Specific Trademark Issues refers to a resolution adopted by the GNSO on 28 October 2009 concerning a review of the policy implications of protection mechanisms in light of the new gTLD Program.
- TOR – Terms of Reference are a drafted set of questions that act as the basis for an internal or independent review of an organization within ICANN or a new feature to be released by ICANN.
- White Paper – an official government report prepared by an individual or a group of individuals who conducted relevant research on particular issues; the document that set the stage for the incorporation of ICANN.
- ARPANET – the first wide-area packet-switching network with distributed control to implement the TCP/IP protocol suite; the technical foundation of the Internet.
- Internet Layer – A group of internetworking methods, protocols, and specifications used to transport network packets from the originating host across network boundaries.
- URL – a Uniform Resource Locator consists of a protocol that tells the web browser how to retrieve the file or resource; the domain name that identifies the specific web server on the Internet where the file is stored; and a pathname that is a hierarchical description that specifies the location of the particular file on the computer.
- DNSSEC – extensions that enable communication authentication between hosts and DNS data, while ensuring data integrity.
- ENUM – Electronic Numbering is a protocol developed by the IETF's Telephone Number Mapping Working Group, which used DNS architecture and protocol to identify available services associated with E.164.
- EPP – Extensible Provisioning Protocol is an XML-based protocol used by registrars and registries in managing domain names (register, renew, modify, delete, transfer) in a Shared Registry System environment.
- FTP – a TCP/IP-based network protocol to transmit files from one computer to another through the Internet.
- HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol is a standard networking protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia systems used on the World Wide Web since 1990.
- IP – Internet Protocol is the means by which data is sent from one computer to another via an Internet connection.
- IP Address – the unique number given to every computer connected to the Internet. This number allows users and other computers to find each other.
- IPv4 – the version of internet protocol that defines IP addresses in a 32-bit format; the last blocks of IPv4 addresses were allocated by IANA to the Regional Internet Registries in February 2011.
- IPv6 – the version of Internet protocol that supports 128-bit IP addresses.
- IRIS – Internet Registry Information Service, developed to replace WHOIS, is an application layer client-server protocol for a framework to represent the query-and-result operations of the information services of Internet registries.
- LDAP – a software protocol for enabling anyone to locate organizations, individuals, and other resources such as files and devices in a network, whether on the public Internet or on a corporate intranet.
- SSL the cryptographic predecessor to Transport Layer Security (TLS) for providing communications security over a computer network.
- TCP/IP – Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (aka Internet Protocol Suite) serves as the industry standard in connecting networks to networks.
- VoIP – the transmission of voice traffic over IP-based networks
- WHOIS – is a query and response protocol for querying databases that store the registered users or assignees of an Internet resource, such as a domain name, an IP address block, or an autonomous system.
- Domain Name – An identification string that represents an IP resource, such as a computer, website, or service.
- Generic String – a string consisting of a word or term that denominates or describes a general class of goods, services, groups, organizations, or things, as opposed to distinguishing a specific brand of goods, services, groups, organizations or things from those of others.
- IDN – An Internationalized Domain Name is formed using characters from different scripts, such as Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, or Devanagari. These are encoded by the Unicode standard following IDN protocol.
- Name Collision – describes the circumstance in which a term attempting to reach a private Domain Name (used in intranets, corporations, organizations) results in resolving to a public Domain Name unintentionally and potentially creating security risks, confusion, and system failure.
- SLD – The Second Level Domain is the data directly before the TLD and generally the portion of the URL that identifies the website's domain name.
- Subdomain – A domain that resides within a higher-level domain to organize and navigate to different sections of a website.
- TLD – The Top Level Domain is the last part of a domain name; see the main article for more info on types of TLDs.
- IXP – an Internet Exchange Point (aka Network Access Point) is a physical point where different Internet service Providers meet to exchange their data and connect networks to form the Internet; without them, global wide-area networking would not be possible.
- Local Area Network – a network that interconnects computers within a limited area such as a residence, school, laboratory, university campus, or office building.
- Proxy server – an application or appliance that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from servers that provide those resources.
- Virtual Private Network – uses public network infrastructures to provide connection or communication services for users who are traveling or in remote areas.
- Wide Area Network – a data communications network in which computers, separated by a distance of more than half a mile, can be connected.
- XRI – A scheme and resolution protocol for abstract identifiers compatible with Uniform Resource Identifiers and Internationalized Resource Identifiers
- AFRINIC – the RIR for Africa and the Indian Ocean
- APNIC – the RIR for the Asia Pacific region.
- APTLD – the Association for ccTLD registries in the Asia Pacific region
- ARIN – the RIR for Canada, the United States, and some islands in the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean
- ASIP – a non-profit organization, based in Jordan, for developing and modernizing intellectual property laws and systems in Arab countries.
- CORE – The Internet Council of Registrars is a non-profit organization formed in 1996 based on the gTLD-MoU to assist the launch of domain name spaces.
- EFF – The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a donor-funded non-profit organization that defends free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights.
- ICANN – Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a global multistakeholder organization created by the U.S. Department of Commerce to coordinate the DNS, IP addresses, and autonomous system numbers and manage these evolving systems and their underlying protocols.
- IGF – A platform wherein stakeholders from industry, government, and civil society discuss issues related to Internet governance.
- ISOC – An international, non-profit organization that promotes Internet use and access.
- ISPAI– Internet Servers Providers Association of Ireland or Internet Service Providers Association India
- LACNIC – the RIR for Latin America and the Caribbean
- PTI – the organization responsible for the operation of the IANA Functions (coordinating the Internet's unique identifiers)
- Regional Internet Registry – a not-for-profit international organization that allocates IP address space (IPv4 and IPv6) and the Autonomous System numbers within a geographical region.
- RIPE NCC – the RIR for Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Central Asia
- RISG – The Registration Infrastructure Security Group is a non-profit organization for finding solutions and developing best practices for decreasing Internet security threats.
- US ISPA – United States Internet Service Providers Association
- WIPO - World Intellectual Property Organization, a UN agency that provides a global forum for intellectual property services, policies, and information.
- W3C An international industry consortium that develops protocols and guidelines to ensure the interoperability and growth of the World Wide Web.
- Add Grace Period Limits Policy – an ICANN-Accredited registrar shan't receive a refund on domain names deleted during the AGP that were above 10% of the registrar's net new registrations in that month, or 50 domain names.
- Additional Whois Information Policy –
- Consensus Policies – ICANN-developed policies that accredited registrars and registry operators are required to follow.
- Expired Domain Deletion Policy –
- Expired Registration Recovery Policy –
- Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy – the policy developed by ICANN for the safe, straight-forward transfer of domain names from one registrar to another, dispute resolution, and undoing the transfer if it was done as a result of an error.
- Interim Registration Data Policy for gTLDs –
- PEDNR – The Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery policy is for registrants who wish to recover a domain name after it has already expired.
- Protection of IGO and INGO Identifier in All gTLDs Policy –
- Registry Registration Data Directory Services Consistent Labeling and Display Policy
- Registry Services Evaluation Policy –
- Restored Names Accuracy Policy –
- Statement of Registrar Accreditation Policy –
- TDRP – The Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy is a procedure for two registrars who have a dispute over Inter-Registrar domain name transfers.
- Thick RDDS Transition Policy –
- UDRP – The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy is a set of ICANN guidelines for resolving disputes over domain name registration.
- Whois Data Reminder Policy –
- Whois Marketing Restriction Policy –
Functioning of the Internet
- IANA – managing the DNS root zone, the .int registry, and the .arpa zone; coordinating and allocating the global IP respectively AS number space to Regional Internet Registries; and providing the main repository for number registries and protocol names.
- IANA Functions Stewardship Transition – a process and community discussion regarding the United States government's NTIA's provision of the IANA functions to the global Internet community, spearheaded by ICANN.
- Internet governance – the development of norms and principles relating to how the Internet functions by a group of stakeholders including governments, organizations, and commissions and the regulation and administration of those principals by the parties involved.
- Internet Standards Process the IETF-recommended process that a specification undergoes involving developments, iterations of review, revision, and ultimately adoption and publication
- SRS – Ensuring a Shared Registry System means that an unlimited number of registrars may compete in the domain name registration business by using one shared registry.
- Accountability Mechanisms – the four tools with which to review and reconsider ICANN’s actions included in the ICANN Bylaws (Empowered Community, Reconsideration, Independent Review Process, and Ombudsman).
- ADR – an Alternative Dispute Resolution is a process for helping parties under dispute resolve their argument without filing any litigation.
- Batching – ICANN's process for dividing applications for the new gTLD program into batches.
- Digital Archery – ICANN mechanism for determining the processing time or batch slots for each gTLD application using target time variance.
- New gTLD Objection – a mechanism for businesses, applicants, organizations, or individuals to give objection arguments as to why a certain TLD should not be delegated.
- EPDP – an expedited policy development process, led by the GNSO, (1) to address a narrowly defined policy issue that was identified and scoped after either the adoption of a GNSO policy recommendation by the Board; or (2) to create new or additional recommendations for a specific policy issue that had been substantially scoped previously.
- PDP – the steps an ICANN Supporting Organization takes to fulfill its objectives, generate its guidelines, and structure its actions for recommendation to the ICANN Board.
- PDDRP – a mechanism for trademark owners to take any infringement concerns straight to the registry, bypassing the domain name holder and registrar.
- Public Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution Procedure – option for registries in violation of the 2013 Registry Agreement Specification 11 or Public Interest Commitments.
- Pre-Delegation Testing – a process allowing ICANN to determine whether registries meet the specific technical and operational requirements to maintain a new gTLD.
- Public Comment– ICANN procedure for seeking opinions on proposals initiated by a working group or department.
- RSEP – ICANN process for screening and approving proposals made by gTLD operators for new registry services.
- String Confusion Objection – process applicants of New gTLDs or owners of current gTLDs can file against other applications.
- Data Escrow – storing data with a neutral third party in case of registry or registrar failure, accreditation termination, or accreditation relapse without renewal.
- Defensive Registration – registering domain names, often across multiple TLDs and in various grammatical formats, to protect intellectual property from DNS abuse.
- Delegation – entering a new TLD into the Root Zone of the Internet.
- Direct Navigation – visiting a website while bypassing online search engines to arrive at the desired domain.
- Domain Locking (aka Registry or Registrar locking) – locking a domain name so that it cannot be transferred or altered without the explicit permission of the registrant.
- Domain Monetization – purchasing domain names and then either selling, leasing, or parking them to earn money.
- Domain Parking registering a domain name to a page that acts as a placeholder, perhaps to advertise the sale of the domain or as a standby page before the owner adds content.
- Domain Privacy – service provided by registrars that prevents registrants' information from being listed in the WHOIS database.
- Domain Tasting – using the free five-day grace period at the beginning of ICANN's registration process to test the marketability of a specific domain name.
- Drop-Catching – the auto-registration of domains at the moment of their deletion.
- Fast Flux – a technique to evade identification and thwart anti-crime efforts aimed at identifying and shutting down websites used for illegal purposes.
- Reverse Domain Name Hijacking – using trademark protection mechanisms, such as ICANN's UDRP or the ACPA, in bad faith to acquire a domain name when the owner has legitimate rights to it.
- SEO – Search Engine Optimization is a process undertaken by webmasters to increase the number of visitors to a particular website by trying to move up its ranking on a search engine's search results page.
- Spam Sending unsolicited bulk emails, with substantively identical content, to recipients who have not granted permission for the message to be sent.
- Vertical Integration – A single body handling the Registry Operator and the Registrar.
- Botnet Attacks – infecting Internet-connected computers with malware and commanding them to perform activities under the control of a remote administrator.
- Cybersquatting – attempting to profit by purchasing domain names made of marketable and trademark-related terms and later reselling or licensing those names back to the companies that developed the trademark
- DDoS Attack – flooding a victim site with incoming traffic that originates from many different sources, making it impossible to access the site or stop the attack by blocking a single source.
- DNS hijacking – redirecting victims to the attacker’s site instead of the one initially requested.
- Domain Kiting – returning a name just before the five-day period expires and re-registering it again as soon as it becomes available.
- DNS poisoning – causing a DNS resolver to respond with a false IP address bearing malicious code.
- Malware – installing malicious software, such as viruses, spyware, or ransomware, on a device without the user’s consent, to disrupt the device’s operations, gather sensitive information, or access private computer systems.
- Pharming – redirecting unknowing users to fraudulent sites or services through DNS hijacking or poisoning.
- Phishing – the acquisition of personal and financial information through deceptive means such as fraudulent emails, copies of legitimate websites, brand spoofing, and carding.
- Typosquatting – the intentional registration of misspellings of popular website addresses to garner traffic; aka URL hijacking.
- Add Grace Period – the days after a domain is registered when it may be reversed; the registrar can receive credit from the registry operator for any deleted domains, and the registrant can receive a refund.
- Auto-Renew Grace Period – Optional period of 0 to 45 days after expiration during which the registrar may allow a registrant to renew a domain name.
- Pending Delete – A mandatory 5-day period following the RGP, when the domain name is available for re-registration.
- RGP – The Redemption Grace Period is when a registrant can apply to recover/retrieve a domain name after the domain name has been canceled.
TLD Launch Periods
- Extended Evaluation Period – the days during which the applications that do not pass the Initial Evaluation but are eligible for further review can receive further consideration.
- EAP – Early Access Program period during which registries of nTLDs sell premium domain names at higher costs during the Landrush phase than what will become available during the general availability phase at registrars.
- General Availability – (aka GA) is the phase following the Sunrise and Landrush Periods; it is open to the public and operates on a first-come, first-served basis.* Sunrise Period – domain registration period during which trademark holders may preregister names that are the same or similar to their trademarks to avoid cybersquatting. It is prior to the general launch of the TLD.
- Landrush Period – during the introduction of a new TLD, when registration becomes open to the public. This fairly short period follows the Sunrise Period.