ICANN 101

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Welcome to the world of ICANN!

If you are new, or even if you aren't, here are a list of important terms that you may need to know.

ICANN

ICANN stands for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is a private, non-profit organization for the management of the Internet DNS, IP Addresses and Autonomous System Numbers, and the structures that underlie them. It runs on an international, multi-stakeholder model.

ICANN
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MAIN ARTICLE:
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

SEE ALSO:
ICANN Board
ICANN Staff
ICANN Meetings
ICANN Bodies

ICANN Organizational Chart

ICANN Organizational Chart

GNSO

Main article: GNSO
The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) supports the ICANN Board by developing policies, forming consensus, and making recommendations related to gTLDs.

ccNSO

Main article: ccNSO
The Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) supports the ICANN Board by developing policies, forming consensus, and making recommendations related to ccTLDs.

ASO

Main article: ASO
The Address Supporting Organization (ASO) supports the ICANN Board by developing policies, forming consensus, and making recommendations related to Internet Protocol and addresses.

GAC

Main article: GAC
The Government Advisory Committee (GAC) is consists of representatives from various governments and advises the ICANN Board on public policy issues, national laws, and international agreements.

ALAC

Main article: ALAC
The At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) presents the voices and concerns of individual Internet users, as represented by the At-Large Community.

RSSAC

Main article: RSSAC
The Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) advises the ICANN Community and Board on issues pertaining to the operation, administration, security, and integrity of the Internet's Root Server System.

SSAC

Main article: SSAC
The Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) advises the ICANN Board on matters related to the security and integrity of domain names and the allocation of IP addresses, including but not limited to security assurance for operational matters, administrative matters and registrations matters.

NomCom

Main article: Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee (NomCom) is in charge of selecting various ICANN officers. It is designed to operate independently of all other ICANN Bodies, and to act in the interest of the global internet community.

Ombudsman

Main article: Ombudsman
The Ombudsman acts as an informal dispute resolution office for members of the ICANN community who wish to lodge complaints about ICANN staff, board, or supporting organizations.

IETF

Main article: IETF

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) 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.

Registry

Main article: Registry

A registry is the database of all domain names registered under a certain TLD. A registry operator, also called a NIC or network information center, is responsible for managing this database. They contract with registrars, who are accredited to sell domains under the TLD.

Registrar

Main article: Registrar

A registrar is a company that is authorized to sell domain names.

Registrant

A registrant is a person who has registered a domain name through a registrar.

DNS

Main article: DNS
See also: DNSSEC

The Domain Name System (DNS) translates between alphanumeric domain names and IP Addresses.

TLD

Main article: TLD

A Top Level Domain (TLD) is the last part of a domain name; for example, .com, .net, .org. The two most prominent types of TLDs are gTLDs and ccTLDs.

gTLD

Main article: gTLD

A Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) refers to any TLD that is not a ccTLD. Previously, gTLDs were limited to being three or more characters. But with the addition of the New TLD program, two character gTLDs may now be registered. Examples of gTLDs include .com, .org, and .info. sTLDs, such as .travel, and GeoTLDs, such as .asia and .cat, are a subset of gTLDs.

New gTLD Program

Main article: new gTLD Program
See also: New gTLD Resources

The new gTLD Program is a process by which ICANN accepts applications to add new TLDs to the Root Zone.

ccTLD

Main article: ccTLD

A Country-Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) is a TLD with two characters, specifically designed for a particular country, sovereign state or autonomous territory. .uk, .de, and .cn are all examples of ccTLDs.

IP

Main article: Internet Protocol
See also: IPv4, IPv6, Internet Protocol Suite

Internet Protocol (IP) is the means by which data is sent from one computer to another via an Internet connection.

IDNs

Main article: IDNs

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) are formed using characters from different scripts, such as Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, or Devanagari. These are encoded by the Unicode standard and used as allowed by relevant IDN protocols.