ICANN: The Global Community

ICANN stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. This not-for-profit corporation exists to benefit the worldwide internet-using public in order to ensure security and stability on the worldwide web.

There are no guarantees; nothing to completely secure this means of connecting people across the globe to other net users, businesses, and organizations. ICANN, however, attempts to demystify this part of the internet and also to make it as secure as possible.

icannWhat Is ICANN?

You might have heard of them in association with domain names but there is more to ICANN than that. They want competition in the industry to enhance security and development and to keep prices under control.

ICANN seeks to create policy of benefit to everyone around the creation of identifiers and domain names. They are central to internet development at this level but are also made up of huge numbers of individuals who feel they need to have a stake in the group.

Smaller Groups

Many smaller teams are integral to the seamless functioning of ICANN. They are dedicated to Root Server Systems, Board nominations, security and stability, and communication with engineers. There is the ccNSO or Country Code Names Supporting Organization. The GAC is a link to ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee. Visit the GNSO or Generic Names Supporting Organization. ICANN isn’t one group; it’s many teams built into one.

The Heart of ICANN

The people at this non-profit organization are especially concerned about building policy. Their foundation is based on community and their board believes contributing to policy is everyone’s right, not just that of big business, web hosts, and software writers. ICANN registries, registrars, and contacts contribute to the structure of naming systems. They invite others to weigh in on the discussion as well via forums and mailing lists.

Real Involvement

They hold a meeting for everyone involved in this community every year and all participants are invited to attend. Typically, these individuals are users and technical experts alike. All users should have the opportunity to offer input into the way the internet is operated. This series consists of dozens of sessions during a week-long period. Participants can join in the discussion via internet or in person; even during an open-mic session.

Website Guides

The website provides guides to ICANN as a whole, to board and involvement protocol, domain names, IANA functions, and participation as a contributor. Governance guidelines can be found here. Review names on the board and find out more about who is running this huge team.

Learn about accountability, and ICANN news. Read guides in multiple languages; this is, after all, a global community. Help is also available if you are in dispute over a domain name for any reason; registration or transfer, for instance.


Read the names of top-rated and standard domain registries, long lists in alphabetical order. Learn about internationalized domain names. This is the motherload of domain names, in fact. When a web host offers domain registration and is linked to ICANN, this means they get that organization’s seal of approval. Usually, you see just a small number of potential names on the list available from a web host. The reality beyond “dot-com” is seen here.

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