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ICANN Acronyms and Terms

ICANN has hundreds of acronyms and terms, which can be confusing. We created this multilingual tool to help explain what these terms mean and facilitate your work within the ICANN community.

ICANN Acronyms and Terms

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ICANN Annual Operating Plan and Budget

A plan that describes ICANN’s work efforts for a specific fiscal year and identifies the resource commitments for each effort. Work efforts for the plan are drawn from the ICANN Five-Year Operating Plan.

ICANN Board of Directors

The body that reviews policy recommendations developed by the ICANN community and sends approved policies to the ICANN organization for implementation. The Board also performs strategic oversight for the ICANN org, ensuring that the organization acts within its mission and operates effectively, efficiently, and ethically.

Board members are representatives from the ICANN community, selected by their peers. It is composed of 16 members and 4 non-voting liaisons, from different geographies and with expertise relevant to ICANN's mission. The ICANN Bylaws include provisions to help ensure that the Board represents the diversity of the ICANN community. Board members are duty-bound to act in the best interest of ICANN and the global community, and not the interest of a particular constituency, employer, or organization.

The ICANN Bylaws describe the powers, responsibilities, and composition of the Board.

ICANN Bylaws

The document that articulates ICANN’s mission and core values and defines the organizational structures that carry out ICANN’s work. Rules in the Bylaws govern how Board members are selected and how the Board operates. The Bylaws provide similar information for other organizational structures, including the Empowered Community, Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, constituencies, and stakeholder groups.

ICANN community

The volunteer-based collection of global stakeholders that provide advice, develop policy recommendations, conduct reviews, and propose implementation solutions for issues that relate to ICANN’s mission and scope. Together, these stakeholders, which include businesses, Internet engineers, technical experts, civil society, governments, end users, and many others, work through their respective Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees to shape policies that guide the operation and evolution of the Domain Name System.

ICANN Five-Year Operating Plan

A plan that outlines concrete steps for achieving the goals identified in the ICANN Strategic Plan and arranges the steps in phases over a five-year period. This plan also identifies Accountability Indicators to monitor progress against ICANN’s five-year strategy.

ICANN mission

As stated in the ICANN Bylaws, ICANN’s mission is to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems. The specific ways in which ICANN carries out its mission are enumerated in Section 1.1 of the Bylaws.

ICANN organization

The entity that implements the ICANN community’s recommendations at the direction of the ICANN Board of Directors. The ICANN org is led by a CEO and has staff in 40 countries. Its responsibilities include the operation of the root server system, management of generic top-level domains, accreditation of registrars, and oversight of contractual compliance. The ICANN org also hosts the authoritative registries of the codes, numbers, and parameter values associated with the Internet Protocol.

The ICANN org engages in outreach to the ICANN community and organizes the three annual ICANN Public Meetings.

ICANN Public Meeting

An open meeting that ICANN holds three times each year in different regions of the globe. ICANN Public Meetings are free and open to anyone who is interested in attending. For those individuals who cannot attend in person, ICANN offers a range of ways to participate remotely.

The ICANN Public Meetings are fundamental to ICANN's multistakeholder model. The meetings offer an array of speakers, workshops, and working sessions. They also provide a venue for community members to advance their policy work and learn more about ICANN and other members of the community.

Each ICANN Public Meeting is assigned a name using the notation ICANN##, where ## identifies the meeting’s position in the series of ICANN’s Public Meetings. For example, ICANN60 represents ICANN’s 60th Public Meeting.

ICANN Strategic Plan

A five-year plan that articulates ICANN's vision and restates its founding mission. This plan also identifies strategic objectives and defines specific goals, success factors (outcomes), and dependencies associated with each objective.

ICANN-accredited registrar

A registrar that has entered into a Registrar Accreditation Agreement with ICANN. ICANN-accredited registrars can act as registrars for one or more generic top-level domains (gTLDs). A listing of ICANN-accredited registrars appears in the Accredited Registrar Directory on the ICANN website.

ICANN does not manage accreditation for county code top-level domains (ccTLDs). Instead, ccTLD managers determine how registration services are provided within the ccTLDs they manage.

identifier ecosystem

The collection of individuals, groups, and organizations that develop, contribute, and maintain the unique identifiers on which the operation of the Internet depends.

Besides ICANN and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), participants in the identifier ecosystem include: The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and other bodies that work with Internet standards and their respective identifiers.

Incremental Zone Transfer(IXFR)

Domain Name System (DNS) protocol mechanism through which a partial copy of a DNS zone can be replicated to a remote DNS server.

Independent Review Process(IRP)

One of the accountability mechanisms mandated by ICANN's Bylaws.

An IRP provides a means by which a party can raise claims that an action or inaction taken by the ICANN Board, individual Directors, Officers, or staff members violates ICANN's Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws, The IRP allows for review of such claims by independent neutral panelists and provides an alternative to legal action in a court.

Informal Resolution Process

A process that allows ICANN Contractual Compliance to work closely with contracted parties to address contractual compliance matters before pursuing formal remedies to enforce compliance.

information and communications technology(ICT)

The digital devices, protocols, and infrastructure that enable access to information through telecommunications. Today, the Internet is a major component in the ICT landscape, and ICT developers are continually creating new digital devices and communication technologies for it.

Initial Evaluation period

In the New Generic Top-Level Domain Program (New gTLD Program), the first stage in ICANN’s review of an application for a gTLD. During this stage, ICANN reviews the applied-for string, assesses the applicant's technical and financial capabilities, and evaluates the applicant's proposed registry services.

Integration Panel

The technical experts who evaluate the Label Generation Rules developed by Generation Panels and integrate the rules into the unified set of Root Zone Label Generation Rules (RZ-LGR). This panel is responsible for carrying out the second phase of the Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of Internationalized Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) Labels.

The Integration Panel is composed of individuals with expertise in the Domain Name System, the Unicode Standard, and scripts. After incrementally integrating one or more sets of Label Generation Rules into the unified RZ-LGR, the panel posts the updated version of the RZ-LGR to the ICANN website.

intellectual property

An intangible creation of human intellect that is protected by law from unauthorized use. Examples of intellectual property include inventions, processes, works of art, trademarks, and trade names. Within the ICANN community, intellectual property owners are represented by the Intellectual Property Constituency within the Commercial Stakeholder Group.

Intellectual Property Constituency(IPC)

A constituency within the Commercial Stakeholder Group of the Generic Names Supporting Organization. The IPC represents the interests of owners of intellectual property, with a focus on areas where intellectual property rights (e.g., trademarks and copyrights) intersect with the Domain Name System.

Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy(IRTP)

A policy that defines the responsibilities of each of the registrars involved in a transfer of a domain name from one registrar to another. This policy describes the responsibilities for inter-registrar transfers (requested by a registrant) and for bulk transfers (requested by ICANN).