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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41-60 of 69 results

Internationalized Domain Name variant label(IDN variant label)

A label generated as a variant of a primary IDN label according to a particular set of Label Generation Rules (LGR) or an IDN Table and set of IDN registration rules. For example, the character strings السعودية and السعودیۃ are variant labels according to the LGR for the root zone.

Internationalized Domain Names in Applications(IDNA)

The technical protocol defined in Request for Comments (RFC) 5891 that supports domain names in various languages and scripts using Unicode characters.

Internet Architecture Board(IAB)

An Internet governance body that provides the long-range technical direction for the Internet to grow and continually evolve as a platform for global communication and innovation. The IAB is represented on ICANN’s Technical Liaison Group. This group provides the ICANN Board with authoritative information concerning the technical standards associated with ICANN’s activities.

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority(IANA)

The suite of Internet coordination functions relating to ensuring the assignment of globally unique protocol parameters, including management of the root of the Domain Name System and the Internet Protocol (IP) address space.

The IANA functions are delivered by Public Technical Identifiers (PTI), an affiliate of ICANN.

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions(IANA functions)

Functions involving the coordination of the unique identifiers and codes that keep the Internet running smoothly. IANA functions include management of Internet number resources, management of the Domain Name System root zone, and maintenance of the authoritative registries for many of the codes and numbers used in the Internet protocols.

The IANA functions are performed by Public Technical Identifiers, an affiliate of ICANN.

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority Naming Function Review(IFR)

This is an accountability mechanism to ensure that Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) meets the needs and expectations of its naming customers. The IANA Naming Function Review (IFR) evaluates PTI's performance of the IANA naming function against the contractual requirements in the IANA Naming Function Contract.

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority stewardship transition(IANA stewardship transition)

The final step in a nearly two-decade-long process by the U.S. Department of Commerce to transition the coordination and management of the Domain Name System to the private sector. This step involved the transition of the IANA functions from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to the global multistakeholder community.

In 2014, NTIA asked ICANN to convene the global multistakeholder community to formulate proposals to replace NTIA’s stewardship role and enhance ICANN’s accountability mechanisms.

After 800 hours in meetings, more than 32,000 emails, and numerous public comments, a package of proposals developed by the global community was submitted to NTIA. By 30 September 2016, all implementation tasks required for the transition were complete. When ICANN’s contract with NTIA expired on 1 October 2016, the coordination and management of the Internet’s unique identifiers officially transitioned to the global multistakeholder community.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers(ICANN)

ICANN’s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

Internet Engineering Steering Group(IESG)

The body that is responsible for forming working groups in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and for ensuring the quality of work that the IETF produces. The IESG also administers the Standards Track, which is the formal process a specification undergoes to become an Internet standard.

Internet Engineering Task Force(IETF)

A large, open, international community of network designers, developers, operators, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the stable operation of the Internet. The IETF develops Internet standards for the communication protocols that enable the flow of data over the network.

Because ICANN and the IETF rely closely on each other’s work, representatives from IETF are included on the ICANN Board and Nominating Committee.

Internet Exchange Point(IXP)

A physical location where different networks meet and exchange Internet traffic through a switch. IXPs are usually placed in neutral locations between Internet service providers (ISPs) and content delivery networks. Using IXPs allows networks to connect directly rather than going through third-party networks, and can help bring down costs and speed up routing efficiency.

Internet governance(IG)

The rules, norms, mechanisms, and organizations through which the global Internet community’s many stakeholders work together to shape the evolution and use of the Internet.

Internet governance ecosystem

The decentralized collection of individuals, groups, and organizations that develop the operating rules, standards, and policies to shape the evolution and use of the Internet.

Internet Governance Forum(IGF)

A multistakeholder platform established by the United Nations in 2006 that supports global dialogue on policy issues relating to Internet sustainability, robustness, security, stability, and development. At the IGF annual meeting, delegates from across the world meet to exchange information and share best practices.

Other forums, called National and Regional Initiatives (NRIs), are organized at the national, regional, and subregional level, and include Youth IGFs. These forums provide platforms where members can discuss matters of Internet policy affecting local stakeholders.

Internet Governance Forum(IGF)

Established in July 2006, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a global multistakeholder platform established by the United Nations to facilitate discussions related to Internet governance.

Internet identifier

Unique values and codes that enable Internet components (e.g., network equipment, protocols, servers) to operate in a unified and predictable manner. ICANN’s mission is to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems within its scope. Among the Internet identifiers that ICANN coordinates are:

Internet Protocol(IP)

The set of rules that govern how devices communicate over the Internet. The Internet Protocol specifies the format of the packets that devices use to transmit messages through the network. It also specifies the addressing scheme that routers use to transmit messages to their destinations.

Two versions of the Internet Protocol are currently in popular use: Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

Internet Protocol address(IP address)

A numeric value that uniquely identifies a device attached to the Internet. The Internet Protocol (IP) uses IP addresses to route message packets to their intended destinations.

The Internet Protocol has two addressing schemes.

  • Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses have a length of 32 bits, which allows for just over four billion unique identifiers. IPv4 addresses are written as a sequence of four decimal values ranging from 0 through 255, separated by dots. A typical IPv4 address looks like this: 192.0.32.7.
  • Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) addresses have a length of 128 bits, which allows for 340 undecillion unique identifiers. IPv6 addresses are written using sequences of hexadecimal values, separated by colons. A typical IPv6 address looks like this: 2620:0:2d0:200::7.

An Internet device can have both types of addresses simultaneously. Having both address types enables the device to send and receive messages using IPv4 or IPv6.

Internet Protocol address block

A range of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses assigned to a network in a contiguous block. Internet service providers obtain allocations of IP address blocks from a local Internet registry, National Internet Registry, or from their appropriate Regional Internet Registry.