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.

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ICANN Acronyms and Terms

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21-32 of 32 results

Standardized Form of Authorization(FOA)

The forms that the two registrars involved in a domain name transfer use to obtain the authorizations necessary to perform the transfer. The FOAs help prevent the unauthorized transfer of a domain name.

To initiate a transfer, the gaining registrar uses the Initial Authorization for Registrar Transfer FOA to obtain authorization from one of the domain name’s transfer contacts. The gaining registrar is responsible for authenticating the identity of the individual who authorizes the transfer request.

To complete the transfer, the losing registrar sends the Confirmation of Registrar Transfer Request FOA to one of the transfer contacts to confirm that the registrant authorized the transfer.

string confusion objection

An objection made on the grounds that an applied-for generic top-level domain (gTLD) string is confusingly similar to an existing top-level domain name (TLD) or to another applied-for gTLD.

string contention

In the New Generic Top-Level Domain Program (New gTLD Program), a scenario in which there is more than one qualified applicant for the same gTLD string or for strings that are so similar they create a probability of user confusion if more than one of the strings is delegated into the root zone.

String Similarity Algorithm

In the New Generic Top-Level Domain Program (New gTLD Program), an algorithmic tool used to help identify applied-for gTLD strings that may result in string confusion.

String Similarity Panel

In the New Generic Top-Level Domain Program (New gTLD Program), a panel charged with assessing whether an applied-for gTLD string creates a probability of user confusion due to its similarity with other specified strings.

stub resolver

A simple resolver that is a part of the operating system on an Internet user’s computer. When a user clicks a link or types a uniform resource locator (URL) in a web browser, the stub resolver sends a recursive query to a designated resolver. A recursive query instructs the resolver to either return the Internet Protocol (IP) address for the requested resource or return an error. Stub resolvers do not accept referrals to other name servers.


A domain that resides within a higher-level domain in the Domain Name System hierarchy. For example, the domains community.icann.org and gnso.icann.org are subdomains of the second-level domain icann.org. The domain icann.org is a subdomain of the top-level domain .org.

Subdomains can be delegated to specific entities. Registrars, for example, delegate second-level domains to registrants. The registrants can then delegate subdomains within their second-level domains.

Sunrise Period

In the New Generic Top-Level Domain Program (New gTLD Program), a period of at least 30 days during the launch of a new gTLD. During this period, trademark holders have an opportunity to register domain names corresponding to their marks before domain name registration is generally available to the public.

Sunrise Service

A service provided by the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) that allows trademark holders to register domain names associated with their marks before registration is generally available to the public. To use this service, trademark holders must have their marks and proof of use verified by the TMCH.

Registries for new generic top-level domains are required to offer the Sunrise Service for at least 30 days.

Supporting Organization(SO)

A formally recognized body under the ICANN Bylaws that is charged with developing policy recommendations for a particular area of ICANN's operations. Supporting Organizations are composed of volunteers from the community. The Bylaws recognize three SOs:

Besides developing policy recommendations, SOs select directors for designated seats on the ICANN Board and participate in the nominating process to fill open Board positions.

System for Standardized Access/Disclosure to Nonpublic Generic Top-Level Domain Registration Data(SSAD)

A system recommended by the second phase of the Expedited Policy Development Process on the Temporary Specification for Generic Top-Level Domain Registration Data (EPDP-TempSpec) to bring the requests and disclosure of generic top-level domain (gTLD) name registration data information into compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The hybrid model design is intended to provide a predictable, transparent, and accountable mechanism in which requests would be centralized and disclosure decisions would typically (in the initial implementation) be made by contracted parties. The system is still under consideration.