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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
A notational standard for phonetic representation in multiple languages.
A specialized agency of the United Nations that develops international technical standards that enable networks and other information and communications technologies to interconnect. ITU’s original purpose was to allocate the global radio spectrum and satellite orbits.
A specification that defines the permitted characters and rules for combining characters to form labels in the languages and scripts applicable to a particular zone of the Domain Name System (DNS). Zone managers create IDN tables to establish policies for the DNS zones they manage.
An internationalized label for a domain in the root zone (a top-level domain). The current Label Generation Rules require an IDN TLD to conform to the Internationalized Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) protocol.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
The first version of the Internet Protocol (IP) to gain popular use. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency developed IPv4 in the early 1980s. With an address length of 32 bits, IPv4 has a capacity of just over four billion unique IP addresses. After years of rapid Internet expansion, its pool of available addresses has been fully allocated to Internet services providers and users.
The latest version of the Internet Protocol (IP). The Internet Engineering Task Force developed IPv6, and the protocol became an IP standard in 1996. With an address length of 128 bits, IPv6 has a capacity for 340 undecillion unique IP addresses.
A body of experts who perform research that is critical to the evolution of the Internet. The IRTF is composed of several focused and long-term research groups. Topics that these groups explore include decentralized infrastructure services, cryptographic mechanisms, congestion control, and thing-to-thing communication. Often, the findings of IRTF research are applied and standardized by its sister group, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
The international organization for global cooperation and coordination for the Internet and its internetworking technologies and applications. The Internet Society supports and promotes the development of the Internet as a global technical infrastructure, a resource to enrich people’s lives, and a force for good in society. ISOC membership is open to any interested person. Regional ISOC chapters across the globe focus on promoting ISOC’s mission locally.