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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. Search for terms by name or acronym using the search bar, or search by letter. All acronyms and terms are available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.

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  • working group

    A temporary group formed by a Supporting Organization (SO) or an Advisory Committee (AC) to solve a specific problem or carry out a particular assignment. For example, during a policy development process, the Generic Names Supporting Organization Council assembles a working group to develop and refine a policy recommendation.

    Working groups are composed of volunteers from the community. The formation and membership of a working group vary according to the SO’s or AC’s procedural rules. Working groups are expected to operate in accordance with ICANN’s principles of accountability and transparency. Active working groups are listed on the SO’s or AC’s website.

  • World Intellectual Property OrganizationWIPO

    An agency of the United Nations that provides a global forum for intellectual property services, policies, and information. WIPO enables its 191 member states to collectively shape rules associated with the international registration systems for intellectual property. WIPO also provides services for resolving international commercial disputes outside the courts.

    The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center is one of the providers approved by ICANN for resolving domain name disputes.

  • World Summit on the Information SocietyWSIS

    A two-phase conference sponsored by the United Nations, where heads of state and other high-profile leaders met to form the principles of an Information Society that would work for all. At the Geneva summit in 2003, participants drafted guiding principles and a plan of action. When the summit reconvened in Tunis in 2005, participants focused on the questions of financing mechanisms, capacity building, and a multistakeholder model of Internet governance. One outcome of the Tunis summit was the establishment of the Internet Governance Forum.

    The WSIS Forum is held annually to discuss important issues related to the Information Society.

    In 2014, the WSIS+10 High-Level Event convened in Geneva to examine the progress made since the Geneva and Tunis summits, and to establish priorities for the future. One of the resulting documents was “WSIS+10 Vision for WSIS Beyond 2015,” which focused on a globally and digitally inclusive Internet. It called for initiatives to address cultural and linguistic diversity, extend Internet access to underserved regions and populations, and strengthen trust through cybersecurity.

  • World Wide Web ConsortiumW3C

    An international industry consortium that develops protocols and guidelines to ensure the interoperability and long-term growth of the World Wide Web. The W3C 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.