The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a regulating body for domain registrations. ICANN sets the policies and regulations Registrars and Registrants must follow.
ICANN is a not-for-profit, public-benefit organization, formed in 1998. The ICANN staff operates the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS),
- Coordinates allocation and assignment of the Internet's unique identifiers, such as Internet Protocol addresses
- Accredits generic top-level domain (gTLD) name registrars
- Helps facilitate the voices of volunteers worldwide who are dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and inter-operable
ICANN only regulates generic TLDs, including the new TLDs (.com, .net, .club, .pizza, .aero, etc.). They do not regulate TLDs with two letters, also known as ccTLDs (.ca, .de, .jp, etc.). ICANN promotes competition in the domain name space and helps develop Internet policy.
Why Is ICANN Important?
ICANN is responsible for coordinating the management of the technical elements of the DNS to ensure that each DNS resolves universally to enable Internet users to find all valid addresses.
To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer—a name or a number. That address has to be unique to allow computers to know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we would not have one global Internet.
ICANN does not control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it does not deal with access to the Internet. However, through its coordination role of the Internet's naming system, ICANN does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet.
How Does ICANN Affect a Customer?
ICANN is responsible for mandating policies and processes that all registrars, including ours, must follow. These mandated policies will assist in preventing domain hijacking, since it is now more difficult for hackers to quickly transfer the domain to themselves.