ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the company that assigns Internet numbers (IP addresses) and top-level domain names to people and organizations wishing to position themselves on the Internet.
This public utility organization is also responsible for the coordination of the DNS (Domain Name System). It ensures that each domain is allocated an IP address and that it is unique.
Who are the members of ICANN? What are the main roles of this company? These questions are answered in this article.
ICANN in a nutshell
ICANN designates a company that works in the allocation of domain names and IP addressing used on the Internet. This is the assignment of top-level domains (internet domains not associated with a country) such as .com, .net or .fr.
The US government approves the decisions taken by ICANN, which testifies to the notoriety of this non-profit company. ICANN was founded in 1998. Since its inception, the company has made it easy for entrepreneurs to start a business. Since 2011, for example, ICANN has allowed large organizations and companies to purchase their own suffix to personalize their domain name.
Responsible for the security, coordination and stability of the Internet’s unique identifier system, ICANN thus oversees the technical function of the Internet as a whole. Among the global Internet resources coordinated by ICANN are:
To do this, ICANN authorizes and contracts with national registrars.
They have an obligation to respect the rules set by ICANN. For example, they must ask customers to adhere to their terms or notify registrants when their domain is about to expire.
Learn more about the domain name system
The domain name makes it easier to remember the address of a site. It allows users to easily access the sites of their choice. A domain name consists of a name and a suffix (extension of the domain name) that you are accustomed to using such as .com or .fr.
The name refers to a company, brand or person. The choice of the domain name is made freely, provided that it has not yet been used by another person or by another organization or company. The suffix is the classification of the domain.
There are several categories of domains. These are classified according to their commercial activity or their geographical origin. Any brand, person or company wishing to position themselves on the Internet must have a domain name.
The Domain Name System (DNS) is designed to make the Internet easier for everyone. The IP address or Internet Protocol Progress is the address that allows you to easily identify a device. It can be a computer or a printer. It is difficult to remember the IP address, especially since its composition is only a set of numbers. DNS allows the use of a series of letters associated with a series of specific numbers.
DNS translates IP addresses and domain names. This system is a bridge between the users and the applications of the system, in other words between the clients and the servers. The objective is that a user can obtain a unique result following his request. The whole guarantees the stability of the system.
Groups that make up ICANN
Several groups make up ICANN and participate in the decision-making of society. The advisory committees are responsible for giving the best recommendations and possible advice to ICANN. They are represented by individuals or groups of individuals concerned with web security.
There are also root server operators, international treaty organizations and governments, as well as users of the Internet as a whole.
Three supporting organizations are also added to the list of participants, namely organizations that support domain name management, those that manage IP addresses and those responsible for national top-level domains.
The technical liaison group is also involved in decision-making. He collaborates with those who deal with the design of basic protocols related to Internet technologies.
The Executive Board, formed by more than 20 members, makes the final decisions of ICANN. An independent nominating committee appoints most of the members, especially those with voting rights. As with most companies, a CEO sits at the head of ICANN.
An independent mediator checks the work of all (staff and management).
How the ICANN Decision Process Works
In the event of technical modifications made to the network, the suggestion or modification is forwarded to the supporting organizations. A debate ensued, followed by the publication of a report for public review. Each group that makes up ICANN reviews the suggestions. Every point of view must be taken into account. The result obtained is still subject to public scrutiny.
The ICANN Board receives a report containing the summary of discussions as well as a list of recommendations. The management board may approve certain modifications and reject others as appropriate. He can also refuse all suggestions and send the case back to the supporting organizations. A re-examination is necessary until there is a compromise between the members and the management board.
Internally, ICANN has responsibilities with respect to certain points, such as its internal regulations and its officers (annual election carried out by the executive board). Externally, ICANN must comply with United States law. The company risks legal action if there are problems with reporting or other types of unjustified decisions.
Although it manages the operation and evolution of servers, ICANN has no control over the content posted on the web. It cannot manage Internet access. However, society can influence decisions related to the development and evolution of the Internet.
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