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What is Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)?

ICANN helps ensure that domain names are assigned and resolved correctly, IP addresses are distributed efficiently, and internet-related policies are developed through a collaborative and inclusive process.

ICANN stands for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is a non-profit organization that plays a crucial role in the management and coordination of the internet’s domain name system (DNS) and the allocation of IP addresses.

What ICANN is responsible for

  1. Domain Name System (DNS) Management: ICANN oversees the allocation and management of top-level domains (TLDs) such as .com, .org, .net, and country-code TLDs like .uk (United Kingdom) and .jp (Japan). It coordinates the domain name system to ensure that domain names are unique and resolve to the correct IP addresses.
  2. IP Address Allocation: ICANN works with regional internet registries (RIRs) to allocate and manage IP address blocks, ensuring the efficient distribution of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses to internet service providers (ISPs) and organizations worldwide.
  3. Root Zone Management: ICANN is responsible for the maintenance of the root zone of the DNS, which includes the authoritative list of top-level domain names and their associated DNS servers. Changes to the root zone, such as adding or modifying TLDs, require ICANN’s approval.
  4. Coordination of Internet Assigned Numbers: ICANN oversees the assignment of various numbers and identifiers used on the internet, including protocol parameters, port numbers, and other technical standards.
  5. Policy Development: ICANN facilitates the development of policies related to domain names and IP address allocation through a multi-stakeholder process that involves input from various internet stakeholders, including governments, businesses, technical experts, and civil society.

ICANN’s mission is to ensure the stable and secure operation of the internet’s unique identifiers and to promote competition and innovation in the domain name industry. It operates under a system of decentralized governance, involving stakeholders from around the world in its decision-making processes.

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