Across Field Address Validation
Accountability and Transparency Review Team
Cross Community Engagement Group
Country Code Name Supporting Organizationi (q.v.)
Country Code Top Level Domaini (q.v.)
Consistent Labeling & Display
The ICANN Generic Name Supporting Organizationi consists of a Council and six Constituencies. Each Constituency is self-organized. The Constituencies consist of (in alphabetical order): 1. Commercial and Business entities; 2. gTLDi Registries; 3. Intellectual Property; 4. Internet Service and Connectivity Providers; 5. Non-Commercial Users; 6. Registrars. Any group of individuals or entities may petition the ICANN Board for recognition as a new or separate Constituency. (Constituency website URLs can be found at
A type of contractual agreement often used by the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) that facilitates cooperation between private organizations and the U.S. government for the purposes of encouraging development of new technology with the ultimate goal of turning that technology over to the private sector. Network Solutions, Inc. (now VeriSign, Inc.) entered into a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation in 1993 to provide Internet domain name registration services. That agreement was transferred from NSF to the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1998 and is still in force today.
Community Onboarding Program
Country Code Name Supporting Organization
The ICANN policy-development body responsible for: 1) developing and recommending to the ICANN Board global policies relating to country-code top-level domains; 2) nurturing consensus across the ccNSOi's community, including the name-related activities of ccTLDs; and 3) coordinating with other ICANN Supporting Organizationsi, committees, and constituencies under ICANN. In addition to the above core responsibilities, the ccNSO may also engage in other activities authorized by its members, including: seeking to develop voluntary best practices for ccTLD managers, assisting in skills building within the global community of ccTLD managers, and enhancing operational and technical cooperation among ccTLD managers. The ccNSO consists of (i) ccTLD managers that have agreed in writing to be members of the ccNSO and (ii) a ccNSO Council responsible for managing the policy-development process of the ccNSO.
Country Code Top Level Domain
A top-level domain containing a 2-character abbreviation as defined by ISO 3166-1 (Codes for the Representation of Names of Countries and Their Subdivisions). As of November 1999 there were 243 country code top level domains (ccTLDs) registered. Some examples are .us for the United States, .ca for Canada, .jp for Japan, .de for Germany, etc. ccTLDs are often contrasted to generic top level domains (gTLDs).
Child Sexual Abuse Material
The Customer Standing Committee (CSC) monitors the performance of the Post Transition IANA (PTI).
Domain Abuse Activity Reporting
Domain Abuse Reporting Tool
Domain Name System (q.v.)
Domain Name Supporting Organizationi (q.v.)
United States Department of Commerce (q.v.)
An addressing construct used for identifying and locating computers on the Internet. Domain names provide a system of easy-to-remember Internet addresses, which can be translated by the Domain Name Systemi (DNSi) into the numeric addresses (Internet Protocol (IP) numbers) used by the network. A domain name is hierarchical and often conveys information about the type of entity using the domain name. A domain name is simply a label that represents a domain, which is a subset of the total domain name space. Domain names at the same level of the hierarchy must be unique. Thus, for example, there can be only one .COM at the top-level of the hierarchy, and only one example.com at the next level of the hierarchy.
Domain Name Supporting Organization
The former name of the Generic Name Supporting Organization (GNSO).
Domain Name System
A distributed database of information that is used to translate domain names (which are easy for humans to remember and use) into Internet Protocol (IP) numbers, which are what computers need to find each other on the Internet. People working on computers around the globe maintain their specific portion of this database, and the data held in each portion of the database is made available to all computers and users on the Internet. The DNS comprises computers, data files, software, and people working together.
Emergency Back End Registry Operator
Expression of Interest
Extensible Provisioning Protocol (q.v.)
Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP)
A protocol for the registration and management of second and lower level domain names and associated name servers in Top Level Domains (TLDs) as specified in RFC's 3730, 3731, 3732, 3733, 3734, and 3735. EPP is currently the most commonly used and accepted protocol for TLD registries.
Frequently Asked Questions
General Data Protection Regulation
Generic Name Supporting Organization
A supporting organization of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). It advises the ICANN Board with respect to policy issues relating to the Domain Name System. The ICANN Generic Name Supporting Organization consists of a Council and six Constituencies. Each Constituency is self-organized. The Constituencies consist of (in alphabetical order): 1. Commercial and Business entities; 2. gTLD Registries; 3. Intellectual Property; 4. Internet Service and Connectivity Providers; 5. Non-Commercial Users; 6. Registrars. The Council is made up of three representatives from each of the constituencies plus three representatives appointed by the ICANN Nominating Committee and various liaisons from other ICANN organizations.(q.v.)
Generic Top Level Domain
A top level domain name that is open to registrants around the world in contrast to country code top level domains that are sometimes restricted to registrants located in a particular country or region. .aero, .biz, .com, .coop, .info, .jobs, .mobi, .museum, .name, .net, .org, .post, .pro, and .travel are all considered to be generic top level domains.
Generic Name Supporting Organization
The GNSO Council is the management body of the policy development process of the GNSO. Members of the Council come from six constituencies: gTLD Registries (representing all gTLD registries under contract to ICANN); Registrars (representing all registrars accredited by and under contract to ICANN); Internet Service and Connectivity Providers (representing all entities providing Internet service and connectivity to Internet users); Commercial and Business Users (representing both large and small commercial entity users of the Internet); Non-Commercial Users (representing the full range of non-commercial entity users of the Internet); and Intellectual Property Interests (representing the full range of trademark and other intellectual property interests relating to the DNS). In addition there are three members appointed by the ICANN Nominating Committee. (http://gnso.icann.org/)
"A Proposal to Improve Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses"prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) as a means of making recommendations to the Internet community and obtaining their comments. The Green Paper was released in January 1998 and was followed by a comment period during which DoC received comments from interested parties and organizations around the world. In response to the comments received, DoC published the policy statement referred to at the White Paper. (q.v.)(See:
Generic Top Level Domain (q.v.)
Global Stakeholder Engagement Team
Also called a name server. A computer that has both the software and the data (zone files) needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers.
Implementation Advisory Group
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (q.v.)(See
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (q.v.)(See:
Internationalized Domain Names (q.v.)
Internet Engineering Task Force (q.v.)(See
IANA Function Review Team
Internationalized Domain Names
An Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) contains characters that may potentially be drawn from a repertoire of 96,000-characters, known as the Unicode repertoire. Prior to the availability of IDN, a domain name could only be displayed using a character set limited to the 26 letters of the basic Latin alphabet (a-z), the 10 digits (0-9), and the hyphen (-), thus limiting the number of languages that could be represented in native form. With IDN, a far larger number of languages may be displayed as their native speakers expect to see them in Internet applications (such as web browsers).The form in which an IDN is recorded in the DNS is, however, still restricted to the initial letter-digit-hyphen (LDH) repertoire. Domain names in languages that require additional characters must therefore be specially encoded if they are both to behave correctly in DNS transactions and be properly displayed. This encoding mechanism has been established by the IETFi in a suite of protocols termed IDNA (Internationalized Domain Names in Applications), specified in RFCs 3490, 3491, and 3492, with fundamental reference to RFC3454.
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is a function performed by ICANN. IANA publishes the Top Level Domain (TLD) information, including Whois and name server data, all of which is referred to as root zone management. Root zone management includes keeping the root zone up to date and maintaining the authoritative Whois database for generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). IANA also oversees registration for various Internet Protocol parameters, such as port numbers, protocol and enterprise numbers, options, codes, and types. The IANA function is currently located at the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California in Marina del Rey, CA and functions under the direction of ICANN. (See
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
An international not-for-profit, private sector organization created to coordinate four key functions for the Internet: the management of the domain name system, the allocation of IP address space, the assignment of protocol parameters, and the management of the root server system. (See http://www.ICANN.org)
Internet Domain Name
An addressing construct used for identifying and locating computers on the Internet. Domain names provide a system of easy-to-remember Internet addresses, which can be translated by the Domain Name Systemi (DNS) into the numeric addresses (Internet Protocol (IP) numbers) used by the network. A domain name is hierarchical and often conveys information about the type of entity using the domain name. A domain name is simply a label that represents a domain, which is a subset of the total domain name space. Domain names at the same level of the hierarchy must be unique. Thus, for example, there can be only one .COM at the top-level of the hierarchy, and only one example.com at the next level of the hierarchy.
Internet Engineering Task Force
An international, voluntary body consisting of network designers, engineers, researchers, vendors, and other interested individuals who work together to address and resolve technical and operational problems on the Internet and develop Internet standards and protocols. The IETF meets three times a year; however, the bulk of the collaboration and work takes place on the various mailing lists maintained by its participants. (See
Internet Network Information Center. InterNIC is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Commerce. InterNIC was the name given to a project that originated in 1993 under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF) enabling Network Solutions, Inc. (now VeriSign, Inc.) to provide domain name registration services in .com, .net, .org, and .edu. The InterNIC name is no longer used by VeriSign for its services. The InterNIC is currently the name of a web site provided by ICANN on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce (q.v.) (see
InterNIC Web Site
This site is currently being hosted by ICANNi on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This website has been established to provide the public information regarding Internet domain name registration services. (See
Internet Protocol (q.v.)
IP Address (also known as Internet Protocol Number)
A unique, numeric identifier used to specify hosts and networks. IP Addresses, or Internet Protocol (IP) numbers, are part of a global, standardized scheme for identifying machines that are connected to the Internet. There are two forms of IP Addresses: IPv4 (q.v.) and IPv6 (q.v.). IP Addresses are allocated by the Number Resource Organization (q.v.)
Internet Protocol version 4, the legacy Internet Protocol version that is most commonly used. Migration to IPv6i is just beginning and will undoubtedly take many years to complete. IPv4 numbers are 32 bit addresses that consist of four octets, and they are expressed as four numbers between 0 and 255, separated by periods, for example: 220.127.116.11.
Internet Protocol version 6, the latest Internet Protocol standard defined in RFC 3513. The process of migrating to IPv6i from IPv4 is in its very early stages and will undoubtedly take many years to complete. . IPv6 numbers are 128-bit values that consist of eight 16-bit values expressed as hexadecimal (base 8) numbers between 0 and FFFF (0 and 65,535 in decimal (base 10)), separated by colons. There are three conventional forms for representing IPv6 addresses as text strings (see section 2 of RFC 3513 for a detailed description of the three forms).
Internet Service Provider and Connectivity Provider
Listing a host (name server) that does not contain a Start of Authority (SOA) record for a domain name when registering a domain name with a registry or registrar.
Material Subcontracting Arrangement
Maximal Starting Repertoire Version 3 for the Development of Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone
Multistakeholder Strategy and Strategic Initiatives
Also called a host. A computer that has both the software and the data (zone files) needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers.
Providing individuals or organizations with domain name-to-Internet Protocol (IP) number resolution by maintaining and making available the hardware, software, and data needed to perform this function. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operate name servers and provide their customers with name service when they register a domain name. Most individuals are not in a position to operate a name server on their own and will need to make arrangements for name service with an ISP or some other person or organization.
The Names Council (NC) was a part of the Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO), one of three supporting organizations for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbersi (ICANN), before ICANN reform changed it to the Generic Name Supporting Organization. It consisted of three representatives from each of the six GNSOi constituencies plus three from the ccTLD constituency. The ccTLD constituency is not included in the GNSO and was essentially replaced by the Country Code Name Supporting Organizationi (ccNSO).
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Executive Branch's principal voice on domestic and international telecommunications and information technology issues. NTIA is the agency within DoC that manages the cooperative agreement with Network Solutions and the Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN. (See
Name Collision Analysis Project
Number Resource Organization (q.v.)
Naming Services portal
New Top Level Domaini Applicant Group
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (q.v.) (See
Number Resource Organization
The umbrella organization for the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) that handle IP Address allocation for different areas of the world. The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) is responsible for North America and a portion of the Caribbean. IP allocation for Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia is currently handled by RIPE (Reseaux IP Europeens). IP allocation for the Asia/Pacific region is currently handled by the Asia-Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC). IP allocation for Latin America and a portion of the Caribbean is handled by the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC). In the near future, IP allocation for Africa will be provided by the African Network Information Center (AfriNIC). (See
Operational Test and Evaluation
A process in which registrars licensed by registries develop client systems and software to register and manage domain names and name servers prior to live operation. TLD registries provide an isolated, shared Operational Test and Evaluation server environment that is used for both initial registrar system development and ongoing registrar development and testing. Prior to operation in live systems, registrars must complete a basic functional evaluation in the Operational Test and Evaluation environment to demonstrate full and correct operation of their client systems. The evaluation must be completed without error before registrars are given access to the live system.
Operational Test and Evaluation (q.v.)
Public Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution Process (PICDRP)
Public Technical Identifiers. PTI was formed to perform the naming-related IANA functions under contract with ICANN.
Registration Data Access Protocol
Registry Registration Data Directory Servies
Registration Directory Service (formerly WHOIS)
Regional Internet Registries (RIRs)
See Number Resource Organization
The individual or organization that registers a specific domain name with a registrar. This individual or organization holds the right to use that specific domain name for a specified period of time, provided certain conditions are met and the registration fees are paid. This person or organization is the"legal entity"bound by the terms of the Domain Namei Registration Agreement with the registrar. Registrars provide direct services to registrants.
A registrar provides direct services to domain name registrants. The registrar database contains customer information in addition to the DNS information contained in the Registry database. Registrars process name registrations for Internet end-users and then send the necessary DNS information to a Registry for entry into the centralized Registry database and ultimate propagation over the Internet. There are multiple registrars providing registration services through TLD registries. (See
A searchable database maintained by registrars that contains information about networks, networking organizations, domain names, and the contacts associated with them for the generic top level domains and ISO 3166 country code top-level domains. The database also contains the protocol, or set of rules, that describes the application used to access the database. Each registrar implements the Whois protocol and maintains a separate and distinct Whois database for its respective domain name registrations.
An Internet domain name registry is an entity that receives domain name service (DNSi) information from domain name registrars, inserts that information into a centralized database and propagates the information in Internet zone files on the Internet so that domain names can be found by users around the world via applications such as the world wide web and email.
Agreements executed between ICANN and a gTLD registry operator or sponsor. The agreement contains the terms and conditions under which the registry operator or sponsor is authorized to be the exclusive registry for all second-level domain names and in some cases third-level names in the corresponding top level domain name. (http://www.icann.org/registries/agreements.htm)
Registry Registrar Protocol (RRP)
A protocol for the registration and management of second level domain names and associated name servers in both Top Level Domains (TLDs) and country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs). This protocol was developed by the Network Solutions Registry for use within the Shared Registration Systemi. RRPi is a TCP-based, 7-bit US-ASCII text protocol that permits multiple registrars to provide second level Internet domain name registration services in the top level domains (TLDs) administered by a TLD registry. RRP is still in use today for the .com and .net gTLDs as well as miscellaneous ccTLD registries. It is gradually being replaced by the EPP protocol in most registries.
This is the authoritative Whoisi service maintained by each Registryi for all Internet domain names registered in that Registry.. This service is available to anyone. Note that, in the case of a thin registry, no registrant or end-user contact information is displayed. In the case of a thick registry, registrant and end-user contact information are displayed.
Registry-Registrar Agreement (RRA)
This is a contract that registrars must enter into with a given TLD Registry in order to be able to provide registration services. In each ICANN gTLD Registry Agreement, the RRA in included as an appendix.
The term used to describe the process by which domain names are matched with corresponding Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses."Resolution"is accomplished by a combination of computers and software, referred to as name servers that use the data in the Domain Name System to determine which IP numbers correspond to a particular domain name.
Request for Comments - the convention for referring to Internet technical protocols developed by the IETF (q.v.) and assigned numbers by IANA. (q.v.)
Request for Reconsideration
Regional Internet Registry (q.v.)
The top of the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy. Often referred to as the"dot"or the"root zone file". The root zone file contains authoritative data on the registries for all the top-level domains , that is, the root servers know which name servers contain authoritative data for the generic top level domains, e.g., .com, and .net, as well as the country code domains, e.g., ,fr and ,uk. The content of the root zone file is currently controlled by the NTIA (q.v.).
The machines that have the root zone file, i.e., the software and data needed to locate the name servers that in turn contain the authoritative data for each of the top-level domains. Currently, an"anycast"system has increased the effective number of servers so that they are now located in over twenty countries and are shadowing the original thirteen. It is reasonable to expect that the number of anycasted systems will continue to increase. (See
The Registration Operations Workshop (ROW) was conceived as an informal industry group that would provide a discussion forum of the technical aspects of registration operations in the Domain Name System (DNS) ecosystem.
Registry-Registrar Agreement (q.v.)
Registry Registrar Protocol (q.v.)
Registrar Stakeholder Group
Registry Service Evaluation Policy
Registry Stakeholder Group
Root Zone Evolution Review Committee advises the ICANN Board of the architectural and operational changes to the root zone environment.
Second Level Domain Name
In the Domain Name System (DNS), the next lower level of the hierarchy underneath the top-level domains. In a domain name, that portion of the domain name that appears immediately to the left of the top-level domain. For example, the example in example.net. Second level domain names are often descriptive and have come to be used increasingly to represent individuals, businesses and other organizations on the Internet.
Seperation Cross-Community Working Group
Security Framework Drafting Team
Shared Registration System
The Shared Registration System permits multiple registrars to provide Internet domain name registration services within the top-level domains (TLDs) administered by a TLD registry. The System (a protocol and associated hardware and software) includes the following subsystems: a database server subsystem, a registration subsystem ensuring equivalent access to the registry by all registrars; a billing subsystem; a systems development and testing subsystem; a TLD zone file generation subsystem; and a Whois subsystem.
Service Level Expectations (being changed to SLA?)
Start of Authority (q.v.)
Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees
A Sponsored TLD is a specialized TLD that has a sponsor representing a specific community that is served by the TLD. The sponsor thus carries out delegated policy formulation responsibilities over many matters concerning the TLD. .aero, .coop, and .museum are sponsored TLDs.
Shared Registration System (q.v.)
System for Standardized Access/Disclosure
SSL is an acronym for"Secure Socket Layer", a security protocol that provides communications privacy over the Internet. The protocol allows client/server applications to communicate in a way that is designed to prevent eavesdropping, tampering, or message forgery.
Second Security, Stability and Resiliency of the DNS Review Team
Start of Authority (SOA)
The SOA (or Start of Authority Resource Record) is a type of record used in the distributed database that is the Domain Name System (DNS) to indicate that a particular name server contains authoritative data for a particular domain.
The ICANN Supporting Organizations serve as advisory bodies to the Board, with a primary responsibility of developing and recommending substantive policies regarding those matters falling within their specific responsibilities.
Trusted Community Representative
A thick registry is one for which the registry database contains registrant and domain name contact information in addition to domain name service (DNS) information (domain name, name server names and name server Internet Protocol [IP] numbers), the name of the registrar that registered the name, and basic transaction data.
A thin registry is one for which the registry database contains only domain name service (DNS) information (domain name, name server names and name server Internet Protocol [IP] numbers) along with the name of the registrar that registered the name and basic transaction data. It does not contain any domain name registrant or contact information.
Top Level Domain (q.v.)
A file that contains data describing a portion of the domain name space for a specific top-level domain. Zone files contain the information needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. Zone files contain domain names, their associated name server names and the IP addresses for those name servers.
TLD Zone Files
Files that contain data describing a portion of the domain name space for specific top level domains. Zone files contain the information needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. Zone files contain domain names, their associated name server names and the IP addresses for those name servers. Each registry updates TLD zone files for its respective TLDs.
Top Level Domain
In the Domain Name System (DNS), the highest level of the hierarchy after the root. In a domain name, that portion of the domain name that appears furthest to the right. For example, the net in nsiregistry.net.
Technical Study Group
An Unsponsored gTLD Registry operates under policies established by the global Internet community directly through the ICANN process. .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, .ort, and .pro are Unsponsored TLDs.
Universal Resource Locator, an address used to locate world wide web sites on the Internet (e.g.,
Working Group on Internet Governance (q.v.)
A Statement of Policy for the Management of Internet Names and Addresses released by the U.S. Department of Commerce in June 1998 in response to comments received to the Green Paper recommendations published in January 1998. Among other things, the White Paper called for the creation of a global, not-for-profit organization that would eventually assume the responsibility for coordinating four key functions for the Internet: the management of the domain name system, the allocation of IPi address space, the assignment of protocol parameters, and the management of the root server system. (See:
A searchable database maintained by registries and registrars that contains information about domain name registrations in generic top level domains, and ISO 3166 country code top-level domains. Also, the protocol, or set of rules, that describes the application used to access the database. (See Registrar Whois and Registry Whois.)
The URL (web address) where the Whois service for a particular registry or registrar may be found.
Working Group on Internet Governance
The United Nations'Working Group on Internet Governance was set up as a result of the WSIS process. The main activity of the WGIG will be"to investigate and make proposals for action, as appropriate, on the governance of the Internet by 2005."(See
World Summit on the Information Society
The World Summit on the Information Society was established by the UN General Assembly (Resolution 56/183) following a resolution by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) at its Plenipotentiary Conference in Minneapolis in 1998. The UN accorded the lead role to ITU, in cooperation with other interested organizations and partners, to hold a Summit in two phases. The first phase took place in Geneva hosted by the Government of Switzerland from 10 to 12 December 2003 and the second phase will take place in Tunis hosted by the Government of Tunisia, from 16 to 18 November 2005. (See
World Summit on the Information Society (q.v.)
Zone File Access Agreement
An agreement with a registry that must be executed by parties requesting access to that registry's TLD zone files.
Files that contain data describing a portion of the domain name space for specific top level domains. Zone files contain the information needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. Zone files contain domain names, their associated name server names and the IP addresses for those name servers.