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I’m sure many people have wondered what the ICANN really is and why it is important to us. On the other hand, there can be a few of you out there that have no idea at all what ICANN is. Therefore, I decided to write this small tutorial for you and try to help you understand what the ICANN really is and what the functions of ICANN are.
ICANN stands for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. This is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1998 to help the US Government to manage and maintain certain functions of the internet’s core infrastructure. So what does all this mean? It means that this non-profit organization maintains the repository of all the IP address that is used in building the internet. This organization will also supply the new IP addresses to new networks. Furthermore, the organization also manages all the domain names systems and the root servers. This is a major job and takes a lot of resources and manpower to do this work. Currently, the ICANN manages over 180 million domain names and over 4 billion network addresses that span over 240 countries.
The ICANN is not responsible for controlling the content that is put online, any type of malware or spam and the access to the internet. The sole function of this office is to maintain the IP address and the domain names only.
So What Are the ICANN Real Responsibilities?
Before you can really understand what the ICANN does, it is necessary to understand the different acronyms first. This makes it a lot easier to understand the functions of this office and what their responsibilities are.
DNS – Domain Name System: This is the global naming system that is currently being used. This will translate the numerical IP address to domain names so that they are easily searched for and found online.
IANA – Internet Assigned Numbers Authority: This is part of the ICANN function and responsibility to perform technical services that are critical to maintaining the DNS. This is an important function the ICANN performs.
NTIA – National Telecommunications and Information Administration: This organization is part of the US Department of Commerce and use to be in charge of overseeing the ICANN. Back in 2016, the NTIA gave the control over to the ICANN.
TLD: Top Level Domain: This is a listing or organization of the .com, .org, different country codes such as .uk, and even mx. These are a listing of the suffixes used in domain names.
Before the ICANN has the authority to manage the DNS through an IANA contract that was granted to them by the US Government. However, in 2016 this all changed in 2016 when the IANA handed this power over to the ICANN. The whole idea behind this change was in hopes that this won’t increase the powers of any government. The new design is to have a shared international control over the DNS. Many people are wondering if the ICANN can make the decisions about a controversial matter that won’t affect or violate the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press.
This one office has so much control over the internet. How do you feel about this?