What’s ICANN? What’s its role?
Created in 1998, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a non-profit international organization of Californian right, which head office is at San Diego, in California.
The main purpose of ICANN is to allocate the Internet protocol addresses spaces, to attribute the protocol identifier (IP), to manage the domain name system of top level for generic codes (gTLD), to assign the country codes (ccTLD), and to carry out the functions of the root servers system management.
ICANN coordinates the operation and evolution of the DNS root servers.
ICANN decides the opening of any new extension, manages the Top Level Domain (TLD) list like the .com, .net, .org, .fr, .uk…, entrusts the TLD technical management to an organization (called registry), which itself delegates the commercial management to a registrar.
ICANN has for mission to maintain the Internet’s operational stability, to promote the competition, to assure a global representation of the Internet communities.
ICANN doesn’t control the content published on the Internet. It cannot put an end to spam and doesn’t manage in any way the access to the Internet. But through its coordination role within the names attribution system on the Internet, it has a significant influence on the Internet’s development and evolution.
ICANN is a strategic organization with an established economic power, the creation of new extensions allowing to generate new wealth and new digital assets.
Source: Nameshield’s White paper – Understanding domain names