Who Regulates Domain Names?

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The Internet resolves addresses uses a system of Internet Protocol numbers assigned to connected computers. For convenience, these IP numbers can be mapped to easy-to-remember names called domain names."

ICANN

  • The coordination of domain names and IP numbers is, at the highest level, the responsibility of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.

DNS

  • ICANN coordinates the system for converting domain names into IP addresses known as the Domain Name System (DNS).

IP and AS

  • ICANN also coordinates the Internet Protocol (IP) address systems and the Autonomous System (AS) numbers.

Registrars and Registries

  • ICANN contracts with and accredits registrars permitted to sell domain names within a top level domain, which is managed by a separate company called a registry.

Role

  • ICANN's role is to oversee the network of internet identifiers and ensure that the Internet has "universal resolvability"--in other words, that it operates the same in all places.

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