This all started back in 1998 (30th Sept), when ICANN was incorporated in California as a non-profit public benefit corporation, The original ICANN Bylaws called for three Supporting Organizations-

  • Address Supporting Organization (ASO)
  • Domain Names Supporting Organization(DNSO)
  • Protocol Supporting Organization (PSO)

ICANN was established in California due to the presence of Jon Postel, who was a founder of ICANN and was set to be its first Chief Technology Officer.

ICANN’s first board meeting was held in New York on 25th October 1998. Esther Dyson is named Chairwoman and Mike Roberts is designated President of ICANN.

Soon on 25th November 1998, ICANN and U.S Commerce Department entered into a MoU. ICANN’s role would be focused on managing technical DNS functions, the numbering of Internet addresses, the coordination of port assignments, and assisting in the maintenance of the stability of the Internet’s unique identifiers.

After that on 24th December 1998, ICANN and University of Southern California (USC) entered into a transition agreement, under which ICANN assumed the performance of the IANA functions and responsibilities which were previously performed by USC.

The first ICANN meeting was held in Singapore (2nd March 1999 – 4th March 1999) and ICANN Board adopted the Statement of Registrar Accreditation Policy for .com, .net, and .org; this policy aimed to promote competition in the domain registrar space.

ICANN’s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address into your computer or other device – a name or a number. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world.

There is also an ICANN’s History Project which explores the key events in ICANN’s growth, from its birth to its current day status. This project seeks to preserve the organization’s institutional memory by capturing stories from key figures who helped shape ICANN’s past and present.