About ASO


ICANN Address Supporting Organization (ASO)

Historical Overview

The ICANN Address Supporting Organization (ASO) was formally established on 19 October 1999 when ICANN and the heads of APNIC, ARIN, and the RIPE NCC, the three existing Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The RIRs had proposed the formation of the ASO on 23 July 1999 in a letter to the ICANN Interim Chair.

The creation of the ASO brought ICANN into the already existing and fully functional system of global policymaking for global address space issues that existed among the RIRs. The existence of the RIRs predates the existence of ICANN.

To provide a visible framework for cooperative joint activities, the RIRs (APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC, and the RIPE NCC) formed the Number Resource Organization (NRO) on 24 October 2003.

On 21 October 2004 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the NRO and ICANN. This MoU establishes that the NRO fulfills the role, responsibilities, and functions of the ASO as defined within the ICANN Bylaws. Following its official recognition as an RIR, AFRINIC became the fifth member of the NRO on 27 April 2005 and thus a party to the MoU between ICANN and the NRO.

  • 1999 - The RIRs proposed the formation of the ASO in a 23 July 1999 letter to ICANN Interim Chair Esther Dyson.
  • 1999 - Formation of the ASO based on MoU between ICANN and the three existing RIRs.
  • 1999 - ASO selections Pindar Wong, Ken Fockler and Rob Blokzijl join the ICANN Board.
  • 2000 - ASO selection Dr Sang Hyon Kyong joins the ICANN Board.
  • 2001 - ASO selection Lyman Chapin joins the ICANN Board.
  • 2001 - ASO AC sends global policy proposal to ICANN Board for ratification.
  • 2001 - ICP-2: Criteria for Establishment of New Regional Internet Registries was accepted by the ICANN Board on 4 June 2001.
  • 2002 -Lacnic formally recognized by ICANN.
  • 2003 - ASO AC selection Mouhamet Diop joins the ICANN Board.
  • 2003 - NRO created.
  • 2004 - New ASO MoU signed by ICANN and the NRO.
  • 2005 - ICANN stars the cycle of independent ICANN supporting organization reviews.
  • 2005 -AFRINIC formally recognized by ICANN as an RIR.
  • 2005 - AFRINIC signs MoU to become fifth member of NRO.
  • 2005 - AFRINIC signs ASO MoU between ICANN and the NRO.
  • 2005 - ASO AC sends a global policy proposal to ICANN. Global Policy on IANA Allocation of IPv4 Address Space to the Regional Internet Registries was ratified by the ICANN Board on 8 April 2005.
  • 2006 - ASO AC sends global policy proposal to ICANN. Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Policy For Allocation of IPv6 Blocks to Regional Internet Registries was ratified by the ICANN Board on 7 September 2006 .
  • 2006 - ASO selection David L. Wodelet joins the ICANN Board.
  • 2007 - ASO selection Raimundo Beca joins the ICANN Board .
  • 2008 - ASO AC sends global policy proposal to ICANN. Global IANA Policy for Allocation of ASN Blocks to RIRs was ratified by the ICANN Board on 31 July 2008.
  • 2009 - ASO AC selection Ray Plzak joins the ICANN Board.
  • 2009 - ASO AS sends global policy proposal to ICANN. Global Policy for the Allocation of Remaining IPv4 Address Space was ratified by the ICANN Board on 6 March 2009.
  • 2009 - ICANN Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) set up to review ICANN organizational review process.
  • 2010 - ASO AC sends global policy proposal to ICANN Board. Global IANA Policy for Allocation of ASN Blocks to RIRs was ratified by the ICANN Board on 22 July 2010. (This global policy obsoletes the 2008 Global Policy on the same topic) .
  • 2011 - ASO selection Kuo-Wei Wu joins the ICANN Board.
  • 2012 - ASO selection Ray Plzak joins the ICANN Board (reelected).
  • 2012 - ASO AC sends global policy proposal to ICANN. Global Policy for Post Exhaustion IPv4 Allocation Mechanisms by the IANA was ratified by the ICANN Board on 6 May 2012.

Address Supporting Organization and the Number Resource Organization

The Address Supporting Organization (ASO) is an ICANN-facing body while the Number Resource Organization (NRO) is a Regional Internet Registry-facing body. The two bodies are connected but have different responsibilities.

The purpose of the ASO is to review and develop recommendations on global Internet number resource policy and to advise the ICANN Board. The functions of the ASO are carried out by the ASO Address Council (ASO AC), which consists of the members of the NRO Number Council (NRO NC). NRO NC members are elected and appointed by their respective RIR communities.

The NRO provides the secretariat support for the ASO. In addition, the RIRs delegate joint operational and external activities to the NRO. It may also enter into cooperative agreements on behalf of all the RIRs with international, national or public sector organizations. One of the NRO’s core functions is the promotion and protection of bottom-up Internet number resource policy development processes. The NRO is led by an Executive Council (NRO EC).

ASO AC Responsibilities

The 2004 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NRO and ICANN directs the ASO AC to do the following:

  • Undertake a role in the Global Policy Development Process as described in the ASO MoU.
  • Provide recommendations to the Board of ICANN concerning the recognition of new RIRs according to agreed requirements and policies as currently described in ICANN Internet Coordination Policy 2 (ICP-2).
  • Define procedures for selection of individuals to serve on other ICANN bodies, in particular on the ICANN Board, and implement any roles assigned to the ASO AC in such procedures.
  • Provide advice to the Board of ICANN on number resource allocation policy, in conjunction with the RIRs.
  • Develop procedures for conducting business in support of their responsibilities, in particular for the appointment of an Address Council Chair and definition of the Chair’s responsibilities. The ASO MoU requires all such procedures to be submitted to the EC of the NRO for approval.

The ASO does not develop policy relating to Internet number resources but rather ensures that the Policy Development Process has been correctly followed in each RIR region. Global policies are defined in the ASO MoU as “Internet number resource policies that have the agreement of all RIRs according to their policy development processes and ICANN, and require specific actions or outcomes on the part of IANA or any other external ICANN-related body in order to be implemented”.

NRO EC Responsibilities with regard to Global Policies

The NRO EC currently comprises the chief executives of the five RIRs. The EC represents the RIRs on issues delegated to the NRO by the RIRs and commits resources in support of NRO activities where there is unanimous approval amongst its members. The EC also develops procedures for conducting its business in an open and transparent manner.

The 2004 Memorandum of Understanding between the NRO and ICANN directs the NRO EC to do the following:

  • Advise the ASO AC that a global policy proposal has been adopted by all of the RIRs according to their respective policy development processes.
  • Respond to an ASO AC request for further review of a proposed global policy proposal or a request for more time for review.

Contacting the ASO

For public input into the ASO, including questions and comments about IP addressing issues, policies and procedures, you are encouraged to use our mailing lists, particularly aso-policy . Policy development takes place in regional open policy forums.

If you have queries regarding the ASO, please contact:

for administrative questions and comments;


for comments, problems, and feedback about this website.

webmaster@aso.icann.org ASO Mailing lists



ICANN’s At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) is responsible for considering and providing advice on the activities of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), as they relate to the interests of individual Internet users (the “At-Large” community). ICANN, as a private sector, non-profit corporation with technical management responsibilities for the Internet’s domain name and address system, relies on the ALAC and the broader At-Large community to involve and represent in ICANN a broad set of individual Internet user interests.



The Country Code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO) is a body within the ICANN structure created for and by ccTLD managers.

Since its creation in 2003, the ccNSO has provided a forum for country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) managers to meet and discuss topical issues of concern to ccTLDs from a global perspective.

The ccNSO provides a platform to nurture consensus, technical cooperation and skill building among ccTLDs and facilitates the development of voluntary best practices for ccTLD managers.

It is also responsible for developing and recommending global policies to the ICANN Board for a limited set of issues relating to ccTLDs, such as the introduction of Internationalised Domain Name ccTLDs (IDN ccTLDs).

The policy development process is managed by the ccNSO Council, which consists of 18 Councillors (15 elected by ccNSO members, three appointed by the ICANN Nominating Committee).

The ccNSO activities are mostly organised through Working Groups, such as the Strategic and Operational Planning (SOP) Working Group or the Technical Working Group.

Through the ccNSO, ccTLD managers are also working together with other stakeholders and communities within the ICANN structure, such as the Government Advisory Committee (GAC), or the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO).

In order to encourage true global cooperation, we invite all ccTLD managers, both members and non-ccNSO members, to participate in all working groups, as well as to attend all ccNSO meetings.

Membership of the ccNSO is open for all ccTLD managers responsible for managing an ISO 3166 country-code top-level domain. You can find more information on how to join here.

About the GNSO


The Generic Names Supporting Organization fashions (and over time, recommends changes to) policies for generic Top-Level Domains (e.g., .com, .org, .biz). The GNSO strives to keep gTLDs operating in a fair, orderly fashion across one global Internet, while promoting innovation and competition. Sample GNSO issues: When you register a domain name, what services must the registrar provide? If you forget to renew your domain name, and it expires, can you get it back? What happens if someone registers a domain name that is confusingly similar to yours? Resources posted here will help you learn more about the GNSO and its policy development process.

How to participate

There are a variety of ways to become involved and to participate in ICANN’s multi-stakeholder, bottoms up, consensus driven model for policy development.

First, a community member may engage with the community by Making a Public Comment about any active issue being considered by the community or the organization. Comments may be shared during public forums at ICANN Public meetings, or via ICANN’s public comment platform.

Many in the community that voice their positions about issues via the Public Comment platform are responding to proposals developed by GNSO-chartered Working Groups. These Working Groups are formally chartered within the ICANN Structure to address policies and other issues facing the internet community and its stakeholders. They are made up of interested community volunteers with various types of interest and expertise (see Volunteers for a Working Group). One of many tools used by Working Groups are mailing lists that are publicly accessible. Community members can Follow Mailing Lists for the latest dialogue and deliberation of policy topics and activity.

For a face-to-face experience, thousands in the community meet three times a year at varying regions. Attending an ICANN Public Meeting is the best way to engage Internet and DNS stakeholders for collaborating on the latest issues, policy development, and operations of ICANN. Additionally, ICANN offers remote participants access to information and participation via the latest internet-based technologies to enable their participation.

ICANN is aware of the dynamic nature of the Internet and its substantial growth that connects to new people every day. New communities or groups of stakeholders who would like to be more actively represented within the ICANN structure can learn How to Form a New Constituency and increase representation within this multi-stakeholder model.

About The GAC


The GAC's key role is to provide advice to ICANN on issues of public policy, and especially where there may be an interaction between ICANN's activities or policies and national laws or international agreements. The GAC usually meets three times a year in conjunction with ICANN meetings, where it discusses issues with the ICANN Board and other ICANN Supporting Organisations, Advisory Committees, and receives updates on process and policy from ICANN staff.

Membership of the GAC is open to all national governments and distinct economies as recognised in international fora. Multinational governmental organisations and treaty organisations may join the GAC as observers. Currently, the GAC is regularly attended by approximately 50 national governments, distinct economies, and global organisations such as the ITU, UNESCO, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), INTERPOL and regional organisations such as the OECD, Asia Pacific Forum, and Council of Europe.

About the IETF


The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet. It is open to any interested individual. The IETF Mission Statement is documented in RFC 3935.

The actual technical work of the IETF is done in its working groups, which are organized by topic into several areas (e.g., routing, transport, security, etc.). Much of the work is handled via mailing lists. The IETF holds meetings three times per year.

The IETF working groups are grouped into areas, and managed by Area Directors, or ADs. The ADs are members of the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Providing architectural oversight is the Internet Architecture Board, (IAB). The IAB also adjudicates appeals when someone complains that the IESG has failed. The IAB and IESG are chartered by the Internet Society (ISOC) for these purposes. The General Area Director also serves as the chair of the IESG and of the IETF, and is an ex-officio member of the IAB.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the central coordinator for the assignment of unique parameter values for Internet protocols. The IANA is chartered by the Internet Society (ISOC) to act as the clearinghouse to assign and coordinate the use of numerous Internet protocol parameters.

More information: http://www.ietf.org/

About the RSSAC

The Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) is responsible for advising the ICANN community and Board on matters relating to the operation, administration, security, and integrity of the Internet's Root Server System, as outlined in its charter from the ICANN Bylaws.

RSSAC Executive Committee

In its new incarnation, the RSSAC is establishing an Executive Committee to oversee the restructure of the RSSAC. The RSSAC Executive Committee consists of representatives of the organizations responsible for operating the world's 13 root name servers as voting members. On 18 July 2013, the Board approved the initial membership and leadership of the RSSAC Executive Committee.

Root Root Server Operator Representative
A/J Verisign Brad Verd
B University of Southern California Bill Manning
C Cogent Paul Vixie
D University of Maryland Tripti Sinha*
E NASA Kevin Jones*
F Internet Systems Consortium Jim Martin*
G US Department of Defense Jim Cassell
H US Army Research Laboratory Howard Kash
I Netnod Lars-Johan Liman (Co-Chair)
K RIPE Network Coordination Centre Daniel Karrenberg
L ICANN John Crain
M WIDE Project Jun Murai (Co-Chair)

* = Awaiting confirmation

The RSSAC Executive Committee also consists of representatives of the organizations responsible for the maintenance of the authoritative root zone as non-voting members. Liaisons from external organizations and groups also participate as non-voting members.

IANA Functions Administrator NTIA To Be Confirmed
IANA Functions Operator IANA Elise Gerich
Root Zone Maintainer Verisign Duane Wessels
Internet Architecture Board Marc Blanchet (Liaison)
SSAC Russ Mundy (Liaison)
Board Suzanne Woolf (Liaison)


The RSSAC Executive Committee holds periodic teleconferences and meets in person at IETF meetings and ICANN meetings. Minutes from meetings of the previous RSSAC and the current RSSAC Executive Committee (where available) can be reviewed here.


In November 2013, the RSSAC Executive Committee formed a Membership Committee to oversee the process of admitting new RSSAC members and to establish the RSSAC Caucus. The Caucus of DNS and root server system experts will be responsible for the essential work of the RSSAC. More information about the Caucus can be reviewed here.

Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)

What is the SSAC?

The Security and Stability Advisory Committee advises the ICANN community and Board on matters relating to the security and integrity of the Internet's naming and address allocation systems. This includes operational matters (e.g., matters pertaining to the correct and reliable operation of the root name system), administrative matters (e.g., matters pertaining to address allocation and Internet number assignment), and registration matters (e.g., matters pertaining to registry and registrar services such as WHOIS). SSAC engages in ongoing threat assessment and risk analysis of the Internet naming and address allocation services to assess where the principal threats to stability and security lie, and advises the ICANN community accordingly.

How does SSAC Operate?

The SSAC produces Reports, Advisories, and Comments on a range of topics. Reports are longer, substantive documents, which usually take a few or several months to develop. Advisories are shorter documents produced more quickly to provide timely advice to the community. Comments are responses to reports or other documents prepared by others, i.e. ICANN staff, SOs, other ACs, or, perhaps, by other groups outside of ICANN. The SSAC considers matters pertaining to the correct and reliable operation of the root name system, to address allocation and Internet number assignment, and to registry and registrar services such as WHOIS. The SSAC also tracks and assesses threats and risks to the Internet naming and address allocation services. For more information on how the SSAC operates, see the SSAC Operational Procedures [PDF, 504 KB].

How does SSAC report its findings and recommendations?

SSAC documents its findings and recommendations in one of three forms.

  • Advisories address a security or stability matter in a timely manner, with sufficient background information to appraise the community of the issue or threat. Advisories typically include recommended actions to remedy a problem, or reduce a threat. Advisories may also recommend subsequent action by SSAC, ICANN, or a broader community involved with Internet security.
  • Comments are responses to public calls for comments by ICANN, the ICANN Board of Directors, ICANN committees, and committee task forces.
  • Reports provide in-depth analyses of a topic and may recommend specific actions and policy recommendations for ICANN's consideration.

Tell me about the history of the SSAC

At its November 2001 meeting, which focused on security issues, the ICANN Board directed the President "to appoint a President's standing committee on the security and stability of the Internet's naming and address allocation systems. The President is directed to develop a proposed charter, with at least a focus on risk analysis and auditing thereof, in consultation with the President's standing committee, and to submit it to the Board for its approval."

At its meeting on 14 March 2002, the ICANN Board approved the charter of the ICANN Committee on Security and Stability.

On 13 May 2002, the ICANN Board converted the President's Committee on Security and Stability to the Security and Stability Advisory Committee.

Improving the SSAC

On 18 March 2011 the SSAC completed an Improvements Implementation Plan [PDF, 248 KB]. This plan outlines the approach developed jointly by the SSAC Support staff and the ICANN Board's Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) to implement the 33 recommendations outlined in the January 2010 Final report of the ICANN Board SSAC Review Working Group. This plan conforms to all guidance contained in the ICANN Board's Resolution 2010.06.25.05 that the SIC will, in coordination with staff, provide the Board with final implementation plans to conform with the measures recommended by the SIC to address the conclusions and recommendations in the final report of the Board Security and Stability Advisory Committee review Working Group. All elements of the plan were completed as of 18 March 2011.

Who are the Members of the Committee?

Patrik Fältström is the Chair of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee.

  • Greg Aaron
  • Joe Abley
  • Alain Aina
  • Jaap Akkerhuis
  • Roy Arends
  • Jeffrey Bedser
  • Don Blumenthal
  • Ben Butler
  • Lyman Chapin
  • KC Claffy
  • David Conrad
  • Steve Crocker
  • Ondrej Filip
  • James Galvin
  • Narayan Gangalaramsamy
  • Robert Guerra
  • Julie Hammer
  • Sarmad Hussain
  • Rodney Joffe
  • Merike Kaeo
  • Mark Kosters
  • Warren Kumari
  • Matt Larson
  • Xiaodong Lee
  • Jason Livingood
  • Carlos Martinez-Cagnazzo
  • Douglas Maughan
  • Danny McPherson
  • Ram Mohan
  • Russ Mundy
  • Rod Rasmussen
  • Shinta Sato
  • Mark Seiden
  • Doron Shikmoni
  • Bruce Tonkin
  • Stefano Trumpy
  • Paul Vixie
  • Rick Wesson
  • Suzanne Woolf

SSAC Support staff:

Support for the committee is provided by:

  • Dave Piscitello, ICANN Senior Security Technologist
  • Julie Hedlund, Director, SSAC Support
  • Steve Sheng, Senior Technical Analyst
SSAC Member and ICANN Staff Biographies
How do I Contact the Committee?

Comments and other communications to the committee should be sent by e-mail to Julie Hedlund at julie.hedlund@icann.org.

The ICANN TLG (Technical Liaison Group)

The ICANN TLG (Technical Liaison Group) consists of four organizations:

  • European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI),
  • International Telecommunications Union's Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T),
  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and
  • Internet Architecture Board (IAB).

The purpose of the TLG is to connect the ICANN Board with appropriate sources of technical advice on specific matters pertinent to ICANN's activities. Each TLG organization is entitled to appoint two representatives. The eight TLG representatives are responsible for deciding where to direct a technical question from ICANN when ICANN does not ask a specific TLG organization directly.

TLG representatives:
  • ETSI: Francisco da Silva and Howard Benn until November 2014
  • ITU-T: Bilel Jamoussi (to be confirmed)
  • W3C: Wendy Seltzer and Daniel Dardaillier (term length to be confirmed)
  • IAB: Warren Kumari for a two year term and Daniel Migault for a one year term, from January 2014.

17 November 2013 – Meeting of the Technical Experts Group, Summary of the meeting