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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN is a California non-profit corporation that was created in 1998 to oversee a number of Internet-related tasks previously performed directly on behalf of the U.S. Government by other organizations, including the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), an entity that oversees global IP address allocation, DNS root zone management, and other Internet protocol assignments.
The tasks of ICANN include managing the assignment of domain names and IP addresses. To date, much of its work has concerned the introduction of new generic top-level domains. The technical work of ICANN is referred to as the IANA function; the rest of ICANN is mostly concerned with defining policy.