(Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, www.iana.org) An operating unit of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that maintains the top-level domain, IP address and protocol number databases. The word "authority" means that IANA keeps authoritative records, but it has no jurisdiction over Internet activity and does not resolve address conflicts.IANA coordinates all top-level domains such as .com and .org and country codes such as .us and .ca, which is necessary for the Internet's root servers and naming system (see DNS). It is also a registry for the many numerical codes assigned to data types and commands in the large variety of protocols used on the Internet, including routing and email protocols, port numbers and multicast and Ethernet addresses.IANA provides coordination of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses that the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) around the world allocate to large companies, carriers and ISPs. It also assigns autonomous system (AS) numbers that are used by various routing protocols. See ICANN. Regional InternetLocation Registry (RIR) Africa AfriNIC www.afrinic.net Asia APNIC www.apnic.net North ARIN America www.arin.net Latin LACNIC America www.lacnic.net Europe, RIPE NCC Middle East, www.ripe.net Central Asia.
Originally managed a group of functions performed by the Information Sciences Institute under contract with the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Project Agency on the ARPANET.Those functions included the assignment of parameters for Internet protocols, management of the Internet Protocol (IP) address space, assignment of domain names, and management of root server functions. Internet protocol parameters managed by IANA include the assignment of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) ports, which are logical points of connection. In fact, IANA initially was the responsibility of Jon Postel, who performed those functions until his death in 1998. At that time, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an independent not-for-profit organization, assumed the responsibility for managing IANA. See also ARPANET; ICANN; Internet; IP; logical; port; Postel, Jon; protocol; root server; and TCP.