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Who or what is ICANN? 

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a non-profit organization established in the United States in 1998 to aid in maintaining the security of the Internet and allow it to be accessible by all. Anytime you register a domain on the Internet, you go through a domain name registrar, who will pay a small fee to ICANN to register your domain as part of the domain registration process. 

While ICANN doesn’t control what content goes on the internet, it does help keep the internet safe by developing and enforcing policies on the internet’s unique identifiers. These unique identifiers are the characters you type into the address bar when attempting to visit a website. The address for that site has to be unique so all the computers know where to find each other. 

ICANN Verification 

ICANN requires that all domain registrants verify the accuracy of their WHOIS details once per year, usually around the time the domain renews. This is done by an email that is sent to the email address on the registrant details of the WHOIS information. You click the link in the email, and the verification is complete. However, if you do not click the link, ICANN will suspend your domain name.  

This suspension cannot be lifted by us or the registry, only by ICANN. ICANN will only remove the suspension when the domain verification has been completed. You can recognize ICANN suspensions in one of 2 ways; either by visiting the site and seeing the suspension notice page, or looking at the WHOIS details and seeing the ‘client hold’ status on the domain. See the pictures below for reference. 

Suspension notice page

Domain status