Help Us Shape The Internet's Future

At-Large Policy Resource Page

ICANN Beginner's Guides are booklets intended to help newcomers to a topic quickly grasp the basics. Created at the request of the At-Large community (the voice of the individual Internet user within ICANN), these Guides help de-mystify some of the complexity within ICANN's technical coordination and policy-making mission.

Beginner's Guide to Participating in At-Large [PDF, 1.4 MB]

ICANN's community of individual Internet users is known as the At-Large community, or just At-Large. The Beginner's Guide to Participating in At-Large provides information on ICANN's multistakeholder model and the role of the At-Large community, its working procedures, policy issues it has focused on, as well as how individuals and organizations can become involved. Published in March 2012.

Other Beginner's Guides are available at:


Non-Lawyer's Guide to the May 2009 Registrar Accreditation Agreement

On 15 February, 2010, ICANN Staff published a document entitled "Non-Lawyer's Guide to the May 2009 Registrar Accreditation Agreement." The document, available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, was produced in response to a request by the Chair of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), Cheryl Langdon-Orr, to the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Peter Dengate Thrush, for the production of a non-lawyer's guide to ICANN's Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA).

This guide does not alter or amend the RAA in any way, and is not a legal interpretation of the RAA. As noted in the request by the Chair of ALAC, the RAA is a legal document entered into between ICANN and Registrars, drafted under California law. As a result, a reader may have difficulty understanding the obligations ICANN and the Registrars have agreed to if the reader is not a party to this agreement; is unfamiliar with the United States legal system; is not a lawyer; or is a non-native English speaker.

The Non-Lawyer's Guide provides a basic summary of the May 2009 RAA. It is intended to facilitate the ability of the At-Large community to engage effectively in discussions relating to the RAA, as well as to assist all members of the ICANN community in gaining a better understanding of the RAA.

Some registrars are still operating under the May 2001 RAA, so for them, some of the items discussed in the Guide to the 2009 RAA will not apply. You can see which registrars are working under the 2009 RAA by reviewing the Accredited Registrar list. (The RAA applicable to each registrar is identified in the "RAA" column.)

The Guide is an evolving document. ICANN staff welcomes comments and suggestions on how the Guide could be improved to be more useful to the At-Large community. Comments may be made by email to the At-Large Staff
<mailto: staff [ at ]>.


Policy Issue Briefs

The Policy Issue Briefs below are basic introductions to important areas of Internet policy development that are being addressed by the ICANN community's bottom-up, consensus based, policymaking structure. They are designed to accommodate newcomers to ICANN, as well as ICANN issue veterans who may desire basic information on an unfamiliar issue.

Whether a newcomer or veteran, we encourage you to go beyond these introductions and learn more about the work of the ICANN community. To facilitate this, links to information on current Policy development activities are provided in the left side-bar of this webpage, and we have included in each Issue Brief URLs to additional information. We also invite you to receive regular updates on ICANN policy development activities via e-mail by subscribing to the monthly ICANN Policy Update. To subscribe, simply visit the ICANN Subscription page, enter your e-mail address, and then click on the ICANN Policy Update.

International participation and collaboration are essential to the success and effectiveness of ICANN's policy development activities today, but success in the future will not be possible without the commitment of volunteers like you from around the world. Whether you represent the Internet interests of a nation, a group of individual Internet users, a company, or an organization that would like to become more involved in the issues, there is a place for you at ICANN where you can help shape the future of the Internet.

Thank you for your interest and participation in ICANN policy development.

Domain Name Monetization - June 2008 | [PDF, 204 KB]

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) - June 2008 [PDF, 448 KB]

New gTLDs - June 2008 | [PDF, 440 KB]

WHOIS - June 2008 | [PDF, 172 KB]

IPv6 Factsheet - October 2007 | [PDF]

Basic ICANN Factsheet

At-Large Issue Briefs

The following documents were created by members of the At-Large community to introduce an Internet end-user focus to certain topical issues:

At-Large Summit Briefing Material

Audio Briefings

At-Large frequently holds telephonic briefing sessions on current policy issues, which are then added to the online archive for further training.Recordings of the briefings are usually available in English, French and Spanish. The focus of these briefings is to provide you with an introduction to a given policy area and outline the policy framework that governs it. These are the audio briefings currently available:

Title Date
Community Call on DNS-CERT 9 Apr 2010
At-Large Director Appointment Process 27 Jan 2010
Community Call on Strategic Planning 2010-2013 15 Jan 2010
Community Call on At-Large Travel Support 12 Jan 2010
At-Large Improvement Plan 17 Dec 2009
Domain Names Registered Using Private/Proxy Services 14 Dec 2009
New gTLD Working Group - Applicant Guidebook Version 3 10 Dec 2009
At-Large Director Appointment Process 7 Dec 2009
At-Large Director Appointment Process 8 Oct 2009
Community Call with Board Liaison Candidates 20 Sep 2009