Hundreds of nonprofit organizations ask ICANN to pause deal to sell .Org registry to for-profit private equity company.
The Internet Society and Public Interest Registry (PIR) has announced the sale of the org. Registry to an investment firm Ethos Capital last month. This decision shocked the internet industry, and over 400 nonprofit entities and 18,000 individuals have signed on to the letter authored by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), asking ICANN to halt the sale of .Org until changes are made. Also, they signed on to an additional letter to Internet Society, which is selling the registry for $1.135 billion, asks it to abandon the deal.
Ask for safeguarding the rights of NGOs
ICANN, the organization that oversees the domain-name system and awards the contracts to run internet registries, move toward a free-market approach to internet addresses. In the letter, the companies ask for “legally binding commitments to safeguard the rights of NGOs and other non-commercial registrants against financial exploitation and arbitrary censorship” by any group that runs .Org.
Increasing prices on .org domains and the ability for whoever runs the registry to censor domain registrants are the main concerns in the letter.
The signatories on this letter are digital rights organizations, tech-focused groups, food banks, and hunger relief organizations, co-ops, community art galleries and theaters, local humane societies, youth groups, community centers, mental health clinics, fitness groups, and more. Communication Workers of America, Girl Scouts, and the League of Women Voters, and two Internet Society chapters (Netherlands and Jakarta) are on the list.
There are over 10 million web sites with the suffix “org”. Org symbolizes non-profit organizations in the internet world.