ICANN Rejects Move to Privatize .Org Domain

Joseph B. Hash

The Online Company for Assigned Names and Quantities (ICANN), the non-earnings corporation that oversees the internet’s domain name system, has blocked a proposal to promote the .org domain to non-public equity business Ethos Capital for additional than $1 billion. The .org domain registry is operate by the Community Curiosity Registry (PIR), […]

The Online Company for Assigned Names and Quantities (ICANN), the non-earnings corporation that oversees the internet’s domain name system, has blocked a proposal to promote the .org domain to non-public equity business Ethos Capital for additional than $1 billion.

The .org domain registry is operate by the Community Curiosity Registry (PIR), a non-earnings subsidiary of Online Modern society, yet another non-earnings. Ethos Capital was proposing to obtain the PIR from the Online Modern society. Below the phrases of the deal, the PIR would have taken on $360 million in debt to help finance the transaction.

ICANN said the proposed deal would have constituted a elementary improve of manage that transformed a practical non-earnings entity into a for-earnings entity with new debt and untested accountability measures.

ICANN said the proposal, which it acquired last November, prompted considerable public backlash. It also cited the proposal to get on debt obligations to finance a leveraged buyout as applicable to its conclusion to oppose the deal.

In a resolution, the board of administrators of ICANN said its opposition was sensible and in the public interest. “ICANN is being questioned to concur to contract with a wholly different form of entity as an alternative of contracting with the mission-based mostly not-for-earnings that has responsibly operated the .org registry for nearly twenty years, with the protections for its own local community embedded in its mission and status as a not-for-earnings entity,” the group said.

In mid-April, in a letter to ICANN, California Attorney Typical Xavier Becerra said there was “mounting concern” that ICANN was not responsive to its stakeholders and cited Ethos Capital’s deficiency of transparency.

ICANN said it acquired letters from at the very least 30 groups opposing the deal but “virtually no counterbalancing assist besides from the get-togethers involved in the transaction and their advisors.”

“We are let down that ICANN has acted as a regulatory system it was under no circumstances meant to be, as laid out in Short article 1 of its bylaws,” the Online Modern society said in a statement. “The outcome appears to be inconsistent with prior conclusions produced by ICANN in comparable situations. We stand by our conclusion in favor of the transaction to unlock the comprehensive opportunity of the Online Modern society, PIR, .ORG local community, and ultimately the world-wide-web.”

.orgDomain name, Community Curiosity Registry

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