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Committed to Keeping the Internet a Safe Place

.ORG, The Public Interest Registry (PIR) is committed to providing a model for exemplary Registry practices. In furtherance of this goal, PIR has been working proactively to address domain name abuses including phishing, malware, child pornography, and spam distribution. These abuses result in financial damage, identity theft, harm to children, and an erosion of trust in the Internet by users. To address the problems caused by criminals who victimize the public and misuse Internet domain names, PIR has taken steps to curb such abuses.

An Anti-Domain Name Abuse Policy has been announced to Registrars and should not significantly affect interaction with PIR. We anticipate operations to continue as normal. Occasionally PIR may contact a Registrar regarding suspected domain abuse issues. This shall only be done after PIR has undertaken significant analysis to confirm the domain is abusive. PIR is committed to working closely with each Registrar to further investigate suspected abusive domain practices. Based on such investigation, a Registrar may decide to suspend an abusive domain name or in the case of a "hacked" domain, provide notice to the innocent registrant of the abuse. If PIR receives a report from law enforcement regarding confirmed child pornography hosted on a .ORG domain, notice shall be given to the Registrar to investigate the report. In certain circumstances of confirmed abuse, and refusal by a Registrar to take action, PIR may exercise its option of removing the name from the DNS and reporting the abuser to law enforcement.

The policy was announced as a clarification of the contractual authority of PIR in Section 3.6.5 of the Registry-Registrar Agreement (RRA). Per this provision, PIR has always "reserved the right to deny, cancel or place any domain name on registry lock status, that it deems necessary, in its discretion, (1) to protect the integrity and stability of the registry; (2) to comply with any applicable laws, government rules or requirements, requests of law enforcement, or any dispute resolution process; (3) to avoid any liability, civil or criminal, on the part of PIR, as well as its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, and employees; (4) per the terms of the registration agreement or (5) to correct mistakes made by PIR or any Registrar in connection with a domain name registration. PIR also reserves the right to place upon registry lock, hold or similar status a domain name during resolution of a dispute." This is part of PIR's registry agreement with ICANN and reflects a long standing policy that has not changed.

This policy will have several beneficial effects. First, it will help registrants whose domain names have been compromised and used inappropriately by providing them notice of the abuse when it is detected by PIR. This is designed to protect innocent registrants from abuse. Second this proactive approach will save both Registrars and their resellers from fraudulent credit card charges and other criminal behavior that potentially harms their business. Finally, based on the success of similar policies enacted by other gTLDs, this policy will provide for an overall safer .ORG domain space.

PIR remains committed to protecting innocent domains, respecting free speech rights, and encouraging lawful use of the Doman Name System, and is undertaking a significant effort to ensure that victims of abuse are protected and that only criminals who abuse the DNS will be directly affected by this policy. PIR continues to work to make the .ORG domain a safer, more trustworthy place, and to improve the security and stability of the domain name system as a whole.

About PIR


Public Interest Registry is a nonprofit corporation that operates the .org top-level domain – the world's third largest "generic" top-level domain with more than 10 million domain names registered worldwide. As an advocate for collaboration, safety and security on the Internet, Public Interest Registry's mission is to empower the global noncommercial community to use the Internet more effectively, and to take a leadership position among Internet stakeholders on policy and other issues relating to the domain naming system. Learn More

Related topics: Cyberattack, Cybercrime, Cybersquatting, DNS, Domain Names, Registry Services, ICANN, Malware, Security, Spam, Top-Level Domains

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