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EFF and 26 Other Organizations Send Letter to Internet Society Urging It to Stop Sale of .ORG

EFF and 26 other organizations, including Wikimedia Foundation, Public Knowledge, National Council of Nonprofits, YWCA and YMCA, sent a letter today to the Internet Society (ISOC), urging it to stop the sale of the Public Interest Registry (PIR) — operator of .ORG top-level domain — to private equity firm Ethos Capital. The group has argued that .ORG is extremely important to the non-governmental organization community, and as such, should have a voice in decisions affecting the future of the domain. The letter has pointed out three key concerns:

— "The power to raise .ORG registration fees without the approval of ICANN or the .ORG community. A .ORG price hike would put many cash-strapped NGOs in the difficult position of either paying the increased fees or losing the legitimacy and brand recognition of a .ORG domain."

— "The power to develop and implement Rights Protection Mechanisms unilaterally, without consulting the .ORG community. If such mechanisms are not carefully crafted in collaboration with the NGO community, they risk censoring completely legal nonprofit activities."

— "The power to implement processes to suspend domain names based on accusations of "activity contrary to applicable law." The .ORG registry should not implement such processes without understanding how state actors frequently target NGOs with allegations of illegal activity."

The group has also launched an accompanhing website: savedotorg.org

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