The Public Interest Registry (PIR) has announced a new international public awareness campaign aimed at protecting .ORG domain name holders from the potentially damaging consequences of allowing their .ORG domain names to expire. The campaign, called "protectyour.ORG: Preserving the Value of Your .ORG Domain," seeks to educate registrants about the value of .ORG domains — even those that are not currently being used as Web sites. It offers steps for locating, managing, consolidating, and securing domain names in order to reduce the potential for problems that may occur when domain names lapse either intentionally or because the registrant was unaware that a name had expired.
In a March 2006 letter to the Security and Stability Advisory Committee Liaison at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — the organization responsible for global coordination of the Internet's domain name system — PIR president and CEO Edward G. Viltz voiced concern over the growing practice of selecting, testing, and keeping or rejecting expired domain names based on the names' monetary value and the subsequent use of those names in a manner that is contradictory to the original registrant's or organization's mission. Viltz cited the case of a rape counseling center's Web site, which, following expiration and deletion of the site's domain name, was registered by another registrant and relaunched with a similar design that featured links to subscription-based pornographic pages.
"There are any number of unintended consequences that can result from allowing domain names to expire — in terms of both an organization's public image and the relationships the organization has established with its audience," Viltz said. "We believe the impact of this phenomenon on the .ORG community can be even more dire because of the level of trust that exists between nonprofit, noncommercial, and charitable organizations — which tend to use .ORG domain names to convey their noncommercial status — and their members and constituents."
PIR is working in partnership with organizations that serve the needs of nonprofit and noncommercial enterprises in order to spread the campaign's message to .ORG domain name holders around the world. A Web site dedicated to the campaign and titled www.protectyour.ORG provides information for .ORG domain name holders and registrars. In addition, a pamphlet titled "Protectyour.ORG: 5 Simple Steps for Protecting Your .ORG Domain Names" has recently been published. The pamphlet is available in English in both print and PDF formats. PDF versions in multiple languages are also available.
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)
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