URS Is a Bad Fit for .ORG, Says EFF

By CircleID Reporter

The online digital rights group, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on Tuesday published a post warning ICANN's latest move requiring the use of Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) for .org domain names is a "bad fit." EFF argues that the use of URS, designed for a fast and cheap way to deal with cybersquatting or trademark cases involving newer top-level domains, does not make sense for legacy .org domains which are primarily used by non-profits. Mitch Stoltz, EFF's Senior Staff Attorney, explains:

"When non-profit organizations use brand names and other commercial trademarks, it's often to call out corporations for their misdeeds — a classic First Amendment-protected activity. That means challenges to domain names in .org need more careful, thorough consideration than URS can provide. Adding URS to the .org domain puts non-profit organizations who strive to hold powerful corporations and governments accountable at risk of losing their domain names, effectively removing those organizations from the Internet until they can register a new name and teach the public how to find it. Losing a domain name means losing search engine placement, breaking every inbound link to the website, and knocking email and other vital services offline."

Stoltz also cautions that beyond URS, new .org agreement could also result in the handling of challenges to the content of websites by the .org operator, Public Interest Registry (PIR) — "effectively making PIR a censorship bureau."

Related topics: Censorship, Domain Names, ICANN, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation, UDRP