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The Internet as a Democratic Utility

In the wake of our recent news that .ORG has officially registered 7 million domains, some comments made to CNN by Craigslist founder Craig Newmark this week really resonated with me. The article, entitled "Internet Can Strengthen Democracy” discusses many of the same issues we have found to be the driving forces behind .ORG's consistent year-over-year growth — community building, interaction, and inclusivity.

The social media capabilities enabled by the Internet are allowing for closer personal interaction among people otherwise dispersed globally. It is also playing a huge role, as we've seen in growth within the .ORG space and in the realm of civic and political engagement, as Craig Newmark speaks to in the above article. Craig refers to the positive impacts of the Internet on the democratic process, and his statements are absolutely supported by the experience we've had over the years and reaching our current milestone within the .ORG Community.

Social networking, online advocacy and collaboration trends have been critical factors in not just the growth of the Internet but also its development as a fundamental utility for economic growth, political discourse and reform. But perhaps "utility" is the wrong word, as it conveys a sense of permanence. We have sounded the alarm and expressed our concerns about the fragile nature of what we currently enjoy: an unbounded and open Internet (albeit increasingly under attack).

What do you think? Have social media and advancing internet communication technologies increased your closeness to those around you as well as to issues you follow and support? Do you share our concern about the future welfare of this beloved "utility".

Written by Alexa Raad, Chief Executive Officer of Public Interest Registry

About PIR

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: Registry Services, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation, Top-Level Domains, Web

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