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Public Interest Registry

Latest: Statements in Response to April 15, 2020 Letter from the Attorney General of California to ICANN Apr 17, 2020

Contributed Posts

What's Next for Ethos

Since last fall, Ethos has actively engaged with ICANN and .ORG communities regarding our proposed acquisition of Public Interest Registry (PIR). Through that process, we demonstrated our desire to ensure that .ORG continues and thrives as an exemplary service for the mission-driven community. ICANN has now declined to consent to the proposed change of control of PIR.  FULL POST


ICANN Independence and Non-Profits on the Net – Get it Right and Go Forward

Later this week, ICANN is finally going to vote on the proposed sale of .ORG to Ethos Capital. It will decide the future owner of .ORG, but the decision will also provide a window into whether ICANN will remain independent of the U.S. government. It's a big decision, one that can strengthen both ICANN and the NGO community on the web, if we get it right. For nearly a decade, the ICANN community fought hard to untether itself from the U.S. Department of Commerce.  FULL POST


ICANN and Attorneys General: Ends, Means and Unintended Ends

In a move, unprecedented in scale, ISOC moved to sell PIR, the registry for .ORG, to a for-profit entity which intends, in turn, to convert PIR into a for-profit entity itself. This move has, understandably, raised concerns from around the Internet community and cast a bright light on ICANN, the nature of its contracts with Registries and the responsibilities of the ICANN Board... As the Vice Chair for Policy of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), I've tried to navigate a consensus involving ALL of those parties because of our diverse membership.  FULL POST


.ORG and Change

The .ORG domain is at a crossroads: What will it be? A simple registry offering domain names for organizations, individuals and others? Or something bigger, as Ethos Capital and the Public Internet Registry propose? Will proposed changes make .ORG better? Or worse? There are valid points on both sides, but as an Internet safety advocate who for two decades has worked to teach children how to be safe online, stop the next young girl from being sex trafficked, and...  FULL POST


Highlights from ICANN67 Public Forum – Community Dialogue on Proposed Transfer of PIR Ownership

Ethos CEO Erik Brooks and I are grateful to ICANN for hosting this important community dialogue on the future of PIR and .ORG earlier this week, and we listened intently to the questions posed. To echo what John Jeffrey said in his opening remarks, we are very interested in the community's input. We appreciate the openness and candor that was expressed during the Public Forum, and we would like to take this opportunity to recap a few of the overarching themes and questions asked.  FULL POST


.ORG Stewardship Council Will Ensure .ORG's Commitment to Freedom of Expression Continues

The .ORG Stewardship Council is, in a lot of ways, a natural progression or evolution from our current PIR Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is made up of independent .ORG community members from around the world that provide advice to PIR on policy issues affecting them. The "AC," or the Advisory Council, has been a key part of PIR's work since its inception.  FULL POST


The Legal Enforceability of PIR's Public Interest Commitment

Since Ethos announced its investment in PIR last fall, Ethos has welcomed the opportunity to engage with .ORG registrants and users to hear their ideas and answer their questions. We listened to concerns expressed in the community, and we worked to address them. We announced a number of voluntary commitments that Ethos is prepared to make, and then we listened to feedback from the community on the scope of those commitments, as well as on the enforceability of those commitments.  FULL POST


Binding .ORG and the Community Together

In direct response to the enormous interest and input we have seen from the .ORG community over the past several months, Ethos and Public Interest Registry (PIR) have made tremendous strides in laying out our collective vision for .ORG and put forth unprecedented commitments and protections for the .ORG community. Over the last two weeks, in particular, we have taken concrete actions to better align the community's interests with the operations of PIR and .ORG.  FULL POST


How Our Public Interest Commitment Ensures a Bright Future for .ORG

The discussion about the future of the .ORG domain registry has been partly rooted in stewardship. Who will guide the Public Interest Registry (PIR) so it continues to serve the .ORG community? For those of us at Ethos Capital, the company acquiring PIR, this has been a central focus. We understand that owning PIR makes us stewards of an essential part of the fabric of the Internet.  FULL POST


Accountability Initiatives to Secure a Strong Future for .ORG

Last fall, when we put forth our bid to acquire the Public Interest Registry (PIR), our announcement - made jointly with PIR and its parent, the Internet Society - was met with questions. We took them seriously and made a conscious effort to engage with representative members of the .ORG community to deepen our understanding. We found that a consistent message was that the commitments made by Ethos since this fall addressed most of the community's issues, but there was a question as to whether they were enforceable and if so, how?  FULL POST


Explaining the Legal Enforceability of the PIC Proposed by Ethos for .ORG

Ethos Capital has recently announced that it has voluntarily proposed to add an amendment to Public Interest Registry's (PIR) .ORG Registry Agreement with ICANN in the form of a Public Interest Commitment, also known as a "PIC." In the press release Ethos indicated that the PIC would become "legally binding" and "enforceable" both by ICANN and by members of the community. I anticipate that some would ask a number of logical questions: How would that work in practice?  FULL POST


The Sale of .ORG Registry: Continuing the Conversation We Should Be Having

On 11 February, I participated in a discussion about the pending sale of PIR at American University Washington College of Law, appropriately titled, The Controversial Sale of the .ORG Registry: The Conversation We Should Be Having. It was great to have a balanced discussion, free of some of the emotions that have often made it hard to discern the realities of the transaction. Certain misapprehensions arose in the discussion that we lacked the time to explore fully, so I want to take those up here.  FULL POST


Stop Propagating False Information About the .ORG Transaction

We were disappointed to see The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette publish a recent editorial on February 13 about the sale of Public Interest Registry (PIR, the company that operates .ORG) that propagates false information about the transaction, including runaway prices, censorship and lack of experience. Runaway prices? Ethos Capital and PIR have committed to capping price increases to no more than ten percent per year on average.  FULL POST


Looking Forward to 'The Conversation We Should Be Having'

No, this topic hasn't yet been exhausted: There's still plenty more conversation we can and should have about the proposed sale of the .ORG registry operator to a private firm. Ideally, that conversation will add more information and more clarity about the issues at stake and the facts that underpin those issues. That's why I'm planning to attend today's event at American University where the sale's proponents, opponents and undecideds will have a tremendous opportunity to better understand one another.  FULL POST


Answering Additional Questions about Ethos' Acquisition of Public Interest Registry (PIR)

A few good questions have circulated in response to my recent blog post seeking clarity around the following: 1) what we mean with respect to adhering to Public Interest Registry's (PIR) historic practices on pricing, and 2) our interpretation of how the new co-operative proposal would reward speculators. With regard to Ethos' pricing commitments: we are not saying that we will raise prices 10% every year -- our commitment is that any price increase would not exceed 10% per year on average, if at all.  FULL POST


Addressing Recent Media Mischaracterizations of the .ORG Acquisition

Given the level of public interest in Ethos' acquisition of Public Interest Registry ("PIR") from the Internet Society, it is no surprise that this agreement continues to attract press attention. Ethos welcomes open discussion on this important investment, and we are of course following the media coverage closely. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to respond point-by-point to every article, so I would like to take this opportunity to address several mischaracterizations of the deal recently reported by Wired, Deutsche Welle, and others.  FULL POST


.ORG Will Thrive Under Ethos Capital

I've been proud to serve Public Interest Registry (PIR) since 2017 and play a part in helping the organization support those with a mission to do good. I recently joined every one of my fellow board members in reaching the unanimous decision to approve the sale of PIR, as I believe PIR's mission will best be served by the sale and .ORG's long-term future will be stronger under Ethos Capital ownership.  FULL POST


Doing More to Address Child Sexual Abuse Materials Online

For all of us at Public Interest Registry, working to remove child sexual abuse content from the Internet isn't just a part of our work; it's our moral duty. As stewards of the .ORG community, addressing the problem head on is the only option compatible with our values. Talking about Child Sexual Abuse Materials (CSAM) is challenging and uncomfortable. It's also far too important, and prevalent, of a problem to ignore. While it's impossible to know exact numbers, online CSAM is a major, rapidly growing crisis.  FULL POST


Thoughts on Our NPR Interview About Ethos Capital's Acquisition of .ORG

I was glad to join Meghna Chakrabarti on NPR this week for an engaging discussion about Ethos Capital's acquisition of Public Interest Registry (PIR) from the Internet Society, which you can listen to here. I always appreciate an opportunity to answer questions about .ORG, and was pleased to be joined by Andrew Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Society, and Esther Dyson, founding chairwoman of ICANN from 1998 to 2000.  FULL POST


Here's How We Can Truly #SaveDotOrg

Many of my friends in the civil-liberties and Internet-law communities have been criticizing the Internet Society's agreement to sell the Public Interest Registry, which administers the .ORG top-level domain. I'm a free-speech guy, so I support their right to raise all these criticisms. But they often ask me directly – knowing that my track record as an Internet civil-libertarian is longer than most – why as a member of the Internet Society (a.k.a. ISOC) board I decided to join the board's unanimous approval of the deal.  FULL POST


A Stronger PIR and .ORG: Standing Behind Our Commitments

We respect the right of all parties who wish to express a point of view on the Internet Society's sale of Public Interest Registry ("PIR") to Ethos Capital. However, it's important those views are based on facts -- which has not always been the case. Some have expressed concern that for-profit ownership of .ORG will automatically mean .ORG prices will rise dramatically, or that .ORG's principles will change.  FULL POST


Why I Voted to Sell .ORG

Hi, I'm Richard. I've been around the Internet for a while. I work for Cisco now, and used to lead security for Firefox. I've published a few RFCs and served on the Internet Engineering Steering Group (the board of the IETF). I was a co-founder of Let's Encrypt and I currently serve on its board. I care about the Internet, and I care about nonprofits.  FULL POST


A Better PIR Deal – Maintaining Trust Is Good Business

I run a business. For years I've been in the ICANN Business Constituency, holding a series of different positions including Chair. Suffice it to say, I'm absolutely ok with making money and generally speaking, letting markets work. I also care about NGOs. For years our firm worked with PIR on the .NGO project. We got to see up close the role PIR has played as a supporter of NGOs online -- encouraging best practice, helping push out DNSSEC to a global audience, working on DNS abuse issues, supporting the sector.  FULL POST


Showing our Ethos with .ORG

I recently stepped into a new role as Chief Purpose Officer of Ethos Capital, a specialized investment firm focused on helping companies drive growth and transformation through technology. In doing so, we are committed to operating ethically, responsibly, and in the best interests of all stakeholders, including employees, customers, vendors and the broader community.  FULL POST

Contributors

Announcements

Ethos Announces Selection Process for .ORG Stewardship Council – Today, in our continuing commitment to transparency, we’re pleased to announce additional details regarding the selection process for the .ORG Stewardship Council.
Mar 23, 2020 / Learn more


PIR Agrees to ICANN Extension – PIR has engaged extensively with the .ORG Community over the past month. We participated in multiple community engagements, joined the public fora at ICANN's meeting last week, and recently completed a public consultation process.
Mar 18, 2020 / Learn more


A message from Erik Brooks, CEO & Founder of Ethos Capital – Since announcing the transaction, PIR and Ethos have been listening closely to the concerns of the .ORG Community. We have engaged in face to face meetings, conducted numerous online engagement sessions (which hundreds of people attended) and posted many articles and blogs to provide reassurance to the .ORG Community.
Mar 16, 2020 / Learn more


Ethos Capital Announces Accountability Initiatives to Secure a Strong Future for .ORG – Ethos Capital announces several key initiatives that strengthen and reinforce the company's commitments to the .ORG community as part of its acquisition of Public Interest Registry. These legally-binding commitments cannot be unilaterally modified by PIR and will apply to .ORG regardless of who operates .ORG.
Feb 21, 2020 / Learn more


Ethos Capital to Acquire Public Interest Registry from the Internet Society – The Internet Society and Public Interest Registry (PIR) today announced that they have reached an agreement with Ethos Capital, under which Ethos Capital will acquire PIR and all of its assets from the Internet Society.
Nov 13, 2019 / Learn more

Resources

KeyPointsAbout.Org

For additional information regarding Ethos Capital's acquisition of Public Interest Registry, please visit KeyPointsAbout.org

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