Dot Org is still a safe haven for the folks depending on dot org

Today I woke up to great news.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICAAN, has rejected the .org sale

What is ICAAN?

ICAAN is a non-profit and American multi-stakeholder organisation. It is in charge of managing and maintenance and coordination of

  • domain name system,
  • protocol parameter assignment
  • IP address space allocation
  • root server system management functions.
    In a word they make sure that the network is operating stably and securely.
    To my mind, the name ICAAN(pronounced as EYE-can) has a little play on words as in "I can at least try to manage the Internet."

The Controversy

In the last quarter of 2019 there was a major shift that appeared in the.ORG Registry Agreement. The agreement came up with the following policies:

  • The registry can hike the registration fees for the .org with the assent of the .org community or ICAAN.
  • Registry can design and implement the Rights Protection Mechanisms without any input from the community.

All these powers are inherently harmful to the community at large. The .org domain is home to many NGOs and groups fighting for fundamental rights, freedom of speech and expression, equality, justice and human rights. The price hike would endanger their meagre finances and consequently their existence. The thoughtful crafting of Rights Protection Mechanisms is necessary to maintain a stable community. The new policy gave the registry the power to make processes for the suspension of domain names, simply on accusations of “activity contrary to applicable law.” These policies, without any input from the community, put registry in a dangerous position to abuse power (knowingly or otherwise). ICAAN came up with a deal of $1.1bn tonearly a billion dollars to sellsale the .org registry to Ethos Capital. The deal will take the .org away from The Internet Society, putting in private hands, tossing equilibrium of the network away.

The protest

The community started protesting about these policies. The SAVE.ORG campaign was initiated to create awareness among the community. The EFF played a pivotal part to raise the concerns of the community. Amy Sample Ward, CEO of non-profit NTEN, was raising her concerns since the very begining. She did hand-delivered a petition against the policies to the ICANN board. Recently, the California Attorney General said the deal with Ethos Capital “puts profits above the public interest”. This is completely contrary to the goals of ICCAAN, a non profit organisation.

The victory

On 30th April, 2020 ICAAN a came up with post saying that the Board has come to a decision of not to go ahead with the deal. They released a blogpost to that effect. The board came with a resolution rejected the suggested change of Public Interest Registry(PIR).


As Eva says, " Sometimes the good guys win." This is a great victory for the community. What ismakes it so great, i abouts that, this is it not a win of a particular person or organisation but of the whole community at large. It has made us think of the very ethos and power of the community. Which is very important especially in thisese times. So, congratulations everyone.! We still have a modicum of freedom and power!

Show Comments