Sign the petition to save .ORG!

Update (05/01) - We have won!!! ICANN has rejected the sale of .ORG claiming the sale is not in the public interest! Check out our blog for more details!

The .ORG domain registry, which most nonprofits rely on for their websites, is up for sale to the private equity firm Ethos Capital.1

This sale will turn nonprofits and charities into cash cows for Ethos Capital, which will jack up rates to pay off the $1.1 BILLION investment they are making to buy .ORG and could even get into the business of censorship.

But for this sale to go through, it has to first be approved by ICANN, the regulator of domain names. If enough of us speak out against this sale, we can pressure ICANN to put the important causes that .ORG supports over Ethos Capital’s profits.

To the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN):

Please stop the sale of the Public Interest Registry to Ethos Capital, and instead work with the non-profit community to manage the .ORG registry in a way that benefits the thousands of organizations that rely on it.

This campaign is hosted by OpenMedia. We will protect your privacy, and keep you informed about this campaign and others. Find OpenMedia's privacy policy here.

The .ORG domains are managed by the Internet Society’s Public Interest Registry (ISOC/PIR), which is a not-for-profit organization created to manage .ORG in the public interest.2

This has allowed the .ORG domain suffix to remain an affordable, nonpartisan and safe place for nonprofit organizations to register their domains -- like openmedia.ORG, redcross.ORG, oxfam.ORG, etc. 

But now, Ethos Capital is offering $1.1 Billion to ISOC to buy PIR, which would put the .ORG domains in the hands of a private equity firm looking to use nonprofits as a cash cow. If the sale goes through, the price of .ORG domains will have to go up to allow Ethos to recover their massive investment. 

Not only that, Ethos could actually get into the business of censorship for profit. Other domain registries have entered into contracts with corporations to suspend domains of websites that go against the interests of those companies.3 But for users of .ORG domains, the stakes could be even higher. 

Many authoritarian governments and corporations would be willing to pay millions to silence many of the nonprofit organizations that use .ORG domains. Under this sale, there is nothing to stop Ethos from getting into the business of censorship. 

But this sale is not a done deal. ICANN, the organization that regulates domain names, has to approve this sale. They are already feeling the pressure from hundreds of organizations, leaders in the US congress and even the state of California. 

You can add to this pressure by signing this petition, which will be delivered to ICANN before the decision deadline on May 4th!

Footnotes

  1. Nonprofits worry sale of dot-org universe will raise costs - Toronto Star
  2. ICANN Needs To Ask More Questions About the Sale of .ORG - EFF
  3. We Need To Save .ORG From Arbitrary Censorship By Halting the Private Equity Buy-Out - EFF

Press: Matthew Hatfield | Phone: +1 (888) 441-2640 ext. 1 | matt@openmedia.org