Internet Society
Attn: Andrew Sullivan, President and CEO
11710 Plaza America Drive, Suite 400
Reston, VA 20190

Dear Mr. Sullivan,

We urge you to stop the sale of the Public Interest Registry (PIR) to Ethos Capital.

Non-governmental organizations all over the world rely on the .ORG top-level domain. Decisions affecting .ORG must be made with the consultation of the NGO community, overseen by a trusted community leader. If the Internet Society (ISOC) can no longer be that leader, it should work with the NGO community and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to find an appropriate replacement.

The 2019 .ORG Registry Agreement represents a significant departure from .ORG’s 34-year history. It gives the registry the power to make several policy decisions that would be detrimental to the .ORG community:

  • The power to raise .ORG registration fees without the approval of ICANN or the .ORG community. A .ORG price hike would put many cash-strapped NGOs in the difficult position of either paying the increased fees or losing the legitimacy and brand recognition of a .ORG domain.
  • The power to develop and implement Rights Protection Mechanisms unilaterally, without consulting the .ORG community. If such mechanisms are not carefully crafted in collaboration with the NGO community, they risk censoring completely legal nonprofit activities.
  • The power to implement processes to suspend domain names based on accusations of “activity contrary to applicable law.” The .ORG registry should not implement such processes without understanding how state actors frequently target NGOs with allegations of illegal activity.

A registry could abuse these powers to do significant harm to the global NGO sector, intentionally or not. We cannot afford to put them into the hands of a private equity firm that has not earned the trust of the NGO community. .ORG must be managed by a leader that puts the needs of NGOs over profits.

When ISOC originally proposed transferring management of .ORG to PIR in 2002, ISOC’s then President and CEO Lynn St. Amour promised that .ORG would continue to be driven by the NGO community—in her words, PIR would “draw upon the resources of ISOC’s extended global network to drive policy and management.” As long-time members of that global network, we insist that you keep that promise. logo91.3Access Now logoAmerican Alliance of Museums logoAmerica's Service Commissions logoAmerican Council on Exercise LogoApache Software Foundation logoAprilASAE logoAspiration logoAssociation of Junior Leagues International logoChildren's Treehouse FoundationCivi CRM LogoCode for America logoConsumer Action logoConsumer ReportsCreative Commons logoCrisis Text Line logoCWACYONDemand Progress Education Fund logoDNRC logoEcumenical Council of Bishops and Apostolic LeadershipElectronic Frontier Foundation logoElectronic Privacy Information Center logoEnvironmental CenterEuropean Climate Foundation logoFarm Aid logoFeeding AmericaFFDNFight for the future logoFree Software Foundation logoGulf Centre for Human RightsGirl Scouts of the USA logoGNOME Foundation logoGreenpeace USA logoHS ISTHRMIHRWHURIDOCS logoIndependent Sector logoInteraction International LogoInternet Archive logoJobs With JusticeThe League of Women Voters of the United States logoMapLight logoMeals on Wheels America logoNational Council of Nonprofits logoNational Human Services Assembly logoNorth Dakota Association of Nonprofit Organizations LogoNTEN logoOpen Knowledge FoundationOpenMICopen source matters logoOpen Source Initiative logoOxfam LogoOzgurPublic Citizen logoPublic Knowledge logoRFRainforest Action NetworkR Street Institute logoSF Public Health logoSchool on WheelsSierraSimple machines logoSoftware for GoodStiftungTechSoup logoTexasCriminalJusticeTorTrans Lifeline logoUnionArtUshahidi LogoVolunteerMatch logoVolunteers of America logoWVNPWinWithoutWarWikimedia Foundation logoWeb Foundation logoYMCA of the USA logoYWCA USA logo
A Blessing to One Another
A Bunch of Hacks
A New Beginning Animal Rescue
Access Now
Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of British Columbia
African Academic Network on Internet Policy
African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX).
Agaric Tech Cooperative
Albertine Watchdog
All Faiths
Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts
Alliance for Morris County Parks
Alternatives, Inc
America’s Service Commissions
American Alliance of Museums
American Bible Society
American Council on Exercise
American Physical Society
American Political Science Association
American Society of Association Executives
Anarchist Group Amsterdam
APpeas Associação Portuguesa de promoção do envelhecimento ativo e saudável
Association Artistique Alexandre Roubtzoff
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.
Astra Labs
Austin Baroque Orchestra
Australian Play, Imagination, and Learning Institute
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication(BNNRC)
Barracon Digital
Basic Internet Foundation
Battle of Homestead Foundation
Bay Area Mashers
Berkeley Institute for Free Speech Online
Better Future for All
Bike Walk Montana
Bridgewell Inc
Bring Your Own Ideas LTD
British Columbia Aviation Council
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
C4 Atlanta
California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits)
Capital Region Community Foundation
CASA New Orleans
Center for Innovative Thinking, Inc
Center for Internet and Human Rights
Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.” (CSMM)
Centro Latinoamericano de Investigaciones Sobre Internet
Centrum Cyfrowe Foundation
Chaotikum e.V.
Chestnut Creek School of the Arts
Child Saving Institute, Inc.
Children’s Alliance of Montana
Children’s Law Center Inc
Chilliwack Arts & Cultural Centre Society
Chordoma Foundation
Circus Freaks
Cita Press
City of Anacortes
Clever Octopus Inc
Clinton-Gratiot Habitat for Humanity ReStore
CN Guidance and Counseling Services
Co-op Source
Code for America
Codeando Mexico
Codeberg e.V.
Colorado Nonprofit Association
Communications Workers of America
Communities United Against Police Brutality
Community Action Center
Community Tech Network
Completely KIDS
Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance
Consumer Action
Consumer Reports
Council of Michigan Foundations
Creative Commons
Crisis Text Line
Cycle On Hawaii
Daily Bread Food Bank
Daniel 2:28, Inc.
Datenschutzraum e.V.
Defending Rights & Dissent
Demand Progress Education Fund
Design Action Collective
Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan
Digital Society School
Digitale Gesellschaft
Domain Name Rights Coalition
Downtown Aurora Visual Arts
Drayton Avenue Cooperative Preschool
Droit et Justice
Dutch Virtual Reality Foundation
Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting
Ecumenical Council of Bishops and Apostolic Leadership
Electronic Frontier Finland
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Elypia CIC
Empower Success Corps
Erzsébet: The Opera
European Center for Not-for-Profit Law Stichting (ECNL)
European Climate Foundation
European Institute of Golf Course Architects
Executive Service Corps of the United States
Fablab LCube
Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc
Farm Aid
Fédération FDN
Feeding America
Fight for the Future
FIRE - The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Fondation Jaluo Du Congo/RDC (FOJAC)
Fondation Litteraire Fleur de Lys
Form & Function Digital Co-operative
Fourth Estate
Free Expression Myanmar
Free Software Foundation
Freie Software Freunde e. V.
Front Line Defenders
fundación Via Libre
Funding the Next Generation
Galveston Urban Ministries
Gateway Environmental Initiative
Geany e.V. Association
Geek’s Home
German Foundation for Data Protection
Gestalt Institute of the Gulf Coast
Girl Scouts of the USA
Global Care Impact
Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD)
GNOME Foundation
Gökova Akyaka'yı Sevenler Derneği
Gulf Centre for Human Rights
Habilitation Information Vocation & Education
Hackerspace Istanbul
Harmonized Initiatives of Media for the Spread of Good Nutrition in Region 8
Heard Museum
Holistic Ministry of Children of the Horn of Africa
Holy Name Housing Corporation
Hope 24/7
Hospice Help Foundation
Hostingvereniging Soleus
House of Mercy
Huerto Roma Verde, La Cuadra genera ciudad A.C.
Human Rights Measurement Initiative
Humanitarian FOSS Project
Humanitarian Press Foundation, Yemen
i freedom Uganda Network
Ideen Hoch Drei e.V
Immigrant Rights Action
Immigrant Solidarity DuPage
Immunize Nevada
Independent Sector
Index on Censorship
Information Ecology
Initiative für Netzfreiheit
Interaction International
Interfaith Cincy
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
Internet Archive
Internet of Ownership
Internet Policy Observatory Pakistan
Internet Sans Frontières
Internet Society Jakarta Chapter
Internet Society Netherlands Chapter
Internet Systems Consortium
IO Cooperative Inc.
ION Medical Safety
Ionic 6
Iron Work Farm in Acton, Inc.
IT for Change
Jennifer Ann's Group
Job Connection, Inc
Jobs With Justice
Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar
Karisma Foundation
Kentucky Nonprofit Network
Killeen Lodge #1125 A.F. & A.M.
KnowledgeFlow Cybersafety Foundation
Liberty and Peace NOW! Human Rights Reporters
Life Transformation for Africa Initiative
Link Centre
Liquid Legal Institute e.V.
Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, San Francisco
Livermore Pride
LUX Center for the Arts
Main Street Productions, Inc. dba the Westfield Playhouse
Maison des utilisateurs de Logiciels Libres de Montréal
Manchester Acupuncture Studio
MariaDB Foundation
Mary McDowell Friends School
Meals on Wheels America
Media Alliance
Media Foundation for West Africa
Members of Churches of Christ for Scouting
Memphis Leadership Foundation
Mennonite Central Committee
Message Agency
MidwayUSA Foundation
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
MMD Gira ubukire
Modern Wizard Quarterly
Montana Afterschool Alliance
Montana Federation of Public Employees (MFPE)
Montana Independent Living Project
Montana Nonprofit Association
Multnomah County Library
National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems
National Council of Nonprofits
National Human Services Assembly
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Nederlandse Vereniging voor Veganisme (Dutch Vegan Society)
NEEMFest Productions
Neponset River Watershed Association
New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc.
New York Avant-Garde Festival Archive Site
New York Council of Nonprofits
Next in Nonprofits
Ngetha Media Association for Peace (NMAP)
Niko Niko Taishi
Nonprofit New York
North Carolina Center for Nonprofits
North Carolina Justice Center
North Dakota Association of Nonprofit Organizations
North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center
Northbridge Technology Alliance
Northwest Progressive Institute
Nouveaux Voisins
O Foundation
Odorheiu Secuiesc Community Foundation
Ohev Sholom Talmud Torah Congregation
Ökostadt Rhein-Neckar e.V.
Ontario Nonprofit Network
Open Aid Alliance
Open Knowledge Foundation
Open MIC (Open Media and Information Companies Initiative)
Open Source Initiative
Open Source Matters, Inc.
Open Technology Institute
Open Technology Institute
Opportunity Resource Fund
Our First Right
Özgür Yazılım Derneği
P.R.A.Y. Publishing
p≡p foundation
Padirac Innovation
Palante Technology Cooperative
Participatory Budgeting Project
PATH North Dakota, Inc.
Patterson School Foundation
PDX Privacy
People For People
Pesticide Action Network North America
Philadelphia Recorder Society
Philippine Human Rights Information Center
Phoenix Rising Equine Rescue & Rehabilitation
Pinelands Preservation Alliance
Pirate Parties International
Policy Research and Innovation
Premium Traffic Limited
Presentation House Theatre
Project WET Foundation
Providers’ Council
Proyecto sobre Organización, Desarrollo, Educación e Investigación (PODER)
Public Citizen
Public Knowledge
Qurium Media Foundation
R Street Institute
Radically Open Security
Radio Free
Rainforest Action Network
Redes Ayuda
Refugee Women’s Network
Regular Baptist Ministries
Replicant, LLC
River Cities Humane Society for Cats
Roadrunner Food Bank, Inc.
SafeHouse Denver
Salam Academy
Salt Works Student Ministries
San Francisco Lyric Chorus
San Francisco Public Health Foundation
San Juan Community Matters
SANE Project
School on Wheels
Second Harvest Asia
Second Harvest Japan
Side by Side, Inc
Sierra Club
Simple Machines
Society for Nonprofits
Software For Good
Software Freedom Law Center India
Southern Environmental Law Center
Springfield Area Arts Council
Stiftung Albumin-Carrier-Therapie
Stin Priza Coop
Stuart Center
Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association
Sursiendo, Comunicación y Cultura Digital
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Foundation
Talking Talons Youth Leadership
Tecker International LLC
Telecommunities Canada
Texas Criminal Justice Coalition
The Apache Software Foundation
The Bioscience Resource Project
The Boys' Latin School of MD
The Centre for Developmental Neurobiology
The Children’s Treehouse Foundation
The Document Foundation
The Environmental Center
The Humane Society of Elmore County
The Inetta Fund
The IO Foundation
The League of Women Voters of the United States
The Los Haro Project
The MRC Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
The Oxalosis & Hyperoxaluria Foundation
The Tor Project
The Union for Contemporary Art
The Union of Concerned Scientists
Theosophical Society in Seattle
Thetford Academy
Thibodaux Playhouse, Inc
Tioga Opportunities, Inc
To’nihaiyilya- Growing Our Dreams
Together SC
Trans Lifeline
Transnational Institute
Tulsa Hub Syndicate
Tupelo Arts Council
United Methodist Communications
United Way of Butte and Anaconda
United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area
Ushahidi Inc.
Videre Est Credere
Volunteers of America
Waag | Technology & Society
Washington Trails Association
Watcan Foundation
Web Foundation
West Hartford Symphony Orchestra of West Hartford, CT
West Virginia Nonprofit Association
Wikimedia Foundation
Win Without War
Women LISTEN, Inc.
WonderArts Vermont
Wooden Shoe Books
YMCA of the USA
Yonkers Community Action Program, Inc
Your Digital Rights
Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) Canada
Zanmi Lakay
Zir Chemed
_artundweise kunst- und denkraum