ICANN Responds Somewhat to Concerns About .ORG

December 13, 2019

Following widespread protest over the proposed sale of the .ORG domain by the Public Interest Registry to a private equity fund, ICANN posted a response. In a blog post, the ICANN CEO and Board Chair acknowledged that "PIR must obtain ICANN's prior approval before any transaction that would result in a change of control of the registry operator." ICANN further stated that it sent a letter to both ISOC and PIR, "asking them to please be clear and open in all of their communications." EPIC President Marc Rotenberg, a founding board member and former chair of PIR, said that the secrecy of the deal was "a failure of process." He told the Financial Times "You can't make decisions about the allocation of internet domain names in the dark." In a recent commentary for The Hill, Rotenberg said that ICANN should block the sale. Prior to establishing PIR, EPIC launched The Public Voice project to promote civil society participation in decisions concerning the future of the Internet.

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