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 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. I joined the board’s unanimous decision to, sell the Public Interest Registry (PIR), the registry for the .org top-level domain, to Ethos Capital. Since this transaction has gotten some attention, I’d like to speak a little about why, in my estimation, this deal is a good one for the Internet. It basically comes down to two things: 1. The Internet Society does great work protecting the Internet and bringing it to the people who need it most — work that is way more impactful than leasing domain names. This transaction secures that work’s future and independence. 2. Ethos is a worthy successor to the Internet Society as the steward of .org. There’s no doubt that .org has a big impact on the online brand and identity of nonprofits. But the impact of the Internet Society is much broader than that. For those who might be unfamiliar with the Internet Society, our mission is as follows: 1. The Internet Society supports and promotes the development of the Internet as a global technical infrastructure, a resource to enrich people’s lives, and a force for good in society. 2. Our work aligns with our goals for the Internet to be open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy.

http://www.circleid.com/posts/20191127_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 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.

I joined the board’s unanimous decision to, sell the Public Interest Registry (PIR), the registry for the .org top-level domain, to Ethos Capital.

Many of the current concerns about .org are premised on a presumption that prices will rise, based on a distrust of private equity and the affiliations of some of the investors. Those concerns are understandable, but I would encourage people to look at what Ethos themselves have said about their intentions with regard to .org, namely that they intend to:

  • Make .org domain names “accessible and reasonably priced for all”, including limiting price increases to no more than 10% per year
  • Keep PIR accountable to the community through a Stewardship Council
  • Give back to the .org community through a Community Enablement Fund
  • Seek certification as a B Corporation, as a commitment to transparency and social responsibility

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