back to article ICANN finally reveals who’s behind purchase of .org: It’s ███████ and ██████ – you don't need to know any more

DNS overlord ICANN has finally released additional details over the proposed sale of the .org internet registry to a private equity firm – details that raise more questions than answers. Key among these peculiarities is that they don't name who will end up in charge of the billion-dollar entity that oversee 10 million .org …

  1. Steve Aubrey
    Stop

    Bothered

    Let's have some brakes applied.

    Let's have some light applied.

    Let's follow the money trail.

    Full disclosure - I have a .org domain, and so does my church. Individually, my additional out-of-pocket won't be that much more. But I don't want to be that snowflake that goes along for the avalanche ride. Something seems very wrong here.

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Bothered

      Something seems very wrong here.

      I beg to differ ...

      Bothered?

      I'm absolutely outraged.

      Something?

      Everything about this is wrong.

      Seems?

      No ...

      It's quite evident.

      The main purpose of carrying this out and doing it in the way they have done it was to do it in the shade/under the blankets and as far away from public scrutiny as possible.

      I am certain that these DHs and all those involved in backing and/or allowing this scheme to continue are nothing but run of the mill investment fund raiders (ie: white glove thieves) that found a way to make some easy money creating an oportunity and then finding a loophole to exploit it.

      This is only happening for the benefit of those backing this outrageous deal, benefit which is very long them and absolutely huge and (of course) at the expense of the many.

      It will be to the whole of the world society's benefit that this rip-off does not go through.

      ie. gets stopped ASAP.

      O.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Bothered

      transparency would be a good thing, yeah.

      Aren't there existing laws with respect to companies doing international business? In the USA (well in Cali-fornicate-you at least) you have to file a statement of information with the state indicating who the primary corporate officers are, mostly for legal purposes.

      So I would expect something similar, here.

      There are also laws _AGAINST_ borrowing money to buy stock. That one dates back to the 1930's, something about unsecured loans being used to fund stock purchase and after a crash the banks have no cash...

      Purchase of a company, I suppose, CAN be financed, if it's not through stock... though it _DOES_ seem to be a bit "shady" in that regard. But that's between the lender and the borrower I suppose, and I doubt the loan is without any kind of collateral.

      Still I would expect that much of this "must be a non-profit" stuff is a complete misunderstanding of for-profit vs non-profit. Seriously, I bet a for-profit corporation could do the job at LOWER COST TO THE END USER than a non-profit one, simply because they have budgets and investors and bottom lines and need for revenue. And there is a LOT of competition out there for domain names.

      And from MY experience with a non-profit, they're sometimes run by COMPLETE IDIOTS when it comes to things like spending money, retaining employees, and even JUST GETTING THINGS DONE.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Bothered

        > I bet a for-profit corporation could do the job at LOWER COST TO THE END USER than a non-profit one, simply because they have budgets and investors and bottom lines and need for revenue.

        Nonprofits have those things as well.

        1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

          Re: Bothered

          Doing the job at a lower cost does not imply providing the results at a lower price.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bothered

        "And from MY experience with a non-profit, they're sometimes run by COMPLETE IDIOTS when it comes to things like spending money, retaining employees, and even JUST GETTING THINGS DONE."

        Sounds like most for-profit companies.

  2. Jwdb
    Meh

    names redacted...

    '...based “on the principles set forth in ICANN’s Documentary Information Disclosure Policy (DIDP)”'

    This'd be the same ICANN that fought tooth and nail to have WHOIS continue to disclose every domain name owner's personal details?

    meh, because why would I be so naïve as to expect even-handedness...

    1. NonSSL-Login

      Re: names redacted...

      With the Donuts registry being involved in the buying....they were the first (and I think only) registry that decided to throw law out the window and suspend domains based on the MPAA's say so.

      https://torrentfreak.com/inside-the-mpaas-piracy-deal-with-the-donuts-domain-registry-160210/

      With that tight media cartel connection I wouldn't trust anything this company does. like trying to buy rights to .org

      This whole deal needs a full independent audit and public report before the sale on important internet infrastructure goes through as a bare minimum.

  3. Frank Oz

    Jon Postel would be so disappointed

    For him DNS was a labour of love ...

    For him ISOC acted for the internet users ... and I speak as an ex ISOC member of long standing.

    This deal smells to high heaven, and reflcts no credit on ISOC at all. They sold their integrity (to ICANN) for the ORG registry, and are now selling the ORG registry for profit. A billion tax evaded bucks no less ... and I wonder where that will go.

  4. HildyJ Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Obi-Bill, you're our only hope

    Short of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation making a competing, all cash bid, there is no hope. It's all about the Benjamins.

    P.S. El Reg really needs a money bag icon.

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Obi-Bill, you're our only hope

      Or the Chase's (he was on a larger bill.)

    2. Daniel von Asmuth
      Windows

      Re: Obi-Bill, you're our only hope

      How about a triumvirate?

      William Gates III: Windows!

      Michael Gorbachev: Glasnost! (transparency)

      Barack Obama: Change? Just because ICANN!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lessons in How to avoid Scrutiny

    Has Boris Johnson been taking lessons from ICANN or vice versa ?

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Smells like an "inside" deal...

    Directors buying the organization sure does appear that way. And with all the leveraged financing going on, that smells also.

  7. Denarius Silver badge

    well, we all believe in Darwin.

    What else do you expect ? Care for the weak ? The aristocratic class always come out on top. Look at USSR and China. Replaced the dukes et al with party flunkies who behave like dukes et al. Same in China. Just another emperor trying to control regional wanna-be warlords.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: well, we all believe in Darwin.

      I think you missed a few countries

      India, United States, UK, France, Brazil, Argentina... I could go on, and I haven't mentioned any Middle Eastern countries yet.

  8. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Appropriating something that isn't theirs in the first place.

    So tired of all the greedy grabbing going on.

    Time to fork the feck out of the Internet.

    1. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

      There was a story on El-Reg a while ago which had a prophetic comment that seemed like a good joke at the time...

      Splinternet - local webs for local people

      1. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Except the local webs will be handed over to the most enthusiastic person who will then treat it as their personal baby and you will have to keep this person in treats if you want ANYTHING done and either they die suddenly with no record of passwords/logins and no inducted deputy or they pull something like this under the cover of ‘corporate sponsorship’ which consists of a purchase deal.

        Then said corporate then proceeds to hoover up all the other small nets and we will be back where we started.

        Short of a major improvement in peer to peer networking leaving the current infrastructure redundant I don’t see a good way out of this unless the new owners get an attack of conscience and put .org into charity ownership. Sorry, dropped off there and started dreaming.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          "Short of a major improvement in peer to peer networking leaving the current infrastructure redundant I don’t see a good way out of this unless the new owners get an attack of conscience and put .org into charity ownership. Sorry, dropped off there and started dreaming."

          ICANN only "own" root because everyone lets them. Similarly, ".org" is only owned by whoever ICANN says it is because everyone lets them.

          If the world got together, and said "enough! restore .org or we'll split".

          Anyone could recreate root and ICANN would be out of the equation - it's all down to critical mass.

          N.B. I'm not for "root" to be fractured - but if everyone else decided to use a new worldwide independent root, they couldn't be technically stopped.

          (I'd also kick out all those new "top level domains" for starters.... Shove them all under a domain ".idiots".. But I guess that ship has sailed...)

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        > Splinternet - local webs for local people

        As one who runs just such a thing myself, I'm also aware that there are numerous other such "local internets".

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Meh

          "many local internets"

          yeah same here, fixed IP with a domain and a web site, DNS, and other things. Helps with customer projects, too. I can mirror a customer web site on my local LAN server, as an example, fix stuff locally, and say "hey take a look at yourdomain.mydomain.whatever" to see if they like it.

          But as for ALSO being "part of the big intarwebs" - why could THAT be a problem? Or is it just the DNS system?

          If you hate all that in the current DNS system, just use ".onion". Or create your OWN DNS system [which you'd have to pay for, probably, but it's usually cheap]. As for me I could create as many names as I want if you don't mind "mydonain.whatever" tacked onto the end of every name...

          but yeah the existing system is there, relatively unfiltered, reasonably secure, and apparently NO POLITICS INVOLVED [or that's the goal]

          /me imagines "Cancel Culture" applied to web DNS registration... *shudder* [and it's my general opinion that a FOR PROFIT corporation is LESS LIKELY to engage in this kind of DISCRIMINATION]

          1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

            Oh?

            "and it's my general opinion that a FOR PROFIT corporation is LESS LIKELY to engage in this kind of DISCRIMINATION]"

            Wasn't that a must-run piece last month on the Clear Channel stations?

          2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Both profits and non-profits are motivated by the law / bad press / reduced sales...

            Non-profits still have bills and wages to pay.

    2. don't you hate it when you lose your account Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Can but hope

      As the one we have now is so broken

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Time to fork

      China already has, Russia is ready to roll. The Internet envisaged by some of the early idealists (particularly the ones that believed it was somehow apart from the real world) is being torn in one direction by commercial opportunism and in the other by state surveillance.

      It's just another of those apparently harmless technologies that in retrospect have been shown to be existentially dangerous when put in the hands of real people.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The legacy of hippies is hipocrasy and nieve optimism.

        Honor based agreements are pointless there is no imperative in evolution to do anything but exploit opportunities for your own (and your genetic legacies possibly?) advantage

        Admitadly the pioneers never dreamed that the just about working infrastructure would go public and grow to be cheap enough for all not just those with a spare building or 2 for a mainframe, but still a lot of product development was missed by taki g the academic solution as is, as the commercial one. Much like dns ipv4 and tls radical overhaul of the underlying systems and institutions is needed.

        I see the encumbrants much like xml over specified fragmented and utterly unable to deliver the initial promise through bloat and mission creep, desperately in need of something like json to be a better (but still flawed) refinement of the idea...

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Not so

          "Honor based agreements are pointless there is no imperative in evolution to do anything but exploit opportunities for your own (and your genetic legacies possibly?) advantage"

          That very much depends on how long a view you're taking. The longer the view, the more it benefits the individual to improve the lot of the masses.

          Therefore, anything that falls short of collective betterment is short-sighted opportunism which will not (eventually) benefit the individual who thinks he is climbing to the top of the shit pile.

          I would rather be at the bottom of the celestial pyramid than at the top of the excrement one, ymmv.

        2. mr-slappy

          Does your browser not do spel-cheking?

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Meh

            mine does but the edit font is so @#$%ing tiny that it's hard to see ANYTHING, even the red squiggly underlines on spelling mistakes

            (Hey El Reg can you make the edit font bigger? I am NOT on a PHONE)

            1. heyrick Silver badge

              Doesn't Ctrl + make the entire page content larger on your browser?

              [if it does, Ctrl - to go backwards, or Ctrl 0 (zero) to go back to standard size]

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Don't encourage Bob - up till now he's been self-limiting.

                Still, it's really sweet he thinks for-profits will deliver services cheaper than non-profits because it costs them less to do the work. Adam Smith would pat him on the head and go "aren't they lovely when they are young and trusting" before trying to explain reality to him.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Parsing the buck

          I presume hipocrasy is horse behaviour and nieve optimism is hoping that you can close your fist over the greenbacks (check the definition).

        4. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: hipocrasy and nieve

          I am so stealing that for my next series of crime dramas with a mismatched pair of eccentric former detectives heading the bill

  9. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Directors

    I’m confused. Aren’t the names of company directors on public record in the US? It’s trivial to find the names of UK company directors

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Directors

      "It’s trivial to find the names of UK company directors"

      It should be trivial, but the use of shell companies to own other companies means that the transparancy that should be there isn't there.

    2. chuBb. Bronze badge

      Re: Directors

      I would imagine that would classify as regulation so detrimental to the persuit of the almighty dollar

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Directors

      This falls under state law, not federal. In Delaware, corporations do not have to list officers, and don't even have to list directors until their annual report, which means you get a year to do your dirty work and then close up shop or appoint puppet directors.

      1. First Light Bronze badge

        Re: Directors

        Delaware . . . sigh. I don't know how they still get away with it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In Delaware, corporations do not have to list officers

        and this is EXACTLY why "some" businesses are set up there, no other reason. If I were for conspiracy theories, I would argue that some people around the US (and further afield) would have been very happy for laws to become so... favorable. But hey, in real world this is just a pure coincidence, eh.

  10. Not previously required
    Black Helicopters

    Stop worrying

    I found the article a bit complicated with so many companies involved, each seemingly buying the other. I suspect they don't understand it themselves if they can't even name their directors! They must be a bit simple.

    I was reassured to note that the director of compliance is involved, so I suggest you all stop worrying and do something more productive.

  11. GreggS

    If it is a massive tax avoidance scheme, shouldn't the IRS be getting very interested in any transactions taking place?

    1. iron Silver badge

      They would but the Orangutan-In-Chief keeps calling to find out how their investigation of Amazon is going.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      If it is a massive tax avoidance scheme, shouldn't the IRS be getting very interested in any transactions taking place?

      Remember the old adage. Tax avoidance is legal, tax evasion is not. Rest is ethics, which are.. trumped by the potential profits involved for the insiders.

      Some of the shell game may be due to converting 501(c)(3)s into for profits. Rest is the usual debt financing shenanigans. So PIR may end up with $1.1bn in debt, then when .orgs are priced at $100+, that money can be sucked into the LLC holding companies and then to the insiders. All will be well, the .org org will only be making a modest profit, pay no attention to all the cash being sucked out of that entity.

  12. hoola Bronze badge

    Follow the money

    Everything about this, and many other large scale buyouts/takeovers/mergers is usually about a very small group of already mega-rich individuals making themselves even more money at everyone else's expense and detriment. Unfortunately there is so much corruption, lobbying and personal gain in politics both sides of the Atlantic that anything that is for the overall good is long gone.

    The likes of Trump, Johnson, Cummings et al along with companies such as Cisco and the big US pharacutical companes trying to force people to buy their wares at any price just shows the level of collusion.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Follow the money

      Time to put them all on the Tumbrel.

  13. Trollslayer Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Would this be based in

    The US?

  14. Schultz Silver badge
    Stop

    A group of people were entrusted with the administration of the .org domains ...

    Now they sell out for a cool billion dollar. Who gave those clowns the key to the kingdom? What kind of personality does it take to NOT see the moral depravity of the deal?

    Maybe they fool themselves that it'll all work out for some common good -- but if you look at the money involved, it becomes quite obvious that pure greed is driving everyone involved. And who wouldn't be tempted to follow that gravy train ... something might trickle down to the good men and women with flexible morals.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: A group of people were entrusted with the administration of the .org domains ...

      You apparently think PROFIT itself is IMMORAL, don't you?

      Making a PROFIT (when you're a FOR PROFIT company) is NOT immoral. It's business.

      Profit is _GOOD_. It's been driving our societies for MILLENIA. Without gain, why bother working? No "profit" means SLAVE LABOR. NOBODY wants to be a SLAVE. So you should be paid for what you do, and if you buy and sell things, the PROFIT is your pay!

      (and if you're GOOD at it, your financial reward should be HUGE)

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: A group of people were entrusted with the administration of the .org domains ...

        "if you're GOOD at it, your financial reward should be HUGE"

        Small correction: if you're GOOD at it, your boss's financial reward will be HUGE

        People at the top make money off the labour of people at the bottom. Topical case in point Jeff Bezos has ooooodles of cash. And the robot person working in the fulfillment centre that helps make the entire operation work...she gets paid what?

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: A group of people were entrusted with the administration of the .org domains ...

        Profit is fine. You are missing two major points, or intentionally ignoring them.

        1. None of the places involved in this at the beginning were for profit. ICANN as well as the places responsible for .org were nonprofits; in fact they still are.

        2. None of the money they're getting is due to work they did. They were entrusted with something, and they're selling that thing. As if I put someone in charge of an art museum and that person started selling off the artworks. They didn't produce anything special, and the thing they manage doesn't have value because of their efforts, but because it had value before. They're entitled to being paid for the work they do, as the museum director should be paid for organizing the museum properly and managing security, but neither .org nor the masterpieces of someone else's efforts belong to them.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: A group of people were entrusted with the administration of the .org domains ...

          Profit is fine. You are missing two major points, or intentionally ignoring them.

          For me there's a third, and probably the most important point. It's a TLD, and thus a monopoly. So especially dubious following the decision to lift the price caps on .orgs, which seems to have been influenced by the people who are now going to profit from that monopoly. ICANNs 'market' justification conveniently overlooks that point, which just adds to the stench of corruption.

        2. Mike 16 Silver badge

          As if I put someone in charge

          @doubleslayer

          --- As if I put someone in charge of an art museum and that person started selling off the artworks. ---

          Let me introduce you to my little friend "deaccessioning".

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: A group of people were entrusted with the administration of the .org domains ...

        >Making a PROFIT (when you're a FOR PROFIT company) is NOT immoral. It's business.

        Neither is making a PROFIT when you're a NOT FOR PROFIT. As a Not for Profit you can make profits, just make sure by the end of the year they have been re-allocated so your declared profit falls within the acceptable bounds.

        The only real catch Not For Profits have is in the pricing of their services, namely they have to be priced more on a cost-plus basis than on whatever the market can bear, otherwise, their charitable status can be challenged.

      4. matt 83

        Re: A group of people were entrusted with the administration of the .org domains ...

        I'm pretty sure you can have SLAVE LABOR when you're a FOR PROFIT organisation too. Having SLAVE LABOR is pretty much the APEX of FOR PROFIT.

  15. WaveyDavey

    Bananas

    Bent as a nine-bob note, the lot of them. Squirrelly little fucks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bananas

      Seen it happen on the small scale multiple times around here. Public land, under trust, "sold" to others, or "appropriated" for other uses. As it's the public, how can they defend/sue back a company/council. Or personal pet projects bailed out via company/public funds because "too big to fail". :(

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Bananas

        Public land, under trust, "sold" to others

        Was a very popular pastime in South Wales back in the day

        Local public (for our left pondian cousin, read "private" as opposed to "state" school gets permission to use part of a piece of common land as a sports field

        School is reluctantly forced to fence off their sports field area to avoid dog walkers and general hoi polloi interfering with the Inter House rugby tournaments.

        School then sells of "their" playing fields to developer for much needed extra bunce

        Small donation to local council chairman's Bentley Continental fund and everything's cushti

  16. Valerion

    Has anyone asked

    The Elders of the Internet, to see what they think?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Has anyone asked

      They're okay with it.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Has anyone asked

        One of them is. We don't know about the others.

  17. mr-slappy

    I've pre-emptively bought the corresponding .org.uk domain for the club (amateur orchestra) whose website I run.

    The mooted increases aren't much in absolute terms but but to a small organisation like ours, and like many others I suspect, it's still significant.

    We'll be ready to rehome ourselves when the greedy bastards decide to start turning the financial screws.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "We'll be ready to rehome ourselves when the greedy bastards decide to start turning the financial screws."

      Why not just transition now? Put a holding page with redirect at .org. If you want you could even say why. If lots of small .orgs did this, it might even send a message. If enough do it, it might devalue the whole sell-off proposition or leave the new .org owners with a debt they can't pay.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Whilst the mooted increases may not be much, :

      1) That's for now. Nothing stopping them increasing them at any point, on a whim. Basically, they will keep increasing them to a point where the profit from doing so is eclipsed by the lost revenue of falling domains.

      No doubt they'll test the water with incremental changes, but they aren't the sort of people you want potentially holding you to ranson.

      2) It's the damn principle! :-)

  18. JohnFen Silver badge

    The stench increases

    At first, this deal only looked looked like a sketchy way to mine domain holders for cash at the expense of the internet at large. These details make it look even worse.

  19. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    CORRUPTION!

    Come on down to the 21st Century game of CORRUPTION! Can you swindle your way to riches? Can you rip off good natured, trusting people just to make a buck? Then you are exactly what our corrupt money obsessed society is all about! Take the money and F**K the people! After all the strong are supposed to prey on the weak aren't they? Oh wait, if you are preying on your own species isn't that cannibalism? I'm starting to think that Climate Change is a good thing for this planet. It'll eventually kill off the human viruses, unfortunately taking all the good humans with it. Is your conscience clean?

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: CORRUPTION!

      > Is your conscience clean?

      This presumes that they have a conscience in the first place.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can you swindle your way to riches?!

      certainly, that's the whole point of corruption inseparable from power: if you are a little man unhappy with the law, you break it, and (generally) get punished. When you are a big man, you don't break the law when you're unhappy with it, you ask your friends to change the law.

  20. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Tempting thought...

    But, as DNS over HTTPS has shown, real control over dns (for 99.9% of calls) is handled in the browser. For .org, there are even more nines. The top 4 browsers have the ability to bypass any formal dns function. If they want to resolve .org through 1.1.1.1 or 8.8.8.8, no one at ICANN can stop them.

    Just sayin'.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Tempting thought...

      You don't need DoH for that, just get the typical DNS providers to set up a different set of servers to handle .org and reject what ICANN has said to do. Doing that is easy. Getting it adopted by anyone else is difficult. Doing that without breaking things is impossible, and it only remains to be seen whether someone gets worried enough to do so anyway and risk the breakage.

  21. SVV Silver badge

    Connected Giving Foundation

    Cute name. If you're connected there's clearly a lot of giving going on - in the form of $$$$$ to yourselves, which will be the foundation of a wunnerful lifestyle for the lucky winners..

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Connected Giving Foundation

      How many times do I have to tell you? The money was only RESTING in the account...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fucking christ on a stick SOMETHING with the sensitivity of a vampire squid scenting money is jabbing it's blood funnel at the org registry huh

    honestly, EVERY domain should allow their org to lapse, it unconsciousnable the level of greed and corruption that is allowing this to happen

  23. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    Just like that new low-fat eucharist that the Catholic church is secretly promoting

    "ICANN't believe it's not █████"

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a mirror entity to PIR and is called Connected Giving Foundation

    it appears a lot of thought and time was spent to make it legit (and transfer funds now, and in the future, in the usual, tax-friendly routes). Nothing like the usual ski-mask smash and grab, nosir, ski masks are for idiots, why risk injury or even, God forbid, prison, when you can do it all LEGALLY and live happily ever after.

  25. POSitality
    Trollface

    Let me explain the ownership of .org

    ...have ya seen those Russian Matryoshka Dolls? Yeah, like that but with slime oozing out every time you peel back a layer.

  26. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff
    Facepalm

    I've Actually Incorporated a Not-For-Profit 501(C)3

    So, even though I am not a lawyer, have SOME knowledge in the matter.

    How the bloody hell does not violate the self-dealing provisions that are present both in IRS tax codes for non-profits, and the state laws for non-profits?

    It is ABUNDANTLY clear that ICANN insiders, and probably PIR and ISOC insiders as well, are deriving personal benefit from this, and that is illegal.

    Call your Congressman and demand an inquiry.

  27. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff
    Facepalm

    I've Incorporated a 501(C)3

    Though I am not a lawyer, so I feel that I have some knowledge in the matter.

    How the bloody hell does not violate the self-dealing provisions that are present both in IRS tax codes for non-profits, and the state laws for non-profits?

    It is ABUNDANTLY clear that ICANN insiders, and probably PIR and ISOC insiders as well, are deriving personal benefit from this, and that is illegal.

  28. -tim
    Facepalm

    Time to register a new domain?

    Should I register 'ICANN go to jail.org' because I'm guessing someone could use it in the near future.

  29. Yes Me Silver badge
    Mushroom

    This is not journalism

    "Adding to the sense that the entire transaction resulted from insider knowledge and careful manipulation..."

    What "sense" is that? Who, exactly, are you accusing of "insider knowledge" when PIR isn't a traded stock, so not one shred of insider dealing can possibly be involved?

    Of course people are careful. ISOC is being careful to keep its 501(c) status, as is every non-profit with a measureable budget. It would be dereliction of duty for ISOC to do otherwise. And it's entirely normal practice to construct holding companies for transactions of this size.

    ICANN is following its own privacy policy? Shocking!

    I'm reassured that people like Joe Abley and Suzanne Woolf are involved. Anybody who knows them knows that they will defend the integrity of DNS operation to the end.

    Kieran likes to smell smoke whenever ICANN is mentioned, and to imply that since he can smell smoke, there must be a fire. That's not journalism, sorry.

    1. Lewis R

      Re: This is not journalism

      There are myriad misstatements in the article (journalistic standards aside). An LLC is not "incorporated'" no matter in which state it is formed (or domiciled). As for comments, not "many" but "the majority" of US entities are formed in Delaware, specifically for the favorable disclosure laws there (reportedly, over 2/3 of Fortune 500 Companies are Delaware entities).

      Indeed, for large transactions, multiple entities are usually involved. Whether I like or dislike the supposed secrecy of the details of the deal is not my concern. Nobody is holding a gun to any non-profit's (or for-profit's) management to maintain a .org domain. If the price gets too high, switch to something else. It's not 1995, and the TLD is nowhere near as important as it once was.

      Just my couple of bits as an IT consultant, practicing accountant (Enrolled Agent), and board member of a 501(c)3 organization with a registered .org domain.

  30. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    All I will say is ███████ ███████ █████████████████████ ██████████████ and ████████████████████████████

  31. HKmk23
    Gimp

    I have an idea

    Everyone has been looking for a good reason to have AI....here it is, hand the internet over to a really big AI system.....we could even call it Skynet.....

  32. Tom 35

    Any non-profit or public owned entity is an option for someone to get richer.

    .org, hospitals, water systems, mail systems... all to be privatized and make some very rich people even richer.

  33. thesessionslawfirm

    The Sessions Law Firm may be the attorneys for you. Unlike many firms that handle personal injury cases, we do not simply "sign you up and send you a check". We are not looking to settle your case for a fraction of its true value.

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