back to article Internet Society gets tetchy over .org sale delay, half-threatens ICANN over deadlines and jurisdiction

The operator of .org has responded aggressively to a further delay in its controversial sale of the registry to a private equity firm, warning DNS overseer ICANN not to spike the deal. In a letter, the Internet Society's Public Interest Registry (PIR) – which oversees .org – refused a request to hand over crucial confidential …

  1. ArrZarr Silver badge

    ICANN working as intended

    The underlying tech is working just fine, so the way to stop people meddling is to turn obfuscation into an art form and have all the lawyers run rings around each other.

  2. Bronek Kozicki

    ICANN is exceptionally poor at making decisions

    That's the understatement of the decade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ICANN is exceptionally poor at making decisions

      Poor or profitable?

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Missing from the publicised transcript

    Listen guys, I've got a helicopter and yacht on order and I need my cash now!

  4. oiseau


    ... fighting over whether its staff or board should have final sale on the decision.

    That is exactly the point and it is ludicrous that it be in any way contested.

    Any important decision in any important organization is up to the board of directors.

    That is exactly what they are there for.

    To make important decisions.

    Or does the staff get to name/remove the mmembers of the board as they see fit?

    It's a joke and a bad one at that.


    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Ludicrous

      Usually its the Staff's job to make sure that when presented with "choices", the Board are choosing between "choices" that the Staff are happy with. Maybe the odd "outrageous option" is thrown in to give the impression that the Board does have a "choice", but why risk the Board doing something stupid?

      If there is a straight fight between the Board and the Staff, then the Staff are obviously incompetent and should be sacked immediately!

  5. JohnFen

    Poor little PIR

    Not that they're wrong for being a bit irritated (as the article points out), but I have zero sympathy for them on this point. They're doing something awful to the internet here, so screw them.

    ICANN is just being ICANN. That's terrible, too, but is in line with what we've all come to expect.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Poor little PIR

      ICANN is just being ICANN. That's terrible, too, but is in line with what we've all come to expect.

      They're supposed to be the overseer, not ostrich of the 'net. Their salaries reflect the importance of their role in the smooth running and continuity of supply of fresh kitteh pics.

      Alternatively, they're unaccountable and happy that way. The offer for PIR is extremely generous, and in no way will result in unjustified and unwarranted charges. The nameless entities behind the offer are entirely altruistic and the prospect of large bonuses/pay rises/jobs in SPVs/consultancy gigs/fat pensions are unreasonable and unwarranted, and ICANN simply needs to approve this deal before deposits are lost.

      But ICANN has a pile of lawyers, so should be able to answer if this offer is legal or not. It has a large slush fund to pay external counsel to tell them, if they can't/won't decide that for themselves. It has marketing people to sell this to the community, and the public. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

      Or it can kick the can down the road and wait for the California AG to do something, so ICANN doesn't have to.. Which would hopefully include the prospect of criminal charges for any self-dealing/fraud/corruption. And oddly it's also where politics may help, ie the red/blue divide and the possibility of giving a legal FU to a bunch of Republican party reptiles.

      1. JohnFen

        Re: Poor little PIR

        I agree with everything you said. I was not excusing or minimizing the problems with ICANN. They are numerous and well-known. I was only pointing out that we already knew that ICANN was unacceptably terrible. Now we know that the Internet Society is as well.

    2. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Poor little PIR

      "They're doing something awful to the internet"

      Yes, people keep saying that, but since all we're talking about is a change in the corporate management of a minor clerical operation (writing names in a big register) that is priced in a competitive market, I have utterly failed to discern what the alleged damage to the Internet might be.

      1. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: Poor little PIR

        I have utterly failed to discern what the alleged damage to the Internet might be.

        Then let me explain it in short for you, so you dont need to go back and actually get informed by reading The Register's excellent coverage of this issue.

        1) .org is a home of many charities, NGO's, whistleblower sites, and other organisations that are often critical of big businesses, dictatorships, dirty politics, etc.

        2) .org is currently run as a non-profit with fixed prices which allow such sites to use their limited funds for the actual work they should be doing.

        3) PIR is proposing to acquire this domain at a massive price, and to remove price caps, and so will likely up charges massively forcing many of these sites off the internet or greatly reducing the money available for their actual missions.

        4) There is a growing body of evidence that the people behind PIR are the very ones that these NGO's, and whistleblower sites have a tendency to target (because of their dodgy dealings).

        5) therefore it can be seen as a pretty clear attack against the sort of people who are trying to call the dodgy dealers to account.

        6) In addition the Internet Society was founded as a not-for-profit organisation with the aim of acting in the interest of the internet community. There is understandable anger in the .org community, that the Internet Society is now changing to be a for-profit entity, and then will sell the .org domain to a secret organisation (secret in that, who owns it and what the actual structure will be is completely unknown) for an incredibly large amount of money (that is largely funded by debt), whilst also considering that .org was awarded to the Internet Society on the basis that it was a not-for-profit, best interest of the community organisation.

        If all that doesnt leave you concerned about the potential "damage to the internet", then frankly you may as well stop reading further on the topic, and just ignore the whole brouhaha. But this really is a case of dodgy dealing by all involved - ICANN, PIR and the Internet Society. Here's hoping that the California Attorney general can get to the bottom of it, because I wouldnt trust ICANN to do the right thing...

  6. Claptrap314 Silver badge


    "The current deadline is Feb. 17, though we have asked for an extension to 20 April."

    June-ish. But keep in mind that this is a preliminary estimate. Historically, deadlines have receded at the rate of approximately one quarter every ninety days.

  7. Yes Me Silver badge

    Not schizoid at all

    That schizophrenic approach – both refusing and accepting demands...
    As I read it, PIR is denying that the demands have the force of law, but is voluntarily complying. I don't see what is "schizophrenic" about that. It seems like rational behaviour, given that PIR has nothing to hide and all of ICANN's questions have been answered in public already.

    1. JohnFen

      Re: Not schizoid at all

      > PIR has nothing to hide and all of ICANN's questions have been answered in public already.

      Oh, that's hilarious right there!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's like a bridge over a swamp in Florida?

    How is the .org registry ISOC's to sell? I thought the operation contracts for these TLDs are doled out periodically by ICANN.

  9. Jason B

    Pinning down a date.

    "The current deadline is Feb. 17, though we have asked for an extension to 20 April."

    They can't even decide how to format the date—even in the same sentence. Are they trying to appeal to both a US and UK audience at the same time?

  10. Fabrizio

    20 April: no mention of a year though...

    Could be 20 April 2020, or if they break their previous record even 2028...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > And yet, since there is no other authority – the US government handed ICANN autonomy in 2016

    Oh come on Trump, you have nukes!

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