ICANN withholds consent for the selling off of PIR to Ethos Capital by ISOC

The ISOC Catalan Chapter, since the publication of the news announcing the selling of PIR to Ethos Capital, expressed against this decision (https://www.isoc.cat/isoc/pir-org-internet-society-ethos-capital-isoc-cat-point-of-view/). We think this does not correspond neither with the spirit of ISOC nor with the role of the domain .org. Furthermore, we think this decision did not have enough support by the community of ISOC’s members.

As a consequence, ISOC CAT adhered to the campaign promoted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF https://www.eff.org/) against the sale of PIR., and to the campaign #SaveDotOrg (https://savedotorg.org/). Some other ISOC Chapters did the same. Questions made during the videoconferencing meeting on February 28 to ISOC CEO Andrew Sullivan and Gonzalo Camarillo (“Chair of the Internet Society Board of Trustees”) did not get any further clarification or consideration.

With ICANN’s decision to withhold the agreement avoiding the transfer of PIR to a private company, and thus preserving the original objective of .org, we are satisfied and expect it continues to be managed by a non-profit entity. The way Ethos Capital (for profit company) approached ISOC with an offer for buying PIR seems not transparent enough. Furthermore, the decision was made without taking into account the stakeholders, in particular ISOC Chapters. We are very concerned about the damage this unfortunate decision has made to ISOC image and credibility.

ISOC CAT supports the initiative promoted by the Chapter’s Advisory Council asking for a modification of the statutes so that for important decisions the stakeholders should be consulted.

Since its inception, ISOC has been playing a significant role in the development of lower level technologies for the Internet, with an important impact by the IETF working groups. ISOC CAT considers that we need to change our vision about the domains managed by ISOC (through PIR). Supported by the possibilities from the oversight over the group of TLDs (.org; .ong; .ngo; .संगठन; .орг; .机构; and .组织机构) ISOC may push to evolve and develop the Internet at the highest level. This is compatible with our current vision and mission.

Finally, we express our serious concern about the immediate future of ISOC. Its image and credibility has been hurt. After what happened, how the decision was made, the stubborn response of the Board’s representatives to the reiterative opinions of the community and many other organisations against the deal, it is difficult to believe that the current Board enjoys the confidence and trust needed to restore ISOC’s image and credibility.

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