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posted by janrinok on Thursday February 20 2020, @05:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the maybe-too-late dept.

Now Internet Society told to halt controversial .org sale... by its own advisory council: 'You misread the community mindset around dot-org':

The Internet Society's own members are now opposing its sale of the .org internet registry to an unknown private equity firm.

The Chapters Advisory Council, the official voice of Internet Society (ISOC) members, will vote this month on whether to approve a formal recommendation that the society "not proceed [with the sale] unless a number of conditions are met."

Those conditions largely comprise the publication of additional details and transparency regarding ISOC's controversial sell-off of .org. Despite months of requests, neither the society nor the proposed purchaser, Ethos Capital, have disclosed critical elements of the deal, including who would actually own the registry if the sale went through.

[...] ISOC – and .org's current operator, the ISOC-controlled Public Interest Registry (PIR) – are still hoping to push DNS overseer ICANN to make a decision on the .org sale before the end of the month. But that looks increasingly unlikely following an aggressive letter from ICANN's external lawyers last week insisting ICANN will take as much time as it feels necessary to review the deal.

The overall lack of transparency around the $1.13bn deal has led California's Attorney General to demand documents relating to the sale – and ISOC's chapters are demanding the same information as a pre-condition to any sale in their proposed advice to the ISOC board.

That information includes: full details of the transaction; a financial breakdown of what Ethos Capital intends to do with .org's 10 million internet addresses; binding commitments on limiting price increases and free speech protections; and publication of the bylaws and related corporate documents for both the replacement to the current registry operator, PIR, and the proposed "Stewardship Council" which Ethos claims will give .org users a say in future decisions.

[...] "There is a feeling amongst chapters that ISOC seems to have disregarded community participation, failed to properly account for the potential community impact, and misread the community mindset around the .ORG TLD," the Chapters Advisory Council's proposed advice to the ISOC board – a copy of which The Register has seen – states.

Although the advisory council has no legal ability to stop ISOC, if the proposed advice is approved by vote, and the CEO and board of trustees push ahead with the sale regardless, it could have severe repercussions for the organization's non-profit status, and would further undermine ISOC's position that the sale will "support the Internet Society's vision that the Internet is for everyone."


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  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday February 20 2020, @11:40PM (1 child)

    by Freeman (732) on Thursday February 20 2020, @11:40PM (#960496) Journal

    I don't disagree, I just don't think that is the way our society is headed. When was the last time you heard of a lottery winner donating 1/2 of their winnings to charity or becoming a philanthropist? Sure, they might give some to family, but it's as likely to cause a split in the family as it is to end up being something to celebrate.

    Greed is a powerful motivator, but that particular character trait doesn't lend itself toward the greater good. Sure, they'll do something for the greater good, if it's in their best interest. Why do you think Corporations give away good chunks of money to charity? It sure isn't out of the kindness of their hearts. Some maybe, but I would say the vast majority do it for a particular greedy reason. Whether it's to make people think better of the company, so others will spend money there. Tax breaks, or other financial incentives. A good portion of the time, "charity" is calculated.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2020, @04:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2020, @04:00PM (#960690)

    If someone were to, say, form a charitable foundation and endow it why would you, or should you, hear about it at all? I agree with you that it is far more likely to cause harm than good and the perils of greed are great. But if someone is humble enough to do that sort of thing they might be successful enough at concealing it such that the work is done but they are not elevated. For every "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation" or "Pew Charitable Trust" there are many others you've never heard of. Hopefully they actually fulfill their charitable purpose and aren't used as a dodge for other purposes as we saw in the news not too long ago.

    But I agree that most corporations' charitable giving is done strictly for the tax advantages. (Which is why society set up those tax advantages in the first place.)