California Attorney General tells ICANN to reject .org sale

The Attorney General (AG) of the State of California has sent a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), urging the organisation to reject the transfer of control over the .org registry to Ethos Capital. The AG notes that the proposed transfer raises serious concerns that cannot be overlooked. For instance, if Ethos Capital purchases the Public Interest Registry (PIR), ‘it will no longer have the unique characteristics that ICANN values at the time that it selected PIR as the nonprofit to be responsible for the .org registry’. The AG also argues that the insufficient information available about Ethos and its subsidiaries makes it unclear how the .org registry and community will be impacted. These and other reasons outlined in the letter have prompted the AG to consider that ‘the .org registry and the global Internet community […] are better served if ICANN withholds approval of the proposed sale and transfer of PIR and the .org registry to the private equity firm Ethos Capital’. Commenting on the letter, ICANN said that it ‘does not take into account the recent work that PIR has done to make the entity more responsible to the community’.