DOT ORG DRAMA: New promises from private equity firm trying to buy up .org

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How about just not selling it to private equity vultures in the first place. Fuck their promises with a chainsaw cause .ORG does not need to be handled by anyone in it for a profit much less a Republican aligned for profit corporation.


We all know we can trust the promises of the ultra-rich. Right?


No good can come of this sale. If they somehow manage to push this through we’ll have to organize a wholesale switch to a different domain for all these organizations to leave .org worthless.


All rush towards *.NGO!!!

Let’s all throw down on a better deal for the domains and distribute them all for free? $0.50 for freedom (.org)


Laws mean nothing if they are not enforced. What is to stop them from “punishing” organizations that are Liberal or anti-Republican? Not much, if anything.


We need to find a public caretaker like Educause does for .edu. Perhaps National Council of Nonprofits or UNESCO, or someone like that.


How about instead of those recommendations and promises, they fuck off forever and eat the barrel of a handy dueling pistol kept in the upper right drawer of their 18th century mahogany Magistrate’s desk


Now we know


I vote for .aarg



I’ve gone online to look up some domains, and a lot of them are showing as reserved by the registrar, or owned by squatters, even the obscure ones.


While I also have a healthy distrust of the player at work here the above seems like the crux of the matter.

‘Ethos’ capital isn’t even pretending to be running a charity here and they are offering 1.1 billion dollars for control of the operation. We must therefore conclude that they believe that more than 1.1 billion can be extracted from that control(rather more, since the payment is upfront while the profit will be spread across a time-discounted future, so it must have a net present value greater than 1.1 billion to even count as profit; and outperform buying T Bills or index funds or whatever to count as a sensible investment).

This being the case, the only outcome where the screws don’t get turned, hard, is the one where these investors are on the same level as the ones that propped up WeWork(sorry, The We Company) and are going to take a massive bath on their investment. Anything remotely resembling a sane strategy absolutely requires that it include a plan to chisel out enough to generate returns on an investment north of a billion dollars, which is a lot of chiselling.

The situation is even worse because, while not a trivial task, running a registrar is an enterprise with few obvious moneymaking opportunities beyond simply raising prices; and with relatively low capital requirements or efficiencies and cool features that could be enabled by a big capital infusion.

You need to operate some root DNS servers; have a dispute resolution policy; and do some storefront and payment processing to actually match domains to customers. Steady work; but not much room to revolutionize.

In cases where there are capital-insensive opportunities this sort of a acquisition could, at least in principle, work out for everyone: capital infusion allows cool new line of business not previously possible, customers love it and investors reap the rewards; but this isn’t such a situation. Being a domain name registrar is largely a utility/maintenance operation where the best job you can do is to maintain the status quo with periodic incremental upgrades mostly drawn from industry practice and consensus(eg. DNSSEC adoption, or not running your datacenter exactly as they did in 1997).

So long as the unsquared circle of a promise of benevolence on one hand and the need to generate returns for 1.1 billion dollars on the other hand is hanging over the situation I don’t see how any promise could possibly be reassuring.


good information here:



Does anyone at all believe that this won’t result in price gouging? At best it will be delayed, at worst it will begin immediately. And then, there’s the inevitable denial of access for groups the GOP billionaires don’t like.

The promises of the new owners will be as dependable as the promises of the current owners.


I run a few name servers, it really isn’t that hard for me serve up my own .ORG that either replaces or overlays the existing. Obviously not much happens if nobody points to me as their root server, but if we got enough people in on it then it would work. It would be no harder than how people point themselves to as their DNS server.

I have a few more years left on my .ORG domains, so I’m not super motivated to do it. Waiting for the dust to settle before doing anything drastic.


How about simply prohibiting the sale of non-profit organizations to for-profit enterprises? Or, in other words, ban the transformation of non-profits into profit-generating entities. Having seen this sort of deal in the past (hospitals stand out as the worst examples), I have yet to see one in which the public at large gathered any benefit from the deal.


I wonder why Cory isn’t doing this anymore. His posts were a lot more informative.


Cory has left BoingBoing. As to why, couldn’t tell you. But he is/will be missed.

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There might be another angle here. Why would someone want to buy up a domain that has a minimal opportunity to make a lot of money? Maybe for the power. Controlling a top level domain is a great way to accumulate control over a lot of the internet.

We’ve all read the stories of stealth foreign companies creating YouTube channels and web sites that seem quite benign, like puppy videos and self-help sites, until their cell is activated and Russia starts injecting subtle disinformation into the media stream.

Controlling a top level domain can cut off access to vast swaths of the internet at the throw of a switch; or redirect browsers to spoof sites with disinformation or malware, or man-in-the-middle attacks.

That’s a lot of power for someone with nefarious intentions.

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In effect an implicit veto power over a non-profit’s Internet presence. In other words, if our for-profit corp doesn’t approve of your non-profit’s political bona fides, no website for you.

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