[registration-issues-wg] [CPWG] Brainstorming

Roberto Gaetano mail.roberto.gaetano at gmail.com
Sat Nov 23 22:45:49 UTC 2019

I was thinking of starting jotting down some ideas about what are the things that we should consider about the transfer of control of .org - other than the fear about the price raise that we have already abundantly discussed.

I believe that it is essentially a matter of trust.
A year ago, day more, day less, ISOC had issue a call for candidatures for PIR Board members - myself and two other Directors were ending our term in 2019 and needed to be replaced. The selection process was supervised by ISOC Board of Trustees - or a committee thereof. That was guaranteeing alignment of the PIR Board with ISOC values. Who will select the two PIR Directors that will replace the ones ending their terms? What will be the requested profile? When ISOC was selecting, the requested profiles were public, as the call for candidatures. If the process is meant to follow a similar path it should be starting now.

This is important for two reasons: first because of the transparency of the selection of Directors who will supervise the “Public Interest” Registry - but also because the process was run by an organization that was trusted by the community. Anybody here trusting the investment fund that is taking over?

I remember that when I was chairing the PIR Board we had regular meetings with ISOC’s Board of Trustees. That was ensuring that the technical decisions taken by PIR were aligned with ISOC’s principles. This is now gone. PIR Board will, at the most, meet with the investors to make sure that the profits are maximized.

PIR has taken over the years positions against some of the unethical or dangerous practices that had as sole purpose to squeeze more money from the market without looking at the unintended negative effects, like for instance the wildcard - see as a reference the CircleID article at http://www.circleid.com/posts/pir_opposes_sitefinder_will_not_implement_similar_service_for_org <http://www.circleid.com/posts/pir_opposes_sitefinder_will_not_implement_similar_service_for_org>. PIR also curbed the so-called "domain tasting” by charging Registrars who were practicing it. But besides fighting against unethical practices, PIR has also positively supported good practices, like for instance DNSSEC - PIR was the first gTLD to sign the zone, see https://www.securityweek.com/dnssec-becomes-reality-today-icann-brussels <https://www.securityweek.com/dnssec-becomes-reality-today-icann-brussels>. It should be reminded that implementation of DNSSEC was not bringing additional income, just additional work. I have been in the Board of PIR for 6 years, 2+ of them as Chair, and I acknowledge that I might be biased, but those above are facts, not opinions. Will PIR under the new regime be allowed to take the same stance in defence of “doing the right thing” according to its ethics, or will it be forced to “do the thing that brings a better return on investment”? You can guess my answer, but what is yours?

Let me stress it again, it is not about the fees, it is about having or not a champion that will stand up for “doing the right thing” in a market that is dominated by greed. Without a .org run in the public interest, even with sometimes some mistakes, but always with good intentions and with the ability to change decisions when the Internet users told us we were wrong (remember the SCADR issue?), the Internet will be a different place. And this is what is, IMHO, the real problem.

Best regards,

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