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ICANN Recommends ISOC Run .org TLD 113

Amazing Quantum Man writes "According to ZDNet, ICANN has issued a report recommending that ISOC run the .org TLD. It looks like ISOC would run .org in conjunction with Afilias." mesozoic points out that ISOC is a non-profit organization composed of many for-profit heavyweights, writing "I'm not surprised; are you?" This preliminary report may be disappointing to those who hoped that Paul Vixie and Carl Malamud would be successful in their bid to head up .org.
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ICANN Recommends ISOC Run .org TLD

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  • by pgrote ( 68235 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @09:00PM (#4108752) Homepage
    This is the ICANN evaluation. [] It shows why they did and who they looked at. Good reading. Seems above board to me.

    Lonely Sig Alert:
    • Yup above board... :-)

      In reading part of it...
      If you have not done it before, you got wacked.
      If you are not a business model, you got wacked.
      So no new comers and no non-business.

      And Gartner?? I personally have yet to see one report that was not bais in favor of their other clients. Like the MS pages on their site.

      Like I said, yeah sure.
  • by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @09:02PM (#4108760) Journal
    Take advantage of our introductory offer of 10 .org DNS lookups for only $5! That's less than $1 per lookup! Yes, that's right! Access any 10 great sites of your choice, with millions to chose from! Learn more...

    So, like, when should we start going to instead of

  • This is bad how? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by madprof ( 4723 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @09:06PM (#4108783)
    ISOC has many representatives from large companies on its books.
    So it represents no one company, and when it does something it will do it with industry backing.
    This is a Good thing.
    Exactly what can be done with the .org TLD that is going to be so bad anyhow?
    It is already open to anyone, regardless of whether they are non-profit or not.
    • by asackett ( 161377 )
      In a case such as this, industry backing is only one side of the coin. On the other side there's me and everyone else who uses the internet for more than a distributed pay-per-use vending machine.

      By the way, I make my living writing software for web commerce sites, so I am not opposed to commercial interests using the internet just as freely as geeks and academicians.
      • I'm still not entirely sure what they would do that would upset .org so much. The rules probably won't change if they take it over. To enforce a "non-profit only" policy now on new owners would be deeply unfair, and to ask current domain name owners to give them up would be even worse. Not the way to go.
        So it will most likely remain a free-for-all.

        What do you imagine they might do to restrict your freedom?
        I'm not saying they can't, but that I can't think of anything right now.
      • Then join (Score:2, Interesting)

        by cerberusti ( 239266 )
        Just so you know anyone can join ISOC. If you are concerned, join ISOC.

        An ISOC Member

    • by ajs ( 35943 )
      This is roughly the same logic that leads to American media reporting that something has bi-partisan support as if it had universal support.

      Think about what you're saying: the for-profit companies are the ones running the not-for-profit domain registration. If there's a fight between two groups over a domain and one of the groups is an industry association (oh, let's say the RIAA), which one do you think would be favored?
      • There is a difference here. I'm a member of ISOC. You can be a member of ISOC. Its free. It is composed of hundreds of thousands of individuals in addition to corporations. I personally think this is a great idea, as the ISOC charter on this matter rings pretty true in my ears.
      • What not-for-profit domain registration?
        Did you not read my comment? They already allow for-profit organisations.
        It is entirely unworkable to set a non-profit agenda for this domain in the future. At some point you're going to have to be grossly unfair to a lot of people which is what we want to avoid.

        BTW the .org TLD owner doesn't get involved in domain name disputes - that's WIPO.
        What was your point again?
    • So it represents no one company, and when it does something it will do it with industry backing.
      Erm. Hit the nail on the head :) It represents companies and industries. Not typically not-for-profit organisations (hence ... .org :).

      There can and will be not-for-profit organisations which will threaten income models. If you don't think they'll bail each other out ... Well, pfft. Go out in the real world for a wee little while.
    • Exactly what can be done with the .org TLD that is going to be so bad anyhow?

      Well, they could unfairly favour large, rich corporations over poor non-profit organisations when settling disputes for one thing. The whole point of .org is to provide a safe place for non-profit orgs to live - if it's being administered by an org that is dominated by big corps and (ex-) directors of ICANN then I can't see that being a good thing.

    • "So it represents no one company, and when it does something it will do it with industry backing.
      This is a Good thing.

      And which industry??? The org domain represents charities, clubs, and free software. The ISOC represents the commercial software and telecoms industries.

      It's no use claiming that everyone will agree, if the org domain is administered by some of the people most hostile to those using the domain.

  • Can anyone explain to me why the WHOIS for Affilias is all screwed up?

    A) It's in some funky delimited format that doesn't work for any existing WHOIS parser. I tried adding an .info domain to my CPanel and it couldn't find the nameserver IP buried in all that mess.

    B) It displays the registrant info. Nobody needs to know who the registrant is. Nine times out of ten it's some employee that either no longer even works for the company or has no authority to make domain decisions.

    C) It displays the billing info. This means your home address if you happen to use a credit card to pay for the domain. Luckily some registrars will substitute their own info for your personal billing info but even then this seems sloppy.

    Can someone fill me in on why Affilias can't even seem to get something as trivial as a WHOIS done correctly? And these people want to run .org too?

    No thank you.

    - JoeShmoe

    • I don't know about "A" but "B" and "C" are what whois is supposed to do.
      • Absolutely not. In fact, it's against ICANN's standards for registrars. There was a lot of abuse of billing information back in the early days specifically because people paid with credit cards and had to provide their personal info for the card charge to work. People balked big time at having that kind of information out there.

        The only people who need to know the billing info for a domain is the registrar. They need to charge the billing contact. The general public has no need to know who pays for a domain. If you have a tech question/problem, you contact the zone contact or the tech contact. If you have a domain dispute or copyright complaint, you can contact the owner or the admin. No one need to contact the billing contact except the registrar who gets paid by them and they can easily keep that information in a separate database for themselves.

        - JoeShmoe

    • A) I think I remember seeing that their format is documented somewhere, and the documentation was technical enough that you could build a parser from their docs. That might have been something else though, I dunno.

      B) Displaying the registrant info is my primary reason for using whois at all. If I want the nameservers, I can always use dig.

      C) If you don't want your billing info made public, don't register your own domain name. Part of owning a domain is using it responsibly, and that means accountability, which only works if people can find you. If you don't want to play by these rules (which have been in place for at least a decade), then find a different game to play.
      • No, displaying the registrant info is not the primary reason for using whois. Displaying the domain's contact information is the primary reason for WHOIS. As I said earlier, the registrant info doesn't even DISPLAY in WHOIS for global domains, except on .info TLD.

        Why isn't/shouldn't the registrant info be displayed? Because it is always out of date. The registrant fields cannot be changed. If your e-mail address or mailing address changes, you can't change the registrant fields. The only way to change it is to "transfer" the domain to yourself and pay an additional $35/whatever fee. ICANN's rules.

        Now, all the other contact info, like Owner, Admin, Zone, Tech, Billing can be changed at any time. That is why these fields are the only contact info people should be using. That is why these fields should be the only ones visible.

        And regarding billing info, so what BS are you proposing? Only corporations are allowed to own domains? Any private citizen who doesn't feel like putting their home information on a publically accessible database is unworthy to own a domain? As I said earlier, why does anyone even need to talk to the billing contact when the person with authority over the domain is the owner or the admin? And if billing info is key to accountability, why do ICANN rules say not to display it?

        - JoeShmoe

  • So what if the ISOC orgranization is composed of idustry heavyweights? You can't make everybody happy.

    I am sure that ICANN critics would be able to find something wrong with every single one of the groups vying for the .org TLD. Some critics seem to demand nothing short of ICANN's head on a silver platter...
    • by gilroy ( 155262 )
      Blockquoth the poster:

      Some critics seem to demand nothing short of ICANN's head on a silver platter...

      Hmmm, an alleged non-controversial infrastructure overseer which expanded its mandate, tried to assess an unauthorized tax, and then summarily and unilaterally dismantled its already-small semblance of democracy and accountability (not to mention illegally hid its internal workings to prevent criticism)... yeah, I think "head on a silver platter" is just about right.
    • TLD's should be controlled by a non-profit organization that is not run by individuals who work for big business for the same reason the airwaves are controlled by the FCC. For the same reason that traffic cops are not employed by big business.

      A person who works for a major corporation has a responsibility to the interests of that corporation, not the other 99% of the entities who use the Internet. A group run by a consortium of these goons (goon. a man hired to terrorize or eliminate opponents. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary) will always act in the interest of their companies, and against the interest of everyone else. The result is an official establishment of a tyrannical structure that exists for the purpose of prying money out of the fingers of the many and stuffing it into the pockets of the few. Very few.

      This is why ISOC's corporate affiliation is important and unacceptable.

      • TLD's should be...
        For the record abbreviations are not pluralized with the addition of an apostrophe. In other words, the following sentences would be correct:
        • I stopped buying CDs because I hate the RIAA's tactics.
        • I didn't buy Madonna's latest album because I didn't like any of the CD's tracks.
        I'm pointing this out because it drives me nuts when other people screw this up, and I can't believe I did it myself.
  • Bad choice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @09:14PM (#4108808)
    Seeing as how is already slashdotted, I'd have to question wether they can handle running .org.
  • Nepotism? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ukryule ( 186826 ) <slashdot&yule,org> on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @09:39PM (#4108902) Homepage
    Hmm ... seems the decisions hasn't been too well accepted at ICANNWatch []. To quote:
    ISOC was formerly headed by Vint Cerf, who is now the Chair of ICANN's Board. ICANN's vice-chair, Alejandro Pisanty, is chair of ISOC-Mexico.

    It seems ISOC is a body which is busy reforming itself to reduce the power of individual members [] ... can't think why ICANN like them!
  • by CrazyDuke ( 529195 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @09:51PM (#4108947)
    ...I'd hate to see a US governmental agency responcible for policy making not backing (and being backed by I bet) big business. How much you wanna bet some "contributions" are involved. Especially so since they kicked out just about everyone that isn't a poly wanna dollar politition or a corporate suit.

    I bet its just a front for a corporate trust.
  • Everytime I see one of these stories, I wonder why people don't use alternic []. OK, not so much why they don't, just why geeks in position haven't altered their DNS's to see alternic sites. Slow, subtle and once accepted and working, people would be pissed when they couldn't reach sites they were used to seeing. I always thought that the internet was supposed to have strength due to decentralization. Oh yeah, us government needs to control everything around the world. shudder.
    • because... (Score:3, Interesting)

      ...alternic is a fraud. The entire operation, domain name and trademark included, was stolen from Kashpureff via a lawsuit by one of his ex-partners. I wouldn't trust them to shine my shoes, much less run my root servers.
  • Are they trying to steal from the Worldcom/ Enron/ AOL/ LNUX playbook?
  • Well, somebody has to post it...

    ISOC's membership page [] lists Microsoft as one of the founding and highest ranking members.

    I'll just sit back and watch the fireworks.

  • I am a member of ISOC. As long as I have been a memeber, ISOC has never done anything shady. I think them getting control of .org is a VERY GOOD THING. Become informed before you bash them, I challenge anyone to come up with anything ISOC has done that harmed the internet community.
    • This guy has a point. AFAIK, ISOC is also in charge of IAB and IETF. If you're worried about ISOC's membership, then you should worry about your Internet Standards.
      • This guy has a point. AFAIK, ISOC is also in charge of IAB and IETF. If you're worried about ISOC's membership, then you should worry about your Internet Standards.

        You think I don't?

        It's been time for over a year to design ways to avoid the use of the resources controlled by these bodies. The flare-lit tip off was when the W3C announced that it was considering counting "standards" that one would need to pay to use as real standards. They have sort of retreated from that proposal, but that was a clear warning. The organizations that have in the past been trustworthy can no longer be counted on. In the past there wasn't that much money to be taken out of the internet, but now that it's seen as a valuable resource, they can't be trusted. So these centers of control need to be designed around *NOW*. We can't afford to wait until they actually move from these hesitant proposals to bold grabs for control. It takes time to design and implement these changes. So now is the time to already have a project in motion.

    • by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @10:27PM (#4109103) Homepage Journal
      Blockquoth the poster:

      As long as I have been a memeber, ISOC has never done anything shady... Become informed before you bash them, I challenge anyone to come up with anything ISOC has done that harmed the internet community.

      Ah, but blockquoth the site openISOC []:

      Why the Need for a Change?

      Over the past two years ISOC's Board of Trustees (BoT) has engaged in what it calls the "reform" of ISOC. At its December 2001 meeting in Salt Lake City, the BoT made major changes to the ISOC governance structure. This was done without announcement or broad consultation with ISOC members.

      The main elements of ISOC's new governance structure are:
      - Reduction of the percentage of Trustees elected by individual members,
      from 100% to 20% (from 15 seats down to 3 seats) -
      or even to 15%, if the option of coopting an additional 5 members
      is taken into account, leaving theoretically 3 out of 20.
      - Suspension of voting rights of individual members in 2002.
      - Increase of the percentage of Trustees elected by organizational members,
      from 0% to 40% (from 0 to 6 seats).
      - Linkage of organizational members' voting rights to their financial contribution
      (i.e. the more an organization pays, the more votes it gets.)
      - Increase of the percentage of Trustees elected by standards bodies
      (IETF, IESG, IAB) from 0% to 20% (from 0 to 3 seats).
      - Increase of the percentage of Trustees elected by chapters
      from 0% to 20% (from 0 to 3 seats).
      - Suspension of individual membership categories up to 35 US$ per year.
      (In combination with this, ISOC Administration made it impossible,
      to sign up or renew memberships in higher paying categories.)
      - Introduction of global free individual membership.

      These changes effectively transfer ISOC governance authority away from
      individual members and over to organizational members (mostly large information technology firms.) Such changes make ISOC a mass membership association in which decision-making power is concentrated in a small set of IT firms. This is a major departure from what ISOC has been to date. Moreover, it risks creating public confusion about ISOC's public positions, which will be made by a few firms but could be perceived as being made by its membership.

      Seems pretty shady to me...
      • ISOC's Board of Trustees (BoT)
        Interesting acronym. I think we should avail ourselves of this fine opportunity. Henceforth, ISOC's BoT shall be known as "the ISOC ROBOT" -- the ISOC Remotely-Owned Board of Trustees.

        Or would you really rather call it ISOC BOT (I suck butt... "We leave it in your capable hands, ISOC BOT," "Thank goodness ISOC BOT," "I am sick and tired of dealing with ISOC BOT," "Ever since ICANN recognized that ISOC BOT, the .org TLDs have been in the toilet," etc.)?

        • Blockquoth the poster:

          ISOC's Board of Trustees (BoT)

          Interesting acronym. I think we should avail ourselves of this fine opportunity. Henceforth, ISOC's BoT shall be known as "the ISOC ROBOT" -- the ISOC Remotely-Owned Board of Trustees.

          Maybe we can just replace the human Board with a little script that trundles the web automatically..
          • Maybe we can just replace the human Board with a little script that trundles the web automatically..
            I don't know how I feel about shell script suffrage. Perhaps we could just stick these [] all over their cars while they're busy plotting in the next meeting. And hope they choose to go away.
    • 1. ISOC has a conflict of interests. Their most influential and highest ranking members are corporations like MS, whose interests run contrary to that of the mass majority of the net-users.

      2. As an ISOC insider, your statements regarding ISOC's character are to be taken with a grain of salt. Few insiders criticize their own organization.

      3. ISOC does not represent the true ideals of the internet. It represents the interests of its corporate members. That MS is listed as one of the "founding members" of ISOC, speaks volumes about ISOC's allegience. An organization which represents the ideals of the internet is the EFF, and that organization would be a good choice for management of .ORG.

      Also, I've noticed that though ISOC has links to news regarding Internet Issues, they take no stance on them. This illustrates a clear lack of any backbone. ISOC will cave in to corporate interests in managing .ORG.

      Simply put, .ORG should be managed by an internet organization not affiliated with and indebted to corporations. ISOC does not qualify.

  • Not my choice (Score:5, Informative)

    by karl.auerbach ( 157250 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @10:37PM (#4109165) Homepage
    The ISOC proposal didn't pass the smell test. When I looked at these proposals one of my requirements is that no present or past (within 24 months) ICANN director or officer had any role of significant influence (again within 24 months) with the applicant. Needless to say, with two ICANN directors having influential roles in ISOC, I didn't allow ISOC's to be on my own short list.

    ICANN's own conflict of interest rules are not this strict. But I consider ICANN's conflict-of-interest policy to be a minimum standard (and a weak minimum at that.) My vote is looking to be cast in favor of the best applicant, not the one that passes bare minimums.

    I also wonder at the concept that competition is promoted by handing .org over to a body that uses for its backroom operations a company that itself has a substantial presence (i.e. it has its own top level domain that it got from ICANN two years ago.) To my way of thinking, this is a move that concentrates control and reduces competition rather than decentralizes control and promotes competition.
    • But I consider ICANN's conflict-of-interest policy to be a minimum standard

      Is this likely to improve now that democracy has been successfully removed from ICANN? [] I would think that conflicts are likely to run even deeper once there are no elected members on the board. Thanks for giving the little guy a voice(at least for now), Karl. I voted for you :-)

    • The ISOC proposal didn't pass the smell test.

      And Paul Dixie does ?

      He is on a self confessed power grab and frankly the guy has VERY scarey ideals. Adopting the lesser of two evils is not a choice I'm prepared to support.
  • I paid for my two .org domains through to 2010, so they better not screw up the record transfer and honor prepaid accounts... :(

    (I paniced when I first heard talk about making .org registered non-profits only, so I prepaid for as long as I could, hoping I'd get grandfathered in if it came to that...)

  • by dh003i ( 203189 ) <> on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @12:21AM (#4109510) Homepage Journal
    .ORG sites should not be for corporate plundering.

    Every time some corporations like the RIAA or MPAA owns a .ORG, it cheapens .ORG. Yes, the RIAA and the MPAA are BUSINESSES, not organizations. Non-profit my ass, Jack Valentini and Hillary Rosen are racking in the money.

    Now, I'm not saying that any corporation that owns a .ORG should be forced to relinquish it, but in the future, .ORG's should not be given to corporations unless they're using them in a .ORG-like way. I.e., if IBM sets up a site to be used as a forum for initiating issues movements (i.e., the freedom of a product) for IBM-related products.

    I have no problem with MS owning,, and, so long as they use those sites in a way true to their "extention". should be MS' commercial outlet. should be their network outlet; i.e., a forum for users to discuss their issues. should be for ideological movements within MS, which (in this case) would be MS' propaganda machine.
    • I like your idea but I have news for you, non-profit organisations may generate a lot of money, they only have to give most of it away before the end of the year, for example as expenses, salary or consulting fees.

      However, you may note from the above, that whilst the organisation may not make a profit, concerned individuals and suppliers may make a very comfortable income.

    • It cheapens the domain? How so? By your logic, should we also stop non-registered business from getting a .com domain? Non network-infrastructure companies from getting a .net domain? Are we going to outlaw all vanity domains - give,, and back to the Swiss?

      Here's the thing: people have been registering the domains they want since before you started using the net, which, from your self-righteous and mostly illogical rant, was probably only a couple of years ago. Shutdown your w4rez'd copy of Windows XP, and back away from Dell keyboard.

      Domains are just domains. ICANN has control of the root servers - your trying to tell them how things "should be" with little logical basis for your arguments will get you rightly laughed at.
    • "Non-profit my ass, Jack Valentini and Hillary Rosen are racking in the money."

      The correct term is not-for-profit. Their is nothing in US law that says not-for-profits cannot make money. There are more then 27 different kinds of not-for-profits defined by the IRS. Each with their own abilities and benefits.
      Keep in mind that a not-for-profit owned Hughes Aircraft until 1986. When it sold it the for-profit subsidary for a couple of billion dollars. Hershey's candy is also owned by a not-for-profit.
      All a not-for-profit means is that the organization does not pay tax's. And is under a tremendous amount of scrutiny by the IRS. If you want to know what to know how much the MPAA and RIAA make. Go to and look it up.
  • So I guess the decision mandates that you can write the code, but are not fit to run it?

    I find it absolutely amazing that IMS/ISC are rated so poorly, primarily on supposedly technical grounds.

    Does anyone else find it unbelievable that the people currently running one of the TLD servers for the .com domain would be unable to duplicate this performance for .org domain?

    I find criteria 7 to be stupid; it basicallymeans that "technical" preference should be given to plans from companies that sell add-on mail and web hosting, etc., commercial services.

    Criteria 8 is also pretty stupid; the answer to the question is "these are the people defining the protocol changes to which the successful applicant will need to adapt".

    They lost out on #9, as well, even though, according to Gartner, "One of the few proposals that discusses non- technical components of the transition such as staffing, facilities, technical support and community activities."; basically the complain boils down to "they are not a going for-profit registry concern".

    Verisign still manages registration through *email*, for God's sake! Who the heck are they to cast stones?!?

    -- Terry
  • It always surprises me how little attention stories like this get on Slashdot. This is stuff that will shape the future of the web. That's not just a buzz-phrase, it's the truth; power over the web is being discussed here, and there are only 80 posts in the two hours the story has been on-line. The story on a bloody tv show gets more than that... No wonder someone can go around with a moniker like 'Senator Disney' and still not have to face court charges...
  • ICANN, Gartner and the other clowns they put up on the adjudication board are *all* on the take. The adjuction process deployed by Gartner is *so* prone to manipulation, it is not even funny. Basically, it allows you to disqualify anybody you don't like, even if they have the best proposal. I am not talking out of my ass - I have actually sat on adjudication boards using the Gartner methodology mentioned, and it only takes one individual with a different agenda to f*ck up the whole thing.

    What a farce!

    It is not that I particularly agree or disagreee with the final result - I guess I support both the ISOC bid as well as the Vixie bid. The only real problem I have with the ISOC bid is the conflic of interest issue that Karl Auerbach so astutely points out. Besides the conflict of interest, I'd like to know what the *problems* are that surround the ISOC bid.... anyone?

  • by Simon Brooke ( 45012 ) <> on Wednesday August 21, 2002 @04:18AM (#4110042) Homepage Journal
    Hey, so lots of large companies are members of the Internet Society []. Could this possibly be because they're involved in the Internet and want to have input into Internet policy? Perhaps they want to take part in the Internet Engineering Task Force, which is part of ISOC. This isn't a scandal or a conspiracy. Thousands of people in over a hundred countries are members; being a member of ISOC costs me US $ 75 a year, but you can join for free []. Why aren't you a member?
    • I *am* an ISOC member, and I have sat in on meetings and made my voice heard. I have never been denied access to ISOC board members, although I admit I haven't spent a lot of time asking for it.

      My main concern with ISOC is that not nearly enough people have joined it and participate in local chapters. I have expressed this concern on the main ISOC email list, and ISOC is gradually moving toward more public participation.

      - Robin "Roblimo" Miller
  • would like to see the IOC [] take over. They are an .org and they love controversies!!!

  • David McGuire from was the first reporter to report the ICANN Dot-org news, not Cnet or ZDnet or wherever. His much better story is online here [], and his original 2:01 a.m. Tuesday post is here [].
  • that they gave ISC a "C" on technical merit. ISC, as you may recall, are the authors of BIND! This alone demonstrates that the report was motivated by cronyism rather than a desire objective analysis. Add to this the fact that several board members of ISOC are either "in" with ICANN or closely connected to major registrars. (Some of them have been "winners" of TLDs in a process equally laced with cronyism.) And that ISOC is largely governed by large corporations such as Microsoft. Suddenly the picture becomes clear: It's the same unresponsive, unaccountable, corrupt ICANN we know and dislike.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead