Public Interest Registry

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Public Interest Registry
Type Non-profit
Industry Internet, Domain registry
Founded 2002 in Reston, Virginia
Key people Brian Cute, Nancy Gofus, David Maher, Maarten Botterman, Lawrence Martin, Paul Diaz, Kim Van Wyngaardt, Lauren Price, Ulrich Retzlaff, Anand Vora, Michelle Coon, Elizabeth Finberg, Hal Lubsen (Afilias), Ram Mohan (Afilias)
Website PIR.org

The Public Interest Registry is a Reston, Virginia-based not-for-profit created by the Internet Society (ISOC) in 2002 to manage the .ORG top-level domain. It took over operation of .ORG in January 2003 and officially applied for the .NGO domain in May 2012. The organization is involved in internet policy, education and security issues, like the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) protocol, domain tasting, DNS filtering and internet adoption in third world countries.

History[edit]

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) circulated a request for proposals in May 2002 for a new organization to manage the .ORG domain. The Internet Society (ISOC) put forth one of eleven proposals ICANN received.[1][2] ISOC won an endorsement within ICANN and was recommended to the selection committee in a preliminary report.[3] At a public ICANN meeting in Bucharest in 2002, ISOC CEO Lynn St. Amour and Afilias CTO Ram Mohan presented ISOC's proposal to manage the .ORG registry.[4][5] The proposal included the creation of a separate entity, called the Public Interest Registry, to oversee the .ORG domain. Its board of directors is appointed by ISOC. Afilias was selected as the back-end technical provider for .ORG under contract with the Public Interest Registry.[6][7] The largest domain transfer in history[8] occurred on January 1, 2003, when ICANN had VeriSign delegate 2.6 million domains to the Public Interest Registry.[9] An Internet Society Vice President, David Maher, became the chairman.[7] The following month, Ed Viltz became the organization’s first CEO.[10]

On June 23, 2010, The Public Interest Registry implemented the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) protocol for .ORG.[11] DNSSEC is intended to prevent cache poisoning attacks by making sure internet users arrive at the URL they intended.[12][13] The implementation began in test environments in mid-2009.[14] The protocol was [15]implemented by PIR's technical partner Afilias[16] during the tenure of former CEO, Alexa Raad, who played a role in creating the DNSSEC Industry Coalition. Raad resigned from the Public Interest Registry in late 2010.[17] The non-profit had an interim CEO, until it recruited former Afilias executive Brian Cute as its third chief executive officer on January 14, 2011.[18]

After the 2011 tsunami in Japan, the Public Interest Registry waived renewal fees for Japan-based .ORG domains to prevent domains from expiring due to intermittent internet access.[19]

Domains[edit]

.ORG[edit]

Main article: .org
The number of .ORG domains registered with the Public Interest Registry

.ORG is the third largest generic top-level domain of the Domain Name System used in the internet. .ORG domains have been registered by the Public Interest Registry since 2003. Craigslist.org and Wikipedia.org are among the more popular .ORG users.[20] Since 2009, the Public Interest Registry has published a bi-annual report called “The Dashboard”[21] on the number of registered .ORG domains. There were more than 8 million registered .ORGs in 2009,[20] 8.8 million in 2010,[22] and 9.6 million in 2011.[23] The Public Interest Registry registered the ten millionth .ORG domain in June, 2012.[24]

The Public Interest Registry promotes and publicizes the .ORG domain. While .ORG is an open domain, the Public Interest Registry wants more people to view .ORG as a domain for communities and entities that serve the public good, rather than being perceived as directed to non-profits.[25] In 2010, the Public Interest Registry launched “WhyIChose.org” as part of campaign to promote the .ORG domain extension.[26]

It conducted a survey of consumers in 2011 on how domain names are perceived by internet users. The survey found that 81 percent of Americans still rely on an organization’s website before Twitter or Facebook. It also suggested .ORG sites were seen as more trustworthy.[8] Respondents were more likely to turn to .ORG websites in a crisis, more likely to post content on .ORG sites and to trust information on a .ORG domain. It also found that younger age groups were almost twice as likely to register a .ORG as Americans age 55-64.[27]

.NGO[edit]

In June 2011, ICANN expanded the internet’s naming system to allow applications for new top-level domain names.[28] The Public Interest Registry declared publicly an interest in the .NGO domain in August 2011[29] and applied for it in May 2012.[30] It also applied for an equivalent domain, .ONG, which stands for “Organisation Non Gouvernementale” in French, and is also recognizable in Spanish, Italian and other romance languages.[31][32] Unlike the .ORG domain, .NGO will require validation of the registrant’s non-governmental status.[28] Non-governmental organizations told the Public Interest Registry they needed a closed domain[33] that validated the legitimacy of websites accepting online donations to avoid fraud.[33][34] The Public Interest Registry plans to use the funds from selling .NGO domains[35] to develop an “NGO Community Program” to reach out to NGOs in developing nations.[28] It also intends to create a directory service of NGOs to support their SEO and visibility, and develop a closed community for NGOs to learn from each other.[35]

Advocacy[edit]

The Public Interest Registry often supports ICANN on policy and privacy issues on the internet. In 2003, The Public Interest Registry wrote a letter to ICANN supporting its opposition of wildcard redirection services that automatically redirect internet users to correct spelling errors and typos. The letter supported ICANN’s request for VeriSign to voluntarily suspend a DNS wildcard service called Site Finder and asked ICANN to make a policy against similar services across the internet.[36] The Public Interest Registry and other organizations opposed the move by VeriSign, because automatic redirects may affect spam filters and mail servers that rely on error messages from non-existent domains.[37]

The Public Interest Registry reduced domain tasting by charging fees to registrants that cancel 90 percent of their domains in less than five days. In 2007, ICANN used that as a model for a similar proposal to curb domain tasting through non-refundable fees.[38] The Public Interest Registry supported ICANN’s expansion of top-level domain names. The CEO, Brian Cute, commented that internet users will still gravitate towards established domain names, but new domains will target specific communities.[39] The Public Interest Registry has also urged ICANN to address privacy implications of the WHOIS database.[40][41] The organization is critical of the security of DNS filtering techniques[8] and supports the DNSSEC protocol.[26] It also shuts down .ORG-based phishing scams.[8]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Special Meeting of the Board Preliminary Report". ICANN. October 14, 2002. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ Jackson, William (January 2, 2003). "New organization takes over .ORG domain registry". Government Computer News. 
  3. ^ McGuire, David (September 13, 2002). "Dot-org Selection Process Criticized". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ ICANN, Public Forum (June 26, 2002). ".org Reassignment: Public Forum Transcript". ICANN. Retrieved November 30, 2012. 
  5. ^ ICANN, Public Forum (June 26, 2002). ".org Reassignment: Bidder's Presentations". ICANN. Retrieved November 30, 2012. 
  6. ^ McGuire, David (July 29, 2002). "The internet Society". The Washington Post. 
  7. ^ a b Cooper, Porus (October 18, 2202). "They’ll be registering .ORG names in Horsham". The Philadelphia Inquirer. pp. Business; Page C01.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ a b c d Flook, Bill (March 18, 2011). "Public Interest Registry takes extra steps to secure its .ORG enterprise". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  9. ^ "The History of .ORG". Public Interest Registry. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  10. ^ Wybenga, Eric (2012). @10Million.org: A Quarter Century in the Life of a Domain (First Edition ed.). Reston, Virginia: Public Interest Registry. 
  11. ^ Mohan, Ram (June 23, 2010). "DNSSEC Becomes a Reality Today at ICANN Brussels". SecurityWeek. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  12. ^ Diaz, Paul (December 8, 2011). "Online Property Protections and the Public Interest". CircleID. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  13. ^ Ragan, Steve (March 12, 2010). "DNSSEC to become standard on .ORG domains by end of June". The Tech Herald. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  14. ^ Jackson, William (July 23, 2009). "Public Interest Registry beings moving DNSSEC into live domains". Government Computer News. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  15. ^ Diaz, Paul (December 8, 2011). "Online Property Protections and the Public Interest". CircleID. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  16. ^ Hamilton, David (June 2, 2009). "Afilias Secures .org TLD with DNSSEC". The Web Host Industry Review. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  17. ^ Kerner, Sean (August 26, 2010). ".ORG loses CEO". Internetnews. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Washington area appointments…". The Washington Post. January 31, 2011. pp. Page A12. 
  19. ^ Sniderman, Zachary (April 11, 2011). "Japanese .ORG Websites Get Renewal Fees Waived After Disaster". Mashable. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Ragan, Steve (March 12, 2010). "DNSSEC to become standard on .ORG domains by end of June". The Tech Herald. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  21. ^ Wauters, Robin (August 17, 2010). "Are Now 8.5 Million .ORG Domains, and Growth is Accelerating". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  22. ^ Berkens, Michael (February 14, 2011). ".ORG Grows Over 10% To Over 8.8 Million Registrations". The Domains. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  23. ^ Prestipino, Peter (February 16, 2012). "The .ORG Registry Grows 10 Percent". Website Magazine. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  24. ^ Goldstein, David (July 12, 2012). "ORG Seventh TLD To Pass Ten Millionth Registration Milestone". DomainPulse. 
  25. ^ "Alexa Read". Executive Leaders Radio. December 17, 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  26. ^ a b Maul, Kimberly (July 8, 2010). ".ORG launches education campaigns around domain names". PRWeek. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  27. ^ "IN .ORG WE TRUST: Survey Reveals Americans Turn To The .ORG Domain In Times of Crisis and Calm" (Press release). Public Interest Registry. September 15, 2011. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  28. ^ a b c Kanani, Rahim (July 10, 2012). "NGO Domain Name in the Works for Global Nonprofit Community". Forbes. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  29. ^ Sniderman, Zachary (August 2, 2011). "With New Domain Names on Market, .ORG Guns for .NGO". Mashable. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  30. ^ Cute, Brian (May 31, 2012). "Ushering in the Dot-NGO Boom: Protecting the Online Interests of Non-Governmental Organizations". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  31. ^ Gruenwald, Juliana (May 31, 2012). ".BANK, .GLOBAL Could be Coming to Your Browser". National Journal. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  32. ^ "New .NGO and .ONG Web Domains Proposed for Nonprofits". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. May 31, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  33. ^ a b Thi Pham, Lieu (April 11, 2012). "Charities hope .NGO domain will end scams". ZDNet. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  34. ^ Flook, Bill (October 7, 2011). "Masters of your domain: Web address stampede could benefit D.C. tech firms". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  35. ^ a b Petronzio, Matt (May 31, 2012). "Internet Non-Profit Applies for New Domains: Meet .ngo and .ong [EXCLUSIVE]". Mashable. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  36. ^ Mehus, Doug (September 23, 2003). "PIR Opposes SiteFinder; Will Not Implement Similar Service for .ORG". CircleID. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  37. ^ Lemos, Robert (October 3, 2003). "VeriSign calls halt to .com detours". CNET. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  38. ^ Loerger, Roderick (January 30, 2008). "ICANN’s Recent Proposal to Curb Domain Tasting". WebProNews. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Next Big Thing in Tech: How Will the New Domain Names Change the Internet". Wall Street Journal. April 26, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  40. ^ "Government Hearing Reinforces Push for US Control of Internet". COMMWEB. July 26, 2006. 
  41. ^ Claburn, Thomas (July 26, 2006). "Government Hearing Reinforces Push For U.S. Control Of Internet". InformationWeek. Retrieved August 3, 2012.