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ICANN’s founding chairman joins the battle to Conduct.org out of private hands

In November, the Internet Society (ISOC), which owns the public interest registry (PIR), announced it would sell PIR to ethos capital, a private equity firm. Today, a group of Internet and nonprofit leaders formed a nonprofit cooperative corporation that’s trying to stop the sale and become the future stewards of the.org domain.

The cooperative corporation of.org registrants is led by many people who currently have influence over the inner workings of the Internet. Esther Dyson, the founding chairman of ICANN, Katherine Maher, the CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, and William Woodcock, the executive director of packet clearing house.

The pir-ethos deal could undermine a’common good’. Dyson, the former ICANN chair, said that the group’s incentive would be to’protect nonprofits and the public’.

Icann is trying to learn more about the sale of PIR to ethos. Its primary job is to give official status to domain registrars and make sure they comply with domain ownership policies.

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