Press Briefing: Hear from civil society on the state of .ORG, why the sale is so dangerous, and what happens next

UPDATE: (1 May, 2020) Following widespread community calls, ICANN’s board voted to reject the proposed sale of the .ORG domain to private equity firm Ethos Capital.

At 12pm ET on Thursday, 30 April, Access Now and partners from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), NTEN, Human Rights Watch, and will discuss the ongoing proposal for private equity firm Ethos Capital to buy the registry managing .ORG — civil society’s home online — from the nonprofit Internet Society (ISOC). Speakers include:

  • Alex Rafalowicz, Head of Communications at
  • Amy Sample Ward, CEO at NTEN
  • Cara L. Gagliano, Staff Attorney at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
  • Carolyn Tackett, Global Campaign Strategist at Access Now
  • Ken Roth, Executive Director at Human Rights Watch
  • Mitch Stoltz, Senior Staff Attorney at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

This proposal presents a severe threat to online civic space, raising concerns about censorship, security, affordability, and stability at a time when human rights defenders around the world are already increasingly under attack, and when civil society organizations are leading the charge to meet their communities’ needs during the global COVID-19 health crisis.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has oversight over all top-level domains, including .ORG, and it now must decide whether it will allow .ORG’s management to change hands. ICANN’s board is scheduled to discuss the matter on Thursday, and it has a deadline of Monday, 4 May, to make a decision. 

Civil society organizations and other stakeholders from around the world, including U.S. Senators and the California Attorney General, have spoken out in widespread opposition to the sale.

See our blog, It’s time for ICANN to #SaveDotOrg, from 15 April for further information.

We invite you to join our virtual press briefing at 12pm ET on Thursday, 30 April, using these event  details:

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If you are not able to join the live briefing, you can reach out to [email protected] with requests for comment or to schedule an interview.