back to article Internet Society's Vint 'father of the 'net' Cerf dodges dot-org sell-off during public Q&A

At this year's Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, the opening ceremony, featuring German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was immediately followed by an hour-long session on the “future of internet governance.” That session, held yesterday morning, featured seven internet luminaries on stage, including “father of the internet …

  1. Paul Johnston
    Happy

    But don't you realise

    Morals are good but there are beelions to be made here!

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: But don't you realise

      Morals? They've heard of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But don't you realise

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Marx

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: But don't you realise

        "Morals? They've heard of it."

        In fact, they had some with their Chateaubriand last night.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: But don't you realise

          Chateaubriand

          Hmmm.. Chateaubriand..

          (Best steak I ever had in my life was in a high-end cafe in Paris. Since I wasn't paying, I went for a nice Chateaubriand steak with all the trimmings (no sauce though - not a fan of sauces or gravy)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But don't you realise

            .. and yet you're wondering why you were never invited again?

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: But don't you realise

      but there are beelions to be made here!

      And a swamp to drain and refill with toxic radioactive sludge..

  2. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    Call me cynical

    But why would people go ahead with this if they weren't making money out of it?

    1. overunder Bronze badge

      Re: Call me cynical

      RIght, but you can shake the tree the same way these Ethos & Co. crooks are, by ly....mmmm adjusting the truth for interests.

      A lot, LOT of college and government domains are on .org, so spread an association between Ethos and the concept of selling such domains and boom, Ethos is selling student's education and tax funded utilities to the highest bidder. Criminals!!! Think of the children!!!

      The icon you chose in your post is fitting, fight fire with fire.

  3. simonlb Silver badge
    FAIL

    'this transaction is good for all stakeholders'

    Provided all those stakeholders are part of a private equity entity which is effectively holding all the users of that service to ransom.

  4. oiseau Silver badge
    Flame

    Obvious

    ... what the deal says about the organizations that are charged with protecting the internet as a public trust.

    It says and quite clearly, that the charge of protecting the internet as a public trust is no longer something they give a flying fuck about.

    O.

  5. jake Silver badge

    "Is ISOC 'severely harming' its reputation"

    Why yes. Yes they are.

    Not that they give a crap, there are billions to be fleeced.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: "Is ISOC 'severely harming' its reputation"

      I suspect that ISOC cares a lot about its reputation, but please note that it's been living off .org registration revenue for many years, and the deal (if it closes) will effectively convert that revenue stream into an investment fund. ISOC will then live off the returns from that fund until IPv6 addresses run out.

      Whether Ethos runs .org ethosically (sorry) is a separate question.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Is ISOC 'severely harming' its reputation"

        You can bet that Chehade will run the registry in a way that greatly benefits him financially. Pox on that prick and his clique.

  6. wwwhatsup

    > At a two-day meeting this weekend, its board voted unanimously to allow its CEO Andrew Sullivan to enter into negotiations with Ethos Capital.

    If you follow your link there it goes to the meeting on October 29 2019. Obviously such negotiations had been pretty much concluded before the announcement on Nov 13

    As to ISOC Netherland's statement. it's from the Chair. Unlike ISOC, where there is sufficient transparency to see Board unanimity, ISOC Netherlands do not publish their minutes. There are 120+ other Chapters/SIGs, none of whom has issued a similar statement.

    1. overunder Bronze badge

      I honestly don't know what you're implying. Are you implying that the chair for the Netherlands was intentionally abstaining while knowing of the sale or that the chair is a trailblazer? I'm not familiar with the politics of ISOC, so I don't know what "do not publish their minutes" mean.

  7. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    Excellent reporting!

    By Kieren on this issue, which is complex, bureaucratic and a regulatory nightmare. And also quietly ignored by the MSM, probably for those reasons, ie understanding all the players involved and their relationships. Easy bit is the 'special' relations who stand to make a huge amount of money from this unless it's quashed.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Excellent reporting!

      Except that, Kieran-like, he editorialises:

      Sullivan responded in a blog post making the somewhat remarkable case that .org was never really intended to be for non-profit outfits.
      and gets it wrong. The case isn't "remarkable"; it's strictly true. RFC1591 defined .org in 1994 with these words:
      ORG - This domain is intended as the miscellaneous TLD for organizations that didn't fit anywhere else. Some non-government organizations may fit here.
      Nothing whatever to do with non-profit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Logic failure

        Non-profits don't fit in any of the other TLDs in RFC1591. ORG is intended for organizations that didn't fit anywhere else, so it follows that ORG is intended for non-profits among others. It is remarkable to claim otherwise.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Excellent reporting!

        "it's strictly true. RFC1591 defined .org"

        Absolutely untrue. RFC 1591 defines nothing.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Excellent reporting!

        So, not, COMmercial, not an EDUcational institution, not GOVernment, not MILitary. Apart from charities and non-profits, that doesn't leave much.

      4. JohnGrantNineTiles

        Re: Excellent reporting!

        RFC1591 also says "It is extremely unlikely that

        any other TLDs [than EDU, COM, NET, ORG, GOV, MIL, INT, and the two

        letter country codes from ISO-3166] will be created."

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Excellent reporting!

      "And also quietly ignored by the MSM, probably for those reasons, ie understanding all the players involved and their relationships."

      The BBC have reported on it and if they are not "MSM" then no one is. On they other hand, they did lead with "Girl Scouts oppose sale of .org" or something like that. They left the fact it was the Girl Scouts of America until further into the story, initial implying at was actual girl scouts, possibly British, who were opposing it rather than the corporate body.

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    “Although .org has often been thought of as a ‘home of non-profits,’ the domain was not actually defined that way,” he wrote, citing IETF document RFC 1591 from 1994.

    He should have been more careful what he quoted. That RFC also says "It is extremely unlikely that any other TLDs will be created."

    1. Victor Ludorum

      I agree

      Which TLD did he think was a better fit for non-profits?

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: I agree

        Which TLD did he think was a better fit for non-profits?

        That's irrelevant. The point is that .org was never intended to be exclusively for non-profits, and the letter from non-profits essentially claims that it was. In most circles that's known as a lie.

        1. BigBear

          Re: That's irrelevant.

          Not at all irrelevant. It does not matter that .org was not meant exclusively for non-profits. What matters is that non-profits, for decades, had no other TLD that fit (that was appropriate to their charter). (Furthermore, for what it's worth, the public probably thinks of the .org TLD as being at least primarily for non-profits.)

          If this deal is consummated, it seems likely that all .org domain-holders will have to pay a fortune to keep their TLD, or move to a new one, all because an insider with a conflict of interest was able to pull off a quick and quiet deal before anyone could stop it.

          Where’s the public interest? Where’s the governance? Where’s the transparency? Where’s the oversight?

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: That's irrelevant.

            it seems likely that all .org domain-holders

            I've got a couple of .org.uk domains - hopefully our registrar won't do something similar. But I'm not holding my breath..

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: I agree

          The point is that .org was never intended to be exclusively for non-profits

          It might not have originally been but custom and usage have established that it now is.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Historical Revisionism

            So RFC1591 from 1994, and Jon Postel. AKA he who must be obeyed, because generally he was right.

            These are the

            generic TLDs (EDU, COM, NET, ORG, GOV, MIL, and INT), and the two

            letter country codes from ISO-3166.

            That was then, and symptomatic of the Internet's US-centric approach. So gov, edu & mil being US government, education and military. A few years later, .com got hived off to Verisign, and a decision being that you needed to be a proper company to get a .com, ie send a letter head showing company name & registration number to get registered. Similar policy applied for .co.uk

            Sometimes those 'rules' weren't strictly enforced. But one consequence was that for .you and .me*, we'd not be able to register a .com, leaving .org for odds & sodds and similar non-profits. A UK charity or US 501(c)(3) could theoretically be a .com, as in it's a distinct company per UK and US Title 26, but custom & practice was .com = Commercial and .org=non-profit.

            That's pretty much how it's been perceived since 1994 till now.

            Thinking about this some more, I suspect Arby.. I mean Abry's behind this. So they bought Donuts, who bought a lot of expensive .garbage. Brooks, the Ethos person who isn't ex-ICANN is ex-Abry, and apparently was a key mover behind the Donuts deal. I suspect that deal hasn't been good for Abry given the outlay for noveau-TLDs vs actual demand for those TLDs. So adding .org to the portfolio would provide a pretty much guaranteed revenue stream and a way for Abry to cash out, along with the other ICANN/ISOC insiders.

            One potential fly in the oinkment is if regulators decide that the way this sale has been conducted isn't exactly in line with fiduciary responsibilities of a 501(c)(3) entity, which could mean fines and/or jail time for execs & trustees. It may just raise eyebrows with the IRS.. Or may not. I think it'd be hard post-acquisition to justify keeping 501(c)(3) status, so would lose tax exemptions. Then again, it's not exactly difficult to shunt profits off-shore to dodge any US tax liabilities.

            (And another thing I've found is prospects for good netizenship. Some of Abry (and one of Ethos's) other investments are in the ad-slinging and analytics sphere.)

    2. Yes Me Silver badge

      Unlikely...

      "It is extremely unlikely that any other TLDs will be created."

      That was Postel's view in 1994. By 1998 when he died, he knew that new TLDs had become inevitable, mainly due to the Clinton Administration, and Ira Magaziner in particular, who were trying to move the Internet from governmental to commercial hands.

  9. ThatOne Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Shamelessness is the new black

    I'm probably getting old, but I remember the times when people still tried to retain a semblance of honesty and integrity. Not that they were actually honest, no, but they acknowledged that they were supposed to.

    Today nobody bothers, on the contrary, they are proud not to be weighed down by such outdated notions, unfit for any predatory businessperson worth its salt...

    How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world / That has such people in it!

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Shamelessness is the new black

      I'm probably getting old, but I remember the times when people still tried to retain a semblance of honesty and integrity. Not that they were actually honest, no, but they acknowledged that they were supposed to.

      That's why I think this story deserves more attention. It's a $1bn+ scandal after all. And I don't think there's any justification doing it. Ethos seems to have been specifically created as an SPV to take over .org. ISOC might get a large cash lump but future revenues would flow to Ethos... And there's a lot of cash, especially as renewal prices increase.

      It's also incredibly bad governance. So there's a period of exclusivity for negotiations... Which is bass-ackwards. If it was decided that privatising .org was a Good Thing for the Internet, the sane approach would be to issue an RFP and/or auction. That would have avoided the obvious conflicts of interest Kieren's been highlighting.

      I'm also curious what options stakeholders may have to get legal about this, and the apparent legality of this self-dealing. Not sure how that fits with US law, or which agency might be interested in having a look.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Shamelessness is the new black

        "Ethos seems to have been specifically created as an SPV to take over .org. "

        The thot plickens.

        Who is behind Ethos?

        Enquiring gnomes wish to mine.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Shamelessness is the new black

          Wasn't it established that it is none other than Mr. Chehade, whose charades at ICANN are well documented.

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Shamelessness is the new black

          Who is behind Ethos?

          Good question. So-

          https://ethoscapital.com/

          Ethos Capital is a new investment company firmly rooted in the belief that prosperity can be built and shared with all the stakeholders in our investment ecosystem.

          Thus far, there seems to be 2 public stakeholders, Erik Brooks and Nora Abusitta-Ouri (CPO? CPO!). The latter being.. interesting-

          At ICANN, Ms. Abusitta-Ouri launched and grew ICANN’s Development and Public Responsibility Department, with a focus on ICANN's approach to corporate social responsibility and the organization’s role as an enabler of growth in the domain name industry and related industries.

          So with a background in CSR, she should know that this looks.. bad. But hey ho, think of the enabling growth from those domain renewals. At $10 a time, that's potentially $600m to share between stakeholders.

          Then there's Chehade, also ex-ICANN and allegedly an 'advisor' to Ethos. And also registered the domain name, which OK, could constitute advice, especially if Mr Brooks or Ms Abusitta-Ouri didn't know how to do that. Which they should given their past, present and future planned-for roles as guardians of the .org

          But that's all part of the problem. Ethos's website is rather light on information, especially normal VC-type stuff, so how much they're managing, people, PR etc.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Shamelessness is the new black

            Oh, ps..

            http://eaaid.eu/accueil/board-members/

            Nora Abusitta-Ouri, Currently Chief Engagement Officer and Senior Advisor to the Chair at Chehadé & Company, served as Senior Vice President of Public Responsibility Programs at ICANN and Executive Director of International and Intergovernmental Organizations at ICANN

            Another little piece to highlight the cosy relationship between ICANN insiders/Abry/Ethos.

      2. Yes Me Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Shamelessness is the new black

        If it was decided that privatising .org was a Good Thing for the Internet

        What on Earth do you mean? The TLD business was privatised in 1998 when the US Government forced the creation of ICANN. That's when .org was privatised, and when registering names became a competitive market -- whether you liked it or not (and I didn't, but facts are facts). After about 5 years, in 1983 .org was transferred to Public Interest Registry Inc. (which is itself a non-profit corporation, but there is no such restriction for other .org registrants).

        If you actually read the information posted recently by pir.org, you might get a less distorted view of what is actually happening.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Shamelessness is the new black

          If you actually read the information posted recently by pir.org, you might get a less distorted view of what is actually happening.

          Not really. So hot off PIR's press-

          https://thenew.org/the-internet-society-public-interest-registry-a-new-era-of-opportunity/

          This transaction aligns PIR with a strong, new strategic partner, Ethos Capital, that not only possesses a deep understanding of the intricacies of the domain industry, but also has the ideal mix of expertise, experience and shared values to further advance the goals of .ORG into the future.

          Yey! So sounds like Ethos Capital is a well established entity that has a long track record that demonstrates corporate social responsibility along with solid financial performance of the assets under management.

          Or it appeared out of the blue and has zero track record.

          But wait, there's more!

          Once the transaction is completed, PIR will continue to meet the highest standards of public transparency, accountability, and social performance in line with its longstanding purpose-driven mission, and will consider seeking B Corporation certification.

          Pinky promise! So currently it's 'privatised' as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. B Coporation isn't an equivalent and has no real legal standing. That statement in itself should signal motive, ie replacing a regulated not-for-profit structure with B Corp. Maybe. The rest is just meaningless marketing bollocks, especially given the process thus far has been anything but transparent, accountable or socially responsible.

          ps. On the plus side.. PIR can look forward to "Rapid sensorization of physical and biological infrastructures". Not sure if that means staff will be asset tagged and monitored.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shamelessness is the new black

      to paraphrase your words, a discussion on a different, and yet the very same issue ("Official secrets"), on youtube, around 38 min 10 sec (Martin Bright):

      youtube.com/watch?v=CWtIu7mbnbM

      "It's easy to be nostalgic how things were with Bush and Blair, because it looks like, these people were easier to hold to account (...). For all their faults, it seems to me that Tony Blair and George Bush understood that if they were caught in a lie, that was a problem for them. They knew the difference between truth, lies and propaganda. They may have chosen to push those boundaries, but they did know the difference and they knew that it mattered if they were caught. I think our problem now, and I think this applies on both sides of the Atlantic, is that we have populist politicians for whom it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you catch them out in the lie, because they don't care, because they lie as a matter of course and they change what they say from day to day. Now, that shouldn't mean we shouldn't hold them to accounts, it means that the job is even more difficult than it was before."

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Shamelessness is the new black

        Whatever I think of the people in charge, I would take Trump and his thieving gang in a heartbeat over Blair, Bush and Hillary, simply because their lies led to massive wars and his do not.

        I imagine the inhabitants of the Middle East, dead or alive, concur.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Shamelessness is the new black

          "their lies led to massive wars and his do not."

          ...yet.

          You need to acquaint yourself with history and realise the path that the USA and UK are being led down.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Shamelessness is the new black

            realise the path that the USA and UK are being led down

            It's a path we've all been down before - except that this time the differentiation isn't determined by some myth of aristocracy but by wealth and access to information.

            There is nothing new under the sun.

          2. Claverhouse Silver badge

            Re: Shamelessness is the new black

            Perhaps you ought to understand modern history and finally find out that whatever Trump may do, Bush II began wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, and Hillary directed the destruction of Libya.

            And giggled inanely.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Shamelessness is the new black

      O brave new world / That has such people in it!

      Smacked out of their heads on soma and genetically divided into classes? Sounds a lot like modern life..

  10. gerdesj Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    RFC 1591

    also says: It is extremely unlikely that any other TLDs will be created.

    Perhaps if Sullivan wishes to keep in compliance with RFC 1591, he could recommend dumping all the other crap that has been created in the meantime.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: RFC 1591

      Have you read RFC 1591 for content? It quite clearly states that it does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Second sentence of the first paragraph.

      https://www.rfc-archive.org/getrfc?rfc=1591

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: RFC 1591

        I'm not sure who your reply is aimed at -- Sullivan, who was the one trying to use the RFC as a justification, or our commentard, who merely suggested that Sullivan apply it consistently.

        1. Yes Me Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: RFC 1591

          Sullivan, who was the one trying to use the RFC as a justification

          No he wasn't. He was successfully using it to correct an error of fact: .org has never been reserved for non-profit registrants.

          Yes, I know that facts can be annoying, but that doesn't stop them being facts.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Re: RFC 1591

            Still, they did plan to restrict .edu assignments only to 4 years colleges/universities - other schools are not educational institutes as well?

            Meanwhile, they gave away /8 IP blocks to anybody asking - just to find it was stupid later.

            Things changes - what .org became is probably more important than what the RFC said.

  11. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    What's next?

    Will they sell off .GOV in a year or two? Why not? On the Internet nobody knows if you are a dog, it used to be a joke but it's the way the world works now. We're just throwing trust and honesty out of the window, trust in the .ORG name was lost years ago.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's next?

      they won't sell gov, because they'd have a few govs lighting up their asses. You don't pick up a fight with somebody who can hit you back and then drive you into the ground if you piss him off. You pick somebody weak, fragmented, with no money and no real power. After all, what are we, the plebs, do about it? Vote those (...) out?

    2. Yes Me Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: What's next?

      Will they sell off .GOV in a year or two?

      The registrar for that is the US General Services Administration, so I suggest you ask them.

      trust in the .ORG name

      That's a very curious concept. In what sense can you have trust in an arbitrary string of 3 letters that are part of a longer name that (since 1998) has simply been reserved for a small sum of money. Would "iamaswindler.org" seem more trustworthy than "iamaswindler.com"?

    3. BigBear

      Re: What's next?

      ... or how about .MIL or .EDU ?

      Let's have some more alternative facts.

  12. Not Enough Coffee

    "Republican moneybags"

    Slanted much? I don't see similar tags for Democrat moneybags in other articles.

    1. jason_derp

      Re: "Republican moneybags"

      Good point. I'll keep an eye out.

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: "Republican moneybags"

      Christ, Republicans have become such weenies, wailing and moaning every time anyone implies that they're a bunch of venal, corrupt scumbags who would feed their own grandmothers to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal for a bushel of cash and a sloppy reacharound. Is it because the criticism hits too close to home?

      Anyway, try reading El Reg circa 2008-2016 wherein they frequently lambasted the coziness of the Obama administration with Google. Also, try reading the comments, wherein I believe you will find few Democrats pissing and moaning about how very unfair they find the anti-Democratic editorial slant of The Register compared to how readily Republicans specifically and conservatives generally blow their damn fuses over the most minor slights.

      1. Not Enough Coffee

        Re: "Republican moneybags"

        Er, no.

        And you think I'm Republican how?

        I just want politics out of articles if it's not a political article. Or if you're going to mention the political slant, do it for all sides. Otherwise you're trying to get readers riled up for your own selfishness.

  13. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "ICANN has a series of accountability mechanisms"

    Pfft. Hrmmph. HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HA ! HAAAAAA !

    That was a good one. I needed that.

    ICANN has accountability like I have syphilis - none has been detected.

  14. FrenchFries!

    Umm...

    John Postel was the real Father of the Internet. Vinton is just the face (and businessman) of the Internet. I think Vint is nothing but a crook these days.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Umm...

      I suggest reading one of the many good books about the history of the Internet. It had no one Father or Mother.

      Also, Vint is not a crook. I think you should be careful about defamatory remarks like that.

      1. genghis_uk

        Re: Umm...

        He said he _thinks_ Vint is a crook - that is opinion so defamation does not apply...

  15. EveryTime

    Why the focus on U.S. people

    I'm pretty sure that being U.S. citizens has nothing to do with their action. It has nothing to do with national control or nationalism. It's greed and corruption.

    1. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: Why the focus on U.S. people

      A national Ethos will characterize each country's feelings about morality and social well-being. America's is defined by going after the money and subordinating society to individual gain, by which method they think the greater good is best propelled.

      The wise old creatures of the Cato Institute and the Mises Organisation can far better explain this than I ever can, since I have less grounding in Applied Greed.

      Republican morality also demands vaster rewards for the Rich because of the greater effort and sacrifice they put in by risking their wealth and their undertaking looking after other people's monies *; which also has been a national feature since the Founding --- when they fought a Revolution to steal Indian land and sold their fellow countrymen wooden nutmegs.

      ·

      * See George Washington, Astor, Gould, Fisk, Rockefeller Sr., to Bill Gates, the Waltons, Romney, Hillary Clinton and Bloomberg today.

  16. jason_derp

    “Although .org has often been thought of as...

    ... a ‘home of non-profits,’ the domain was not actually defined that way,” Well played, sir. Unrelated: There's nothing in the law that explicitly says I can't come to the street outside of your house every morning at 2 AM and noisely fsck a cantelope I have hidden underneath my rain poncho.

  17. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    ISOC stands to gain $1B.

    ....

    Parking spaces in Detroit. Highway 407 in Toronto. Bridges all over the US.

    Selling infrastructure in perpetuity to VC's is commonplace, and consistently the same scam. $$$ into pocket today, prices rise, profits for the VC rise, and the end users end up getting screwed sixteen ways to sunday.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: ISOC stands to gain $1B.

      Selling infrastructure in perpetuity to VC's is commonplace, and consistently the same scam. $$$ into pocket today, prices rise, profits for the VC rise, and the end users end up getting screwed

      Much like the public/private partnerships much beloved to the Blair government (and successive governments) - you get a private organisation to build a school/hospital/council building and then lease it from them at an extortionate cost for the next 25 years (while paying them a fortune to maintain it for you).

      Sure, it avoids spending capital budget but you then end up giving vast[1] amounts of public cash to private companies - some of whom have fairly bad reputations and questionable practices.

      [1] Over the lifetime of the deal, a order of magnitude higher than what it would have cost to build and run said building. But short-term governmental thinking doesn't concern itself beyond the current budget cycle unless forced to.

  18. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Flame

    The Rich Are Different

    One must wonder what proportion of the Great & the Good, selected for Committees, Non-Profits, and Nationalised Industries, enter deciding that spinning it off into the Private Sector as soon as feasible will be the best possible outcome for their wallets.

  19. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    too loud I guess

    I had a lot of trouble hearing what they had to say later on, my bullshit detector was constantly going off...

  20. -tim
    Facepalm

    ROI?

    So a billion dollars for about 20 million DNS records. The operation of that database should cost about $1.2 million a year (figure $.06 cost per record which is high). Put another way, about $50 for every .org domain now needs to go to pay back the investment.

  21. sbt Silver badge
    Alert

    At around 1550 local time, Cerf, as meeting chairman, was handed an iPad...

    The video link in the article takes you to an empty stage early in the morning session. The outside questions segment starts around 7:49:38.

    Spoiler alert: The .org question is not even acknowledged up-front and the presenter who hands off the iPad claims another question about the future of parliaments in Internet regulation is the most popular.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: At around 1550 local time, Cerf, as meeting chairman, was handed an iPad...

      Kieren strikes again.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is it that everything ICANN does turns out to be totally disgusting?

  23. JoeCool

    Flow of the article

    Part way through is this:

    At around 1550 local time, Cerf, as meeting chairman, was handed an iPad and the top question, of 172 asked, was: “What’s your opinion on the .org sale and what this means for not-for-profits?”

    Should that not have been immediately followed with the clear statment that the question was ignored ? Why bury six graphs later:

    He needn’t have worried because, despite the internet community actively voting to have the issue of the .org sale raised on stage and despite it being the issue of greatest current concern to the 'net governance world, neither the moderator nor Cerf asked it, nor even mentioned its existence.

  24. JohnGrantNineTiles

    "Expand services" -- why?

    "We truly believe that this transaction is good for all stakeholders because it allows PIR to invest in the registry and expand services for the benefit of all registrants"

    If you own a domain name, you need to know it's globally unique. And from a registry that's all you need. So what exactly are these new "services"?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: "Expand services" -- why?

      "So what exactly are these new "services"?"

      Well, you start with brown-nosing with intent, and it generally progresses from there. Note to all registrants: If you're wondering why you're feeling a trifle uncomfy, it's because that's no longer a nose.

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