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Thursday, November 23, 2006

PIR protects .org domain name holders

The Virginia-based Public Interest Registry (PIR) has introduced a campaign to assist dot org (.org) top-level domain name holders to protect them.

PIR is a not for profit corporation formed by the by the Internet Society (ISOC) to manage the .org top-level domain in a manner that supports the continuous evolution of the Internet as a research, education and communications infrastructure.

The campaign PIR said is to educate and empower the non-commercial community on how to most effectively utilize the Internet.

Chief executive of PIR, Mr. Edward G. Viltz while announcing this development, said it is an international public awareness campaign aimed at protecting .org domain name holders from the potentially damaging consequences of allowing their domain names to expire.

The campaign, labelled "protectyour.org: Preserving the Value of Your .ORG Domain", he said, seeks to educate registrants about the value of .ORG domains, even those that are not currently being used as web sites.

“It offers steps for locating, managing, consolidating, and securing domain names in order to reduce the potential for problems that may occur when domain names lapse either intentionally or because the registrant was unaware that a name had expired,” PIR said.

In a letter to the Security and Stability Advisory Committee Liaison at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization currently overseeing the administration of the Internet’s domain names system globally, Mr. Viltz stated the concern of PIR over management of .org domain names.

PIR also stated that the “growing practice of selecting, testing, and keeping or rejecting expired domain names based on the names' monetary value and the subsequent use of those names in a manner that is contradictory to the original registrant's or organization's mission.”

Mr. Viltz equally cited the case of a rape counselling center's web site, which, following expiration and deletion of the site's domain name, was registered by another registrant and relaunched with a similar design that featured links to subscription-based pornographic pages.

"There are any number of unintended consequences that can result from allowing domain names to expire—in terms of both an organization's public image and the relationships the organization has established with its audience," Viltz said, stressing, "We believe the impact of this phenomenon on the .ORG community can be even more dire because of the level of trust that exists between non-profit, non-commercial, and charitable organizations—which tend to use .ORG domain names to convey their non-commercial status—and their members and constituents."

PIR is working in partnership with organizations that serve the needs of non-profit and non-commercial enterprises in order to spread the campaign's message to .ORG domain name holders around the world, just as a web site dedicated to the campaign and titled www.protectyour.ORG is up and running, providing information for .ORG domain name holders and registrars.

In addition, a pamphlet titled Protectyour.org: 5 Simple Steps for Protecting Your .ORG Domain Names has recently been published.

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