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Username: Register ORGanization
Date/Time: Sat, July 20, 2002 at 12:17 AM GMT
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Subject: Letter of Support - OSI


      The Open Society Institute (OSI) discussed the proposal to become the operator of the .org registry.  We wish to make it clear that we may not intervene or participate in the bidding process by endorsing any particular bid to ICANN to operate the .org registry.  This is particularly true where, as here, OSI may receive a grant from REGISTER.COM, should its bid prevail, to support our mutual goals of promoting NGO use of Information and Communications Technology.

The OSI Information Program does agree with certain principles discussed with us related to managing the .ORG domain.  Specifically:

1) That the ultimate registrar of this domain should seek to nurture and extend the .org community by providing a forum and opportunity for participatory involvement in its future;
2) That revenue from registering .org domains should be set aside to provide International support for developing civil society initiatives and promoting policies beneficial to the advancement of civil society on the Internet;
3) That the underlying infrastructure and service organization supporting the .ORG registry must be viable, reliable and efficient inmeeting the needs of civil society’s use of the Internet.

OSI’s Information Program sees these as the basic prerequisites for seriously considering any bid to manage the .org registry.  The politics around the .org registry issue are significant.  It is too easy to get caught in the trap of choosing between bidders based either on the right ideology or the right technology.  This is a false choice.  The .org community needs both prerequisites.  It cannot afford to have a registering body without a sense of understanding or support for the special community it serves.  Nor can it afford an ideologically “correct” registering body without the underlying technology and capacity to support the maintenance and addition of .org domains.  The OSI Information Program believes that the .org community will best be served if both needs are met by the registering body that is ultimately selected.

Jonathan Peizer
Chief Technology Officer
Open Society Institute


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