ICANN Receives Letter from California Attorney General Regarding .ORG Change of Control
LOS ANGELES – 30 January 2020 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced that the Office of the Attorney General of the State of California (CA-AGO) has requested information from ICANN regarding the proposed transfer of Public Interest Registry (PIR) from the Internet Society (ISOC) to Ethos Capital in order to "analyze the impact to the nonprofit community, including to ICANN".
ICANN received the letter last week, and is fully cooperating with the Attorney General's request for information. ICANN is subject to regulation by the CA-AGO, which is responsible for supervising charitable organizations in California. ICANN is a California public benefit, nonprofit corporation. ICANN and PIR have agreements in place regarding PIR's operation of the .ORG registry and other registries (PIR Registry Agreements).
This afternoon, after initial discussions with the CA-AGO, ICANN is publicly posting the Attorney General's letter. ICANN also is providing formal notice to PIR, pursuant to the terms of the PIR Registry Agreements, because the CA-AGO has requested that ICANN provide information that PIR designated as confidential.
In addition, the CA-AGO has asked for more time, surpassing the current ICANN deadline to review the proposed change of control of the PIR Registry Agreements that is currently set as 17 February 2020. Accordingly, the letter from ICANN to PIR requests additional time, up to 20 April 2020, to conclude both the CA-AGO and ICANN reviews.
Throughout this inquiry, ICANN will continue to conduct thorough due diligence in its consideration of the proposed change of control and related conversion of PIR from a nonprofit to a for-profit. PIR is currently a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation. As part of the proposed sale, PIR has proposed to the Pennsylvania Attorney General that it be turned into a for-profit entity.
ICANN remains committed to being as transparent as possible in the processing of PIR's request, as we are demonstrating by the posting of both letters.
ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.