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Public Interest Registry Change of Control Request Update

LOS ANGELES – 16 April 2020 – On 14 November 2019, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was notified that the Internet Society planned to sell the Public Interest Registry (PIR) to Ethos Capital. Since that time, the ICANN organization and Board have worked together to thoughtfully and thoroughly evaluate the proposed acquisition to ensure that the .ORG registry, which represents more than 10.5 million domains, remains secure, reliable, and stable.

Since January, we have been providing information and fully cooperating with the California Attorney General's review. We appreciate receiving the Attorney General's letter and are carefully reviewing and considering it as part of our evaluation of the change of control and PIR's entity conversion. Throughout this process, we have listened carefully to the community, and have demanded more safeguards and greater transparency from PIR.

The Attorney General's letter does not take into account the recent work that PIR has done to make the entity more responsible to the community. ICANN requested that PIR strengthen the Public Interest Commitments to ensure meaningful enforceability; a draft of the revised PICs has been provided to the ICANN Board.

We have agreed to extend the review period to 4 May 2020, to permit additional time to complete our review.


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.

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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."