Private Equity Seeks Profit From Non-Profits

The Electronic Freedom Foundation is raising an alarm.

"A growing list of organizations is urging the Internet Society (ISOC) to stop the sale of the Public Interest Registry (PIR)—the organization that manages the .ORG top-level domain—to private equity firm Ethos Capital. Our message is clear: the NGO community should have a voice in decisions affecting the future of .ORG."

This is obscene. The PIR was created for the task of managing the .ORG domain for charitable organizations, with part of that mandate keeping fees for non-profits at a low fixed rate of $8.50. Ethos Capital has already announced plans to raise rates. The larger concern is that now a private equity firm will have the ability to de-platform non-profits that espouse positions contrary to the interests of itself or its investors. Ethos Capital claims it will set up an oversight entity to allay fears, but that is clearly meant to fool the gullible. They're not going to create a separate unrelated and independent body to manage an investment asset when they have a fiduciary obligation to manage assets for their investors.

The EFF and others have started a pressure campaign to prevent the sale. Let's hope they, and we, win.