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Photo: Heather Kennedy/Getty Images for SXSW

The effort to block a sale of the entity that controls the .org internet top-level domain is intensifying as more political leaders and tech leaders are speaking out against the deal.

Why it matters: The Internet Society, which gets much of its funding from .org, stands to earn more than $1 billion from handing control to a venture capital-backed private entity. Critics say that will put cash-strapped nonprofits at risk of exploitation.

The latest:

  • A new open letter is being released in Davos with leaders from 700 nonprofits calling on the Internet Society and ICANN, the global domain name regulator, to block the deal.
  • Protests are scheduled for an ICANN board meeting on Friday.
  • Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and a number of other Democratic senators and representatives have spoken out against the deal, as have two key UN officials.

Speaking to a group of reporters in Davos, nonprofit leaders including Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth pointed out long-term problems that could arise from putting .org in private hands. Ethos Capital could later decide to sell control of .org again, and there are plenty of ways private ownership could compromise groups that use .org.

  • "A private equity firm inevitably is going to have substantial economic interests in countries like China or Russia that will have no qualms about threatening those interests if censorship is not imposed on .org groups," Roth said. "That is the beginning of the end of the civic space that the .org domain has made possible."

Yes, but: Internet pioneer Vint Cerf and others have come out in favor of the deal, as noted on a website put up by the deal's backers.

Go deeper: Esther Dyson fights .org privatization

Go deeper

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.