Internet

Domain debate after private equity buys .ORG overseer

Illustration of the letters ".org" with the "o" replaced with a golden Sacagawea one dollar coin.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Ethos Capital agreed to buy Public Interest Registry, manager and operator of the .ORG domain, from The Internet Society. No financial terms were disclosed, although annual PIR revenue is believed to exceed $100 million.

Why it matters: This comes several months after The Internet Society agreed to a new contract with PIR, which controversially removed price caps for .ORG domains. Not only might this become precedent for future domain contract negotiations, such as with Verisign over .COM addresses, but there are more immediate concerns that prices could be increased on nonprofits that dominate .ORG domain use.

93% of global voters faced domestic election tampering

Protestors
Protestors in Taiwan decry mainland Chinese disinformation efforts this summer. Photo: Hsu Tsun-Hsu/AFP via Getty Images

Last year, 93% of people living in a country with an election faced internet-driven election interference from their own government or domestic partisans, according to the 2019 Freedom on the Net report.

Why it matters: With all the focus on foreign governments tampering with U.S. elections, it's jarring to note that the U.S. was one of the nations where domestic actors led election interference in 2018.