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[comments-dotorg] Comments of ACM-IGP


ACM's Internet Governance Project (ACM-IGP) agrees with the scope, direction and details of the Names Council .ORG Divestiture Task Force Statement of Policy, as posted for public comment on the DNSO website on October 11.  We thank the Task Force for its work and guidance.

ACM-IGP agrees with proposition on of the Statement of Policy (SOP), namely that .ORG should be unrestricted except for its marketing and branding practices.  In particular, we note the following issues.

Item 1:  The .org TLD Should be a sponsored, unrestricted domain.

ACM-IGP agrees strongly.  We note that, like other technical organizations, our members engage in a wide variety of noncommercial speech online, including academic, political and personal speech.  The speech is broadly noncommercial, but may or may not fall within the scope of a formal organization.  For example, our members may choose to post some of their papers on the ACM website (or may win a competition of paper to be published on the website), but may also post their papers, ideas and concerns in website not affiliated with ACM, their universities or other organizations.   

.ORG has become the noncommercial gTLD for ORGANIZERS and ideas, generally, not just for organizations in particular.  To restrict .ORG to formal organizations so many years after it has been open and broadly used by the entirety of the noncommercial community would disenfranchise a wide range of noncommercial speech and activity on the Internet.  Even if existing domain name holders were grandfathered in, the move would be seen more as an effort to protect the .COM commercial domain name holders that NSI managed to convince to buy .ORG as a backup for their .COM domain names.

Our current and future noncommercial speakers, in their wonderfully robust and diverse voices, need a place to continue to register their domain names.  Their work is protected under the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights and its commitment to freedom of opinion and expression:

      "Article 19.  Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this    
      right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive   
      and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of

There is no other gTLD offering domain names broadly to the noncommercial community.  The commitment to .ORG as a place for ORGanizers and ideas must become a fully embraced part of the ICANN community.  An unrestricted .ORG is a crucial part of this commitment.

.ORG is for ORGANIZERS and their words and ideas.  

Respectfully submitted,

Kathryn Kleiman, Director

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