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SaveDotOrg to protest outside ICANN HQ. #lol

Kevin Murphy, January 16, 2020, 19:54:23 (UTC), Domain Registries

Good grief.

Just when you thought the outrage over .org manager Public Interest Registry’s imminent sale to Ethos Capital couldn’t get any weirder, the #SaveDotOrg campaign has announced that it is going to physically protest ICANN’s headquarters in Los Angeles next week.

From 0900 until 1100 local time, Friday January 24, they’ll gather to demand that non-profit voices are heard in ICANN’s decision whether to approve the acquisition. From the announcement:

Join us in demanding that ICANN commit to a process that includes the voices and priorities of nonprofits and grassroots organizations. The .ORG domain isn’t up for sale without our participation. We’ll rally outside ICANN’s offices in Los Angeles on Friday, January 24. This is an important moment in the SaveDotOrg campaign, and we want you to join us!

Sloganed T-shirts and signs will be available.

The event is being organized by NTEN, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fight For The Future. All very lovely people; I can’t see this turning into some Hong Kong-style riot situation.

Unusual as it is, this kind of direct action against ICANN is not unprecedented.

Back in 2011, a group of pornographers and civil liberties activists gathered outside the Westin St Francis hotel in San Francisco to, where ICANN was holding its public meeting, protest the imminent approval of .xxx, which they thought was a threat to free speech online. About 25 people showed up, by my count, chanting slogans such as “We want porn! No triple-X!”. Buttman was there.

Those protesters, it turns out many years later, really had nothing to worry about; nobody has been forced to buy a .xxx domain, and my friends tell me porn is still very much available on the internet.

I rather suspect the #SaveDotOrg guys are in the same boat. Of all the arguments against the acquisition, the one claiming that free speech is at risk still seems to me the least convincing.

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Comments (4)

  1. Brad Mugford says:

    Why is the idea of people protesting the handing over of a public resource to a private equity company funny to you?

    This is clearly not beneficial to the vast major of stake holders that ICANN is supposed to represent.

    Brad

  2. Jean Guillon says:

    Why so many people dislike Jon like that?

  3. Rubens Kuhl says:

    They could call the other ICANN to provide free cannabis at the protest. Large attendance guaranteed, and this is now legal in California.

  4. Reviewu says:

    ‘nobody has been forced to buy a .xxx domain’

    Just manipulated in to buying brand protection instead…

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