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Dot org newlogo.png
Status: Active
country: International
Manager: PIR
Registry Provider: Afilias
Registrations: 10.1 million (2012)
Date Implemented: 1985
Type: gTLD

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.org is one of the first generic top-level domains (gTLD) to be included in the Internet Domain Name System (DNS). It is managed by Public Interest Registry (PIR), a non-profit organization founded by the Internet Society (ISOC) in 2002.[1] Jon Postel was the original creator along with Joyce Reynolds. Alexa Raad was the original CEO of PIR.

Registration Statistics

A Bi-Annual report on the growth of .org showed that as of early 2013, there were 10.1 million .org registrations. The number of domains under management (DUM) grew by 4.3% in 2012, while the registrations in the second half of the year increased by 11.9%; .ORG DUM has more than doubled during the past seven years, increasing from 3.9 million in 2005 to more than 10.1 million in 2012. Registrations experienced marked international growth from 2010 - 2012, Asia and the Australian Pacific grew by 47%, Africa by 23%, and Latin America by 25%.[2] Registration of .org had consistently grown by 9% to 10% annually for the prior three years.[3]

On June 24th, 2012, registration for .org passed the 10 million mark. The 10th million registration was for JADFORUM.org, registered by the Jordan River and Dead Sea Basin Forum via GoDaddy. It was the 7th TLD to pass the 10 million mark; the others being .com, .de (2006), .net (2007} .cn (2008), .uk (2012), .tk.[4] The .org TLD is considered the world's third largest top-level domain with 8.8 million organizations registered as of 2010. The top ten markets for .org registrations include The United States (60.4%), Germany (5.0%), United Kingdom (4.3%), Canada (3.5%), France (3.2%), Netherlands (2.2%), Spain (1.8%), China (1.8%), Italy (1.5%) and Japan (1.5%). Currently, there are 32 registrars offering second-level registration of .org domain names following PIR's deployment of the DNSSEC.[5]


Management Under Network Solutions/VeriSign

.org was created by the Network Working Group led by Jon Postel and Joyce Reynolds along with .com, .edu, .gov, and .mil in 1984 as an open and unrestricted top-level domain name.[6] Originally, the operations of the .org registry were managed by SRI International's Network Information Center (SRI-NIC); it was managed there from is creation until 1992.

In 1993, Network Solutions assumed the registration services of the .org under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF) that was to last until 1998. [7] However, in 1998, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued the White Paper[8] in response to the instruction of Pres. Bill Clinton to form a new non-profit organization to take over the responsibilities in improving the technical management of the Internet Domain Name System, as a result, Network Solutions' contract to manage the registration services of the .org was extended by the Department of Commerce until September 30, 2000.[9] In 1999, Network Solutions entered an agreement with ICANN to remain as the registry operator of the .org gTLD until December 31, 2002.[10]

Transition to Current Management

The control of Network Solutions changed hands in 2000, when Verisign acquired the majority shareholding at a price of USD 20 billion.[11] During the meeting in Accra, Ghana in March of 2002, the ICANN Board resolved the request for proposals from parties interested in taking over the registry operations of the .org TLD from Verisign.[12]

ICANN received 11 proposals by June 2002 and created four teams to evaluate the proposals. The teams include:[13]

  • Gartner, Inc.- it was tasked to evaluate the technical aspects of the proposals
  • An international team of Chief Information Officers- conducted an independent technical evaluation using a different methodology
  • Noncommercial Domain Name Holders Constituency of ICANN's DNSO- responsible for usage evaluation of the proposals
  • ICANN's General Counsel- evaluated the procedural aspects of the bids.

After evaluating the proposals, the teams recommended these candidates to succeed in the management of the .org registration services from Verisign:

The Department of Commerce approved Public Interest Registry to take over the management of the .org TLD registry.[14] PIR officially assumed the functions of .org registry operator on January 1, 2003.[15] In 2006, PIR renewed its .org Registry Agreement with ICANN until June 30, 2013.[16]

.org IDN

The Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) registration for the .org TLD is available in German, Danish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean (Hangul), Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish and Swedish scripts since 2005. The Spanish language script became available in 2007, while Chinese IDN registration became available in January of 2010; IDN registration for Bosnian, Bulgarian, Belarusian, Macedonian, Russian, Serbian and Ukrainian languages using the Cyrillic script started on February 19, 2011.[17]

Project 94

In October 2012, it was announced that PIR would be auctioning off 85 one and two-character domain names via eNom and GoDaddy. The names were released when PIR renewed its agreements with ICANN earlier in the year, and while 94 were released, 5 of them are being held back given that they match ccTLDs. Only organizations with registered and recognizable trademarks and rights to the letters and possible acronyms are allowed to participate in the auctions. These organizations will have to be pre-approved to participate. The project is known as Project 94.[18]

U.S. Seizures of Domain Names

The U.S. government has stated that because .org's registry operator, PIR, is based in the United States, it has the right to seize any .org domain names at any time. The government goes straight to the registry in cases where the domain name is foreign, as foreign registrars are not required to comply with U.S. law. By early 2012, the government had seized 750 domain names like this, most registered through foreign registrars. Usually, the domain names are redirected at the DNS level to a U.S. government IP address that informs visitors that the site has been seized. Recently Bodog.com was targeted because federal law in the United States makes it illegal to offer online sports wagering and to payoff online bets, although online gambling isn’t illegal globally. The domain name was registered through a Canadian registrar, but the United States closed the site without any intervention from Canadian authorities or companies.[19]


The . ORG Impact Awards is a global awards program to recognize individuals and organizations that have a connection to a registered . ORG domain for their contributions, achievements and impact in their communities.[20] The 2021 awards included a winner in the following categories: Health and Healing in a Period of Pandemic (https://www.goodsports.org); Overcoming Climate Change (https://ades-solaire.org); Championing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (https://www.maiaimpact.org); Fighting Hunger and Poverty (https://zoeempowers.org); Providing Quality Education for All (https://www.skateistan.org); Building Better Communities (https://litrodeluz.org); .ORG Rising Stars (https://the-trihealthon.org); and .ORG of the Year (https://ades-solaire.org).[21]