Public Interest Registry

From ICANNWiki
Revision as of 00:06, 31 March 2015 by Jonah (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pir newlogo.jpg
ICANNWiki Member
Type: Private
Industry: Internet, Domain registry
Founded: Reston, VA, 2002
Headquarters: 1775 Wiehle Avenue,
Suite 200
Reston, VA 20190
Country: USA
Key People
Maarten Botterman, Chairman
Brian Cute, CEO
Nancy Gofus, COO
David Maher, Senior VP, Law and Policy
Lance Wolak, VP, Product & Strategy
Ulrich Retzlaff, Director of Channel Management, EMEA
Lawrence Martin, VP, Finance & Operations
Paul Diaz, Director of Policy
Kim Van Wyngaardt, Senior Executive Administrator
Lauren Price, Director of Channel Management
Don Blumenthal, Senior Policy Advisor
TLDs: 6
Registrations: 9,141

More Info: nTLDStats

Public Interest Registry (PIR) is a generic top-level Domain registry that manages the .org top level domain. The non-profit was established in January 2003 by the Virginia-based Internet Society (ISOC). PIR was formed to take over the operation and maintenance of the .org domain and its database from Verisign Global Registry Services. The organization has its office in Reston, Virginia.

As of June 2012, there are 10 million million registered .org addresses, which bring in an annual revenue of $65 million. The funds are used for operating costs and technical and organizational maintenance; the remaining funds are donated to ISOC.[1][2]

The organization is applying for .ngo and .ong through ICANN's 2012 new gTLD program.[3]

The company's backend registry services are handled by Afilias.


The .org top-level domain was first created in October 1984 by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority,[4] as part of its implementation of the RFC 920. Though the RFC limited the scope of the .org domain to non-profit organizations or to organizations of a non-commercial nature, over time, the scope of the domain has expanded to include any entity, whether organizational or individual, commercial or non-commercial.

The first .org domain was registered by MITRE Corporation, a non-profit organization providing systems engineering and information technology support to the US government, on July 10, 1985.

On May 25, 2001, ICANN entered into an unsponsored registry agreement with Verisign Inc. for operating the .org domain.[5] This agreement expired on December 31, 2002. A request for proposal was circulated by ICANN on May 20, 2002.[6] The Internet Society was one of the eleven applicants who put in their proposals to become the successive operator.[7] ISOC proposed to set up a separate entity, the "Public Interest Registry", to operate the .org gTLD, with the sole power to appoint its board of directors. As part of the arrangement, PIR would appoint Afilias to handle the full range of back-end registry services on behalf of PIR. The ICANN Board selected PIR as the successor operator to Verisign for managing the .org gTLD on October 14, 2002.[8] Finally, the reins of .org domain came into PIR's control in January 2003; the agreement was signed for a period of three years, expiring December 2006.

On December 8, 2006, the agreement between ICANN and PIR was renewed for another 6.5 years, and is set to expire on June 30, 2013.[9]

.org has emerged as the third-largest generic top-level domain in the world, as per the bi-annual domain name report published by PIR for dates of January to June 2010.[10]

.org 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 have more than doubled during the past seven years, increasing from 3.9 million in 2005 to more than 10.1 million in 2012. Regsitrations experienced marked international growth from 2010 - 2012, Asia and the Australian Pacific grew by 47%, Africa by 23%, and Latin America by 25%.[11]

Registration of .org had consistently grown by 9% to 10% annually for the past three years.[12]

Registration for .org passed the 10 million mark on June 24th, 2012. The ten millionth registration was for, registered by the Jordan River and Dead Sea Basin Forum via GoDaddy. It was the 7th TLD to pass the milestone, the others being: .com, .de (2006), .net (2007), .uk (2012), .cn, and .tk.[13]


PIR is governed by a Board of Directors who are appointed by ISOC. The board is comprised of seven members, and its current Chairman is Maarten Botterman. The CEO of PIR is an ex-officio board member.

The PIR management team comprises five senior members of the organization from three departments - law and policy, marketing, and finance/operations. Ms. Alexa Raad, the original CEO of PIR, stepped down from the position on September 24, 2010. Mr. Maarten Botterman served as interim CEO until Brian Cute was appointed to the position. The organization presently has twenty-three staff members on its payroll.

Besides the board of directors, PIR also has an advisory council, which was "created to advise on issues ranging from public policy to the introduction of new services". The council comprises members representing a broad spectrum of member organizations around the world. There are fifteen members in the present advisory council, serving a term from 2010 to 2012. The council is further organized into working groups, with mandates to provide project-based analysis and input. There are presently four working groups: IDN, Policy, DNSSEC, and Outreach & Awareness.

Deployment of DNSSEC

In April 2008, PIR submitted a request to ICANN to amend the .org registry, specifically the function of the registry and the corresponding Whois and DNS systems for the .org gTLD, in order to facilitate the use of "Domain Name System Security Extensions" (DNSSEC) as specified in RFCs 4033, 4034, 4035 and 5155.[14] The ICANN board approved this proposal in June, 2008.[15]

On June 23, 2010, Ms. Alexa Raad, PIR's CEO at that time, announced at an ICANN 38 Brussels press conference that .org has become the first generic top-level domain to offer full deployment of DNSSEC. DNSSEC had become the most robust security protocol on the internet as of 2010, and registrars who have implemented DNSSEC in their system can "offer added security protection to their customers by enabling .org website owners to sign their respective domain name with validation keys."[10]

The benefit of DNSSEC to a .org registrant is the "added ability to thwart the increased predominance of attacks like pharming, cache poisoning, DNS redirection and domain hijacking - all of which have been used to commit fraud, distribute malware and identity theft."[10]

.NGO/.ONG and IDNs

PIR announced ahead of the January 2012 launch of ICANN's new gTLD program that it was planning on applying for .ngo/.ong; the PIR iniatiative was a platinum sponsor of ICANN 42 in Dakar.[16] PIR also announced that it had intentions to implement an authentication process that would ensure that all .ngo and .ong registrants were actual NGOs, given the fact that .org is an open TLD. PIR is the only applicant for .NGO/.ONG. Early in the process there were intentions from [dotNGO]].[17] to apply for .NGO.

For Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), PIR submitted for the generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that translate “organization,” “org” or “structured organization” into Devanagari, Cyrillic and Chinese-simplified scripts. The four applications- one in Devenagari, one in Cyrillic, and two in simplified Chinese- were filed as part of ICANN’s global Internet expansion initiative.


  • There are 8.5 million domains registered under the .org domain as of end of July 2010.[10]
  • The gTLD registry celebrated its 25th anniversary of existence in June 2010 by hosting a birthday bash during Music Night at ICANN 38 Brussels.
  • .org registrations surpassed the growth of .com and .net by posting a percentage growth rate of 7.6% in the period January to July 2010; however, the .info domain beat them all with a growth rate of 20.0%.
  • North America is the largest market for .org domains, making up 64% of .org registrants.