Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Andrew Sullivan, Internet Society CEO, Arrogantly Deflects Questions About the Sale of the .Org Registry to a Private Equity Firm

Kieren McCarthy, the Register:

“I did expect some people to be unhappy with the decision, I expected some pushback,” he told The Register, adding: “But the level of pushback has been very strong.”

He was aware, he says, that people would not like two key aspects of the decision: the move from a non-profit model to a for-profit one; and the lack of consultation. […]

Translation: “I, Andrew Sullivan, thought I could get away with exploiting charities and not-for-profits so long as I did so quietly. However, this plan has backfired spectacularly because it turns out that people actually pay attention to this stuff. Who knew?”

[…] He had explanations ready for both: “The registry business is still a business, and this represented a really big opportunity, and one that is good for PIR [Public Interest Registry].”

As for the lack of consultation: “We didn’t go looking for this. If we had done that [consulted publicly about the sale .org], the opportunity would have been lost. If we had done it in public, it would have created a lot of uncertainty without any benefit.”

Translation: “If we had told people about this before the sale, it would have meant answering awkward questions that I very much wish to avoid — then and now.”

Just why is ISOC approving this deal, going back on nearly two decades of non-profit stewardship and infuriating many of its ardent supporters? Is it just money?

Yes and no.

“The lump sum is definitely a benefit,” he admits, before arguing passionately about ISOC’s core missions. “The work ISOC does is focused on policies and connecting the unconnected. There is already a community organisation that covers domain names – and that’s ICANN.”

Translation: “This is entirely about the money.”