The Swiss Chapter of the Internet Society has taken good note of the extensive discussions engendered by the proposal to sell PIR/.ORG to a newly-created private equity firm. Having carefully weighed the arguments, in particular from ISOC management and the ISOC Board, and evaluated the limited facts made public, we associate with the statements made by the France and Catalonia chapters and we recall that we had previously joined the Indonesia, Netherlands, and Portugal Chapters in expressing concerns in particular with respect to the lack of prior consultation with the community and the lack of transparency surrounding the proposed sale.
In our view, it is not acceptable to envisage this sort of sale without prior open consultation and without making publicly available all relevant information.
In our view, the sale must not go forward unless and until all relevant information is made public and there has been a public consultation.
Further, in principle, we have strong concerns as regards the proposed change of status of PIR/.ORG from a not-for-profit to a for profit entity. This is a major change that alters the very nature of the registry. Ownership matters, as a for-profit-entity is here to generate profit and has no obligation to the stakeholder community. We therefore consider the proposed sale by its very nature as a potential threat to the interests of the broader .ORG community.
The unforeseen proposal to sell PRI/.ORG was not (and could not have been) taken into account during the election of the Trustees, whereas the outcome of the election might have been different if we had known about the proposed sale. Of course, we don’t question the good intentions of the Trustees. But since this decision is very important for the identity of ISOC, those that have made it, and those that agree with it, should take the full responsibility for it and for its future implications.