.ORG Celebrates 20 Years and Looks Forward To The Next Decade

It all started back in 2002 when Public Interest Registry launched the .org top-level domain and became the go to for organisations and individuals driven by important missions, who are seeking to make a difference in their communities and provide tangible solutions to the world’s biggest problems. Today there are 10.6 million .org domain names registered around the world.

The team behind .org, Public Interest Registry, have managed the TLD from the start. Back in 2002, PIR was established as a non-profit by the Internet Society with an original staff of 6. In 2003, PIR tackled the largest transfer of a registry in the Internet’s history by securing the .ORG TLD with the support of other industry leaders and with the business mindset of “doing the right thing.” Now at 49 employees, we continue to operate as an exemplary registry and to offer a trusted digital identity for those dedicated to improving our world.

PIR have undertaken a number of initiatives to further the use of .org, and also make .org a a trusted domain space, acting deliberately to create a cleaner online environment. In 2019, they took two ground-breaking steps to help support a safer Internet. First, they launched their Quality Performance Index to improve the overall quality of the .ORG namespace which has since maintained and built trust across the .ORG Community. They have also led efforts, with other like-minded registries and registrars, to share joint practices that address abuses of the DNS, and in some instances, abusive website content through the “Framework to Address Abuse”.

In February 2021, PIR founded the DNS Abuse Institute to help provide the domain name community with tools and practices to combat and reduce DNS Abuse. The Institute already has launched two flagship initiatives to help address these issues: NetBeacon and DNSAI Compass. NetBeacon is a centralised reporting tool where anyone online can report DNS Abuse and it is routed to the appropriate registrar. DNSAI Compass is an initiative to measure phishing and malware across the Internet and to identify opportunities for addressing DNS Abuse.

The registry has also expanded. In 2012, PIR not only reached 10 million .ORG domains, but also secured .NGO, .ONG, and .ORG equivalents in other character sets (e.g., mandarin, cyrillic) called IDNs during ICANN’s new gTLD expansion. This year, PIR grew their family of domains with the addition of .CHARITY, .FOUNDATION and .GIVES, as well as .GIVING, a brand new extension that will soon be available to the public. These newly acquired TLDs are an opportunity for more mission-driven organisations to make the world a better place with known namespaces operated by an exemplary registry, registering domain names in TLDs that suit their organisation.

With 20 years of achievements, PIR say they’re excited to move forward into their next decade with a tremendous sense of energy and purpose. Their birthday celebration continues with the announcement of the winners of the fourth-annual .ORG Impact Awards on 15 November and launch .GIVING to the public on 20 January, 2023. There will also be a Request for Proposal for their Registry Service Provider contract in the first quarter of 2023. And says PIR, much more!

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