This is a statement of Public Interest Registry’s position with regard to demands and requests for the takedown of domains registered in our registries.
Public Interest Registry, as a registry operating as a nonprofit corporation, has a special obligation to serve the public interest. Public Interest Registry knows that the Internet is making a difference in people’s lives, and especially in countries that are moving towards greater democracy and freedom. Public Interest Registry believes that domain registrants are entitled to due process when domains are the subject of claims of violation of law.
Every registrant of a domain name in the .ORG, .NGO, .ONG, .орг, .机构, and .संगठन domains has a contract with the registrar of its name. Among the provisions required in this contract is the following:
“[Registrant] acknowledge[s] and agree[s] that Public Interest Registry reserves the right to deny, cancel or transfer any registration or transaction, or place any domain name(s) on registry lock, hold or similar status, that it deems necessary, in its discretion; (1) to protect the integrity and stability of the registry; (2) to comply with any applicable laws, government rules or requirements, requests of law enforcement, or any dispute resolution process; (3) to avoid any liability, civil or criminal, on the part of Public Interest Registry, as well as its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, and employees; (4) per the terms of the registration agreement or (5) to correct mistakes made by Public Interest Registry or any Registrar in connection with a domain name registration. Public Interest Registry also reserves the right to place upon registry lock, hold or similar status a domain name during resolution of a dispute.”
When law enforcement agencies require action in connection with .ORG, .NGO, .ONG, .орг, .机构, and .संगठन domains, Public Interest Registry cooperates to the fullest extent consistent with the Principles and Goals of the Internet Society and the legal obligations of Public Interest Registry as manager of a top level domain registry. For purposes of transparency, a record of law enforcement seizure demands is kept on Public Interest Registry web site.
When other third parties make demands for take down of .ORG, .NGO, .ONG, .орг, .机构, and .संगठन domains, Public Interest Registry responds to the orders of courts with jurisdiction over Public Interest Registry.
Public Interest Registry is a U.S. Company subject to U.S. law. When a U.S. Court Order requires a domain(s) to be locked, Public Interest Registry is required to lock the domain and will keep it locked until further order of the Court, including before, during and after auto-renewal. Due to the sheer volume of court orders Public Interest Registry must comply with, our policy is that Public Interest Registry does not issue refunds when renewal fees are incurred as a result of court orders.
In connection with privacy issues arising from the public character of WHOIS data, Public Interest Registry believes that registrants, including organizations, are entitled to fundamental rights of personal privacy. Privacy protection should include the availability of proxy registrations or tiered access to WHOIS, or both. At the same time, proxy registration and tiered access should be structured to provide information on registrants for the legitimate needs of law enforcement and to promote consumer trust.