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The Internet Society Seeks to Make .ORG a Global Home for Non-Commercial Organizations

Announces Bid to Succeed VeriSign GRS as Registry Operator for .ORG

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- June 19, 2002 -- Today, the Internet Society (ISOC) announced that it has submitted a bid to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to succeed VeriSign Global Registry Services, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN) as the registry operator for the .ORG top-level domain (TLD). ICANN is currently seeking a new registry operator to assume control of the .ORG registry when its current agreement with VeriSign expires on December 31, 2002.

If ISOC's proposal is accepted by ICANN, ISOC will form a not-for-profit corporation, Public Interest Registry (PIR), which will operate as a fully separate corporation. ISOC has entered into an agreement with Afilias Limited, a global registry services provider, to provide PIR with a full range of back-end registry services if it is awarded the .ORG registry.

"ISOC's mission is to expand the Internet 'for the benefit of all the people of the world,' and as such, it is in a unique position to enable .ORG to flourish as a truly global home dedicated to serving the unique interests of non-commercial organizations on the Internet," according to ISOC CEO Lynn St. Amour. "ISOC is a strong contender because it has a global constituency that provides deep understanding of the policy and management issues facing .ORG. Additionally, ISOC has earned the respect of the Internet and non-commercial communities, assuring that policy and strategy for the .ORG domain will be effectively managed."

ISOC's global outreach enables it to work cooperatively with many other global organizations to create consensus around critical policy and standards issues. This network will enhance not only the voice of non-commercial entities within .ORG, but will enhance .ORG itself by creating an optimized domain for non-commercial interests. "As an inclusive, effective and diverse global body, ISOC, through PIR, is ideally suited to provide the organizational direction needed for .ORG to reach its full potential," said David Maher, ISOC Vice President for Public Policy.

Afilias is the registry operator for .INFO, currently manages more than 850,000 names, and has spearheaded the use of the new Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) standard for registry operations. "I have no doubt that PIR and Afilias can deliver 'best in class' registry services that will enhance the stability of the Internet, deliver affordable services with a high degree of service responsiveness and reliability, and enable .ORG to tap its global potential," said Afilias President and CEO Hal Lubsen.

ICANN is expected to announce the registry successor in August of 2002.

About ISOC
The Internet Society is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1991 to be the international focal point for global cooperation and coordination in the development of the Internet and has offices in Washington D.C and Geneva. Through its current initiatives in support of education and training, Internet standards and protocol, and public policy, ISOC has played a critical role in ensuring that the Internet has developed in a stable and open manner. For 10 years ISOC has run international network training programs for developing countries which have played a vital role in setting up the Internet connections and networks in virtually every country that has connected to the Internet.

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