The cooperative has seven directors leading the charge, including ICANN founding chairman Esther Dyson and Wikimedia Foundation CEO Katherine Maher. It's also supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which finds the domain's turnover to a commercial venture "highly inappropriate."
Together, the directors are hoping they can convince ICANN to block the deal and to hand them control of the .org domain. They're looking to make sure that the domain is managed securely and that it does not become a tool for censorship. "This (the cooperative) is a better alternative," Dyson said in a statement. "If you're owned by private equity, your incentive is to make a profit. Our incentive is to serve and protect nonprofits and the public."
The deal's critics are worried that Ethos Capital, a newly formed company, would raise prices, skimp on services and sell users' data in order to recover the $1 billion it's paying for .org's control -- especially since the domain is mostly used by nonprofits.