After Collecting At Least $1.4 Million, IFFOR Funded By .XXX Finally Gives 2 Grants Of $5K Each

According to xBiz.com, IFFOR the non-profit which receives $1o from each registered .XXX domain name, has issued its first two grants, in the amount of  $5,000 each.

IFFOR stands for International Foundation for Online Responsibility and as I said is funded by .XXX domain name registrations and renewals.

Each time a .XXX domain is registered or renewed IFFOR gets $10 of the registration or renewal fee paid to the registrar.

According to the last monthly report ICM,  the operator of the .XXX registry filed with ICANN (September 2012) there just under 141,000 .XXX domain names registered (not counting the 10 year blocks) which would have generated over $1.4 million in fees for IFFOR for 2012.

Of course .XXX first renewals have now kicked in and although I haven’t seen any renewal stats we would expect that IFFOR would have now received in excess of $2.5 million in funding from .XXX registration and renewals.

Today IFFOR announced “”the first recipients of grants”” which were for “Two studies into online age verification and the abuse of newsgroups by those seeking child abuse images.

“Innovate Identity and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) will both receive $5,000 to fund research that will look into key aspects of online responsibility and provide reports in the second quarter of this year that IFFOR expects will further policy discussions in these areas”.

“Innovate Identity is an independent consultancy that will use IFFOR’s grant to create a white paper on best practices used in the digital economy for assuring the age of individual Internet users”.

“Increasingly, there are both business advantages and legislative requirements around identifying the age of users, but doing so presents a complex policy issue where technical requirements need to be balanced with ease-of-use and privacy”.

“The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) will use its grant from IFFOR to complete its research into how online newsgroups are used by those seeking child abuse images”.

“Both these grants will enable cutting-edge research into issues of online responsibility,” IFFOR chairman Clyde Beattie said. “These two were chosen by the grant committee of the policy council from a group of six applications. They represent an opportunity to provide real value to policy decisions, the Internet, and gTLDs in the future.”

I have not heard of any other grants being issued by IFFOR since its inception.

Worldwide Media, Inc, owned by the author of TheDomains.com, registered over 200 .XXX domain names in 2011 meaning that we “contributed over $2,000 to IFFOR.

TheDomains.com reached out to IFFOR chairman Mr. Beattie a few months ago and requested a detailed accounting of the funds it received.

Mr. Beattie declined to furnish TheDomains.com any financial information on its income or expenses for 2012.

Mr. Beattie further told TheDomains.com that IFFOR  “has no plans to release financial information accept as may be required by law”.

However here is what Mr. Beattie described to us as “some of the activities initiated and carried on by IFFOR in the past year”:

“”* Represented IFFOR at global conferences and briefings: Washington, London and Brussels as well as FOSI, INHOPE, Aspen Forum, ICANN, XBIZ EU, Webmaster Access
* Retained Metacert for labeling of all dot-xxx sites
* Engaged Ombudsman Services to engage with stakeholder communities as well as conduct audits of ICM’s compliance reporting system
* Staffed – Executive Director and Manager of Public Participation
* Established policy council – held an in-person, two-day meeting for all nine members; plus three online meetings
* Established two Policy Council working groups (Piracy & Censorship) who have participated in global initiatives
* Developed a grants program which is currently accepting applications.
* Engaged in a variety of operational matters including:
- Legal establishment of IFFOR as a 501(c)(4) non-profit
- Established and continue to develop the IFFOR website
- Held seven Board meetings to discuss various policy, compliance and other organizational matters
- Engaged Washington government relations firm
- Developed and submitted ICANN-required reports
- Produced marketing materials plus briefing guides on IFFOR and its work””

Comments

  1. says

    The “rules” are that they must file the IRS Form 990 within 5 months of a fiscal year end, but are allowed two extensions of up to 3 months each. Thus, the maximum time they can delay is 11 months past their fiscal year end. (I looked up those rules when demanding that ICANN produce its Form 990 statements)

    Guidestar.org will eventually scan it in (one can create a free account there), however, one can request it directly from IFFOR, to avoid the additional scanning lag:

    “In general, what public disclosure requirements apply to tax-exempt organizations?

    In general, exempt organizations must make available for public inspection certain annual returns and applications for exemption, and must provide copies of such returns and applications to individuals who request them. Copies usually must be provided immediately in the case of in-person requests, and within 30 days in the case of written requests. The tax-exempt organization may charge a reasonable copying fee plus actual postage, if any. The IRS must also make this same information publicly available.”

    It’s unclear when their fiscal year end is (Guidestar says they were founded in 2012), but eventually the information will come out. Just like ICANN, I’d expect it no earlier than the law requires.

  2. says

    BTW, reviewing the .xxx registry agreement, section 3.1(h) says:

    “(h) Certification. Every six months during the first year of the Term of this Agreement and annually thereafter, Registry Operator shall deliver to ICANN a certification executed by the chief executive officer of Registry Operator certifying as to Registry Operator’s compliance in all material respects with the terms of this Agreement (including the Appendices hereto). Such certification shall be accompanied by a non-confidential summary of the nature and quantity of complaints received and processed by Registry Operator in the previous reporting period in form and substance reasonably acceptable to ICANN, based on the most recent audit conducted by the International Foundation for Online Responsibility (“IFFOR”) Ombudsman pursuant to Registry Operator’s Compliance Reporting System in effect on the date hereof.”

    Since IFFOR isn’t being transparent with their financials, you can ask ICANN for those *non-confidential* reports that should have already been filed at least 2 or 3 times now. I wonder if they consider the Manwin case a “complaint”? :) If ICANN doesn’t give up the documents voluntarily, one can always file a DIDP request.

  3. sak says

    Mr. Beattie said that IFFOR has retained Metacert to label .xxx sites. However, it was my understanding that ICM had entered into an 8 million dollar contract with Metacert. It was my understanding that ICM is contractually required to label these sites–not IFFOR. So, shouldn’t that 8 million be coming out of ICM’s budget, not IFFOR’s? could one of you gentlemen clarify for me?

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