|Introduced January 1, 1985; 32 years ago (1985-01-01)|
TLD type Generic top-level domain
Registry Public Interest Registry (technical service by Afilias)
Sponsor Not technically sponsored, but PIR is connected with the Internet Society
Intended use Miscellaneous organizations not fitting in other categories (generally noncommercial)
The domain name org is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) of the Domain Name System (DNS) used in the Internet. The name is truncated from organization. It was one of the original domains established in 1985, and has been operated by the Public Interest Registry since 2003. The domain was originally intended for non-profit entities, but this restriction was not enforced and has been removed. The domain is commonly used by schools, open-source projects, and communities, as well as by for-profit entities. The number of registered domains in org has increased from fewer than one million in the 1990s, to ten million as of June 2012.
The domain ".org" was one of the original top-level domains, with com, us, edu, gov, mil and net, established in January 1985. It was originally intended for non-profit organizations or organizations of a non-commercial character that did not meet the requirements for other gTLDs. The MITRE Corporation was the first group to register an org domain with mitre.org in July 1985. The TLD has been operated since January 1, 2003 by Public Interest Registry, who assumed the task from VeriSign Global Registry Services, a division of Verisign.
Registrations of subdomains are processed via accredited registrars worldwide. Anyone can register a second-level domain within org, without restrictions. In some instances subdomains are being used also by commercial sites, such as craigslist.org. According to the ICANN Dashboard (Domain Name) report, the composition of the TLD is diverse, including cultural institutions, associations, sports teams, religious, and civic organizations, open-source software projects, schools, environmental initiatives, social, and fraternal organizations, health organizations, legal services, as well as clubs, and community-volunteer groups. In some cases subdomains have been created for crisis management. Some cities, among them Rybnitsa  in Transnistria) also have org domain names.
Although organizations anywhere in the world may register subdomains, many countries, such as Australia (au), Japan (jp), Argentina (ar), Bolivia (bo), Uruguay (uy), Turkey(tr), Somalia (so), Sierra Leone (sl), Russia (ru), Bangladesh (bd), and the United Kingdom (uk), have established a second-level domain with a similar purpose under their ccTLD. Such second-level domains are usually named org or or.
In 2009, the org domain consisted of more than 8 million registered domain names, 8.8 million in 2010, and 9.6 million in 2011. The Public Interest Registry registered the ten millionth .ORG domain in June, 2012. When the 9.5 millionth .org was registered in December 2011, .org, became the third largest gTLD.
Internationalized domain names
The org domain registry allows the registration of selected internationalized domain names (IDNs) as second-level domains. For German, Danish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Swedish IDNs this has been possible since 2005. Spanish IDN registrations have been possible since 2007.
Domain name security
On June 2, 2009, The Public Interest Registry announced that the org domain is the first open generic top-level domain and the largest registry overall that has signed its DNS zone with Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). This allows the verification of the origin authenticity and integrity of DNS data by conforming DNS clients.
As of June 23, 2010, DNSSEC was enabled for individual second-level domains, starting with 13 registrars.
Cost of registration
The Public Interest Registry (PIR) charges its accredited registrars US $7.70 for each domain name. The registrars may set their charges to end users without restrictions.