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VeriSign, Hero To the Spammers

VeriSign has been entrusted as the authoritative directory provider for all .com and .net domains, and its behavior this year has violated that trust.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time VeriSign has been in trouble with the Internet community, IAB (Internet Architecture Board) and ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). In January, the company made changes to the .com and .net domain name servers that violated DNS protocols (see www.iab.org/Documents/icann-vgrs-response.html), making protocol-to-protocol problem solving difficult.

ICANN has called upon VeriSign to suspend its Site Finder service until a solution in the best interest of all parties can be found. VeriSign has refused. Meanwhile, the owners of the Netster.com search service, which relies on mistyped URLs for generating leads, have sued VeriSign for $100 million. And Internet users have asked ICANN to intervene (www.whois.sc/verisign-dns/). Among the temporary workarounds, the ISC, which makes the BIND software that runs on most domain-name servers, has released a patch for BIND that lets you declare .net and .com zones as delegation only, thus forcing DNS servers to return nonexistent domain for all unknown servers.

VeriSign has been entrusted as the authoritative directory provider for all .com and .net domains, and its behavior this year has violated that trust. Maybe it's time for a change.

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