July 16, 2004

ICANN’s SSAC Reports on SiteFinder

Filed under: phone — Wendy @ 7:23 pm

ICANN’s Security and Stability Committee has prepared a full report (PDF) on the effects of VeriSign’s SiteFinder introduction last fall. Committee Chair Steve Crocker invites comments on CircleID.

The Committee’s primary focus is not Site Finder, per se. Rather, our focus is two-fold: that core registry operations were modified, thereby changing existing services, and that the change was introduced abruptly without broad notice, testing, refinement or community agreement.

In context, that’s pretty sharp criticism. SiteFinder broke several services, but more important, it undermined users’ trust that Internet services would work consistently and took away choices users had previously been able to make for themselves. Verisign has been permitted to reap monopoly windfalls ($6 per domain name) for maintaining the core databases for .com and .net domain name resolution. It should not be permitted to abuse its role by inserting its own responses where names have not been assigned.

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