Feeds

ICANN demand sees VeriSign pull SiteFinder

Once more unto the breach

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

VeriSign has pulled its controversial SiteFinder application after ICANN demanded in a formal statement and letter that the company shut it down by Saturday or face the consequences.

In an official statement and a letter to VeriSign’s general manager Russell Lewis on Friday, the overseeing organisation accused VeriSign of disrupting the DNS (the Internet’s underlying technology) and breaching its contracts.

"VeriSign's actions are not consistent with its contractual obligations under the .com and .net registry agreements. The contractual inconsistencies include, violation of the Code of Conduct and equal access obligations agreed to by VeriSign, failure to comply with the obligation to act as a neutral registry service provider, failure to comply with the Registry-Registrar Protocol, failure to comply with domain registration limitations, and provision of an unauthorized Registry Service," the statement read.

ICANN president and CEO Paul Twomey made clear his displeasure: "ICANN is disappointed
that VeriSign has not suspended the service despite the widespread reports of adverse effects from these changes. Although ICANN takes this step reluctantly, we are left with no choice but to enforce the provisions of our contract with VeriSign."

The decision by VeriSign to introduce the "service" which points all traffic to unused domains to its own webpage has seen widespread criticism and three lawsuits.

"Without so much as a hearing, ICANN today formally asked us to shut down the SiteFinder service," said Russell Lewis in a statement. "We will accede to the request while we explore all of our options." Somewhat rich considering VeriSign introduced SiteFinder without consulting a soul.

Of course this is all much more than a simple argument over SiteFinder. With ICANN given a three-year extension on its contract with the US government and a recent reorganisation under new head Twomey, the Internet is about to embark on its most significant transistion since ICANN was formed. By the end of those three years, ICANN will most likely be left in sole charge of running the Internet and VeriSign - which predated ICANN and built the Net’s foundations - is trying to stamp its authority early on.

It is to Twomey's credit that he came out all guns blazing. This is the first big battle between the most powerful Internet company - VeriSign essentially owns and runs all non-country domains - and the organisation that plans to become its boss. There will be other battles but this one may well set the course for things to come.

That VeriSign has backed down is possibly an indication that it was surprised by the stength of ICANN's attack. It is clear that Twomey means business. It is also interesting since VeriSign looked set to embark on a stalling legal action. It is legendary for refusing to budge even against the most fierce criticism.

Whether ICANN would be able to tackle VeriSign head on is still very unclear. The decision to remove SiteFinder will also strengthen ICANN's hand. Possibly VeriSign - after numerous and widespread criticism on a whole range of issues - has finally learnt some humbleness and has decided to pick its fights more wisely. Only time will tell.

Related links
ICANN statement
Twomey letter to Lewis

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.