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[IP] VeriSign prepares to relaunch "Site Finder" -- calls technologists "biased"

  • From: Gregory Hicks
  • Date: Mon Feb 09 18:13:42 2004

 From Dave Farber's IP list...

VeriSign Reconsiders Search Service

"Site Finder was not controversial with users, 84 percent of whom said
they liked it as a helpful navigation service," said Tom Galvin,
VeriSign's vice president of government relations. "We continue to look
at ways we can offer the service while addressing the concerns that
were raised by a segment of the technical community."

Galvin said that the continued opposition stems from "an ideological
belief by a narrow section of the technological community who don't
believe you should innovate the core infrastructure of the Internet."

Critics also claim that VeriSign must run the domains as a public
trust, not a profit-making opportunity. VeriSign is the sole operator
of the dot-com and dot-net registries under a contract with ICANN.

"I don't begrudge them their profit, but someone in an effectively
regulated monopoly position shouldn't use their power for their own
profit, beyond the terms under which the community gave it to them,"
said Steven Bellovin, co-director of the Internet Engineering Task
Force's Security Area.

Paul Rothstein a law professor at Georgetown University and a paid
VeriSign consultant, said that the critics have some legitimate
objections but others are motivated by the scientific and technology
communities' "bias on policy."

Still, he added, it would be tough for VeriSign to win the public
relations war because its opponents are highly regarded technologists.

ICANN will reserve judgment until VeriSign decides to relaunch Site
Finder, said General Counsel John Jeffrey. VeriSign assured ICANN that
it would give 60 to 90 days' warning to resolve any remaining
technological problems, Jeffrey said.

In the meantime, ICANN is waiting for a final report on Site Finder
from its Security and Stability Advisory Committee. Committee Chairman
Steve Crocker said he doubts that Site Finder can be changed enough
that it won't threaten the Internet's underlying infrastructure.

"I thought people were relieved that they took it down and it's hard to
believe that there would be any quietness if they brought it back,"
Crocker said.


_____Related Coverage_____
VeriSign Service Spawns More Criticism 
(, Oct 7, 2003)

VeriSign Agrees To Shut Down Search Service 
(The Washington Post, Oct 4, 2003)
With Site Finder, VeriSign Sparks Internet-wide Criticism
(, Sep 25, 2003)

_____ICANN Headlines_____

Congress Eyes Internet Fraud Crackdown 
(, Feb 4, 2004)

XO Owner Again Bids For Telecom 
(The Washington Post, Jan 17, 2004)

U.N. Sets Aside Debate Over Control of Internet 
(The Washington Post,Dec 9, 2003)

Tech Policy Section


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Gregory Hicks                        | Principal Systems Engineer
Cadence Design Systems               | Direct:   408.576.3609
555 River Oaks Pkwy M/S 6B1          | Fax:      408.894.3400
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