October 3, 2003 2:49 PM   Subscribe

High noon showdown on the Internet. Well, 6:00 p.m. showdown, anyway. "For all these reasons, ICANN has today insisted that VeriSign suspend the SiteFinder service, and restore the .com and .net top-level domains to the way they were operated prior to 15 September 2003. If VeriSign does not comply with this demand by 6:00 PM PDT on 4 October 2003, ICANN will be forced to take the steps necessary to enforce VeriSign's contractual obligations." (via Spinnoff, and a followup to this post and this one.)
posted by UKnowForKids (26 comments total)
Thank God. Let's see this madness ended once and for all.
posted by Ryvar at 2:55 PM on October 3, 2003

Verisign should have their registrar privileges revoked for this one. Time and time again they have abused their powers over the DNS system. Now that registrars are a dime a dozen, it is time to replace Verisign.
posted by sreilly at 3:02 PM on October 3, 2003

More importantly, Verisign agreed to comply.
posted by hyperizer at 3:03 PM on October 3, 2003

I don't know... while I don't think that verisign should be allowed to have their name on the page anywhere, I do believe that it is a good service for when I or others type in a domain name that does not exist.
posted by demannu at 3:04 PM on October 3, 2003

ICANN did its job? Especially vis a vis the big bully Verisign?

*checks temperature in hell*
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:07 PM on October 3, 2003

Meanwhile, still redirects to the offending page. Move faster, you bastards!
posted by UKnowForKids at 3:08 PM on October 3, 2003

Sure, demannu, it's lovely for people who a) don't already know how to find a decent search engine and b) read English. But it's not so good for people who a) prefer not to have their time wasted loading stupid VeriSign crap or b) don't read English. And those issues are purely from an end user typing URLs into a browser perspective. The technical problems it causes for people who try to use DNS for the many things DNS does besides let you load web pages are myriad.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:13 PM on October 3, 2003

I love the statement in their Terms of Service on the redirect pages:


How does one discontinue a service one is not given a choice on using in the first place, at least as far as redirects go?
posted by troybob at 3:59 PM on October 3, 2003

i love the cnn article, the last line of which states "VeriSign's SiteFinder service has been used more than 40 million times by Internet users in just over two weeks, Galvin said."

how many of them chose to use it?
posted by quonsar at 4:01 PM on October 3, 2003

So this “timely, transparent and predictable procedure for the introduction of new registry services” that’s now to be introduced — is that just face-saving for VeriSign, or is that what they were bargaining for all along?
posted by ook at 4:23 PM on October 3, 2003

I hate VeriSign/NetSol. They are so inept. The only internet "entity" I despise more is spammers. Years ago I lost due to their incompetance. I so wish their registrar previlages would be revoked.
posted by dobbs at 4:30 PM on October 3, 2003

troybob, great points - I'm finding that I get a different "page" today than I did earlier this morning, but it's still on verisign's servers - they "complied" but it's still a joke. I'll take a 404 or an error anytime - they're not the boss of me.

As for complying to something you didn't want to do in the first place, do they really think they OWN the Internet, or does it just read that way? Get a grip, fools.
posted by djspicerack at 4:45 PM on October 3, 2003

Hey, wait...I think I'm the one who patented timely, transparent and predictable procedure for the introduction of new registry services.
posted by troybob at 4:56 PM on October 3, 2003

hmmm... it's after 6:00 and is still resolving to sitefinder...
posted by kaefer at 6:04 PM on October 3, 2003

ahh, oct. 4. Never mind, carry on...
posted by kaefer at 6:08 PM on October 3, 2003 I would have never known...
posted by monkeymike at 7:10 PM on October 3, 2003

I don't think Verisign should be removed from its position of privelege in the registry system just for doing this. There are plenty of other reasons to get rid of them.

If ICANN was really doing their job, Verisign would've lost the contract long ago.

Removing them as a registrar wouldn't be necessary, btw. Without the advantages they get from controlling the root servers, there's no way they could continue to compete in the domain registration business. Even as it is they may be having a hard time. (A quick check on clearstation tells me that although they're still making enormous revenues, they haven't had a profitable quarter in years. Not that that's so unusual these days.)
posted by sfenders at 7:35 PM on October 3, 2003

I had to do some graphic design work for Verisign/NetSol/.NAME a little while ago. They were the most annoying client I've had in a long time.

They bitched about literally everything (especially about their own recommendations), changed scope a hundred times, and required revision upon revision until the project was so far past deadline that they couldn't justify playing creative director to their bosses anymore.

I called up for a conference call one afternoon - twas supposed to be 5 gals and me discussing the project. I got patched through to their meeting room and learned that so-and-so was running late. I then sat on speakerphone for twenty minutes listening to these women talk about who was hottest on TRL - and which was better: alt-country or pop music. "OMG, Justin Timberlake is looking hot these days."

Oh, and there's the other time they asked us to host one of their marketing initiatives: they were going to forward people to a website on our box to verify special offer e-coupons. We bought 2 new servers to handle the load (a 3 month initiative), intending to use the servers ourselves afterwards - we'd make a small profit and get 2 new servers out of the deal. They pulled the plug at the last second leaving us out several thousand dollars. Granted, we got the new servers that we certainly needed, but we wouldn't have purchased them without the deal that was going to help pay for them.

That's all I got. Just venting.
posted by Hankins at 8:50 PM on October 3, 2003

If you'll pardon me for saying so, what we need here is a good old-fashioned frog march.
posted by soyjoy at 10:28 PM on October 3, 2003

What happended to MetaLifter?
posted by wendell at 3:04 AM on October 4, 2003

" could not be found. Please check the name and try again."
posted by wobh at 8:12 AM on October 4, 2003

How does one discontinue a service one is not given a choice on using in the first place, at least as far as redirects go?
Upgrade your local copy of bind (or other favoured DNS server if you're weird) to support delegation-only zones; sitefinder and similar services on other TLD's magically disappear, to be replaced by the True and Mighty NXDOMAIN once more.

What do you mean you don't have a local DNS server? Pfft, next you'll be telling me you don't run your own smtpd...
posted by Freaky at 10:27 AM on October 4, 2003

t r a c y sent me the link to the story, and I hesitated about posting a new fpp, because I though 3 posts in a row on the same topic might be over the top...but I'm thrilled to see everyone else on it. Yay y'all. :)
posted by dejah420 at 11:06 PM on October 4, 2003

demannu, the problem with sitefinder was simple.

Imagine you mail a letter to someone. Unfortunately, you address it to the wrong country, street, or city. Normally, if you put a return address on the envelope (you did, right?) you'd get the letter back saying "No such address". Darn, you think, I'd better phone them up and see where I went wrong.

With sitefinder, mail like this is opened and read by the mailman, after which it is shredded (but not if you send two messages in the same envelope -- it's a "bug" in their service). No message is sent back to you. Instead, you recieve an advertisement in the mail stating "Having trouble finding your friends? Why not send us a list of names and we'll see what our trained monkeys can look up from the card catalogue!".

Let's also imagine phone directory assistance that, if you asked for a name that doesn't exist, just gave you a "generic" phone number rather than "Sorry, the person you are trying to reach does not exist".

There's a million other reasons why what verisign did broke the internet.
posted by shepd at 1:23 AM on October 5, 2003

I was surprised to see this pro-VeriSign puff piece.
posted by Zurishaddai at 5:46 PM on October 6, 2003

I was surprised to see this pro-VeriSign puff piece.

You were? Did you read the biography at the end?
posted by hoborg at 1:33 PM on October 11, 2003

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