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SECSAC Special Meeting on Site Finder: A Technical Analysis

After attending the afternoon ICANN Security & Stability Committee meeting, I realized that the issues involved fall into several related but independent dimensions. Shy person that I am *Cough*, I have opinions in all, but I think it's worthwhile simply to be able to explain the Big Picture to media and other folks that aren't immersed in our field. In these notes, I'm trying to maintain neutrality about the issues. I do have strong opinions about most, but I'll post those separately, often dealing with one issue at a time. more

EDUCAUSE Prepares Mass Purge of .EDU Domains

EDUCAUSE, the exclusive registry operator and registrar of .edu domain names under a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, is preparing a mass purge of .edu domain names. The organization says it is part of the final phase in a year long project to improve the accuracy of the WHOIS database for the .edu space. more

The Aftermath: How ISPs Responded to Site Finder Around the World

During the 2+ weeks for which Site Finder was operational, a number of ISPs took steps to disable the service. A study just released reveals details and analysis, including specific networks disabling Site Finder during its operational period. For example, China blocked the traffic at its backbone, and Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom and Korea's DACOM also disabled the service. US ISPs seem to have been slower to act, in general -- but US ISP Adelphia disabled the service September 20-22 before re-enabling it on September 23. more

Status After 'Hurricane SiteFinder': Is It Over?

After roughly 19 days of its introduction, VeriSign's Site Finder service was finally shutdown on October 4, 2003 following a "Formal Deadline" issued by ICANN (previously reported here). With the plug pulled, the Internet appears to be returning to its regular status ending a historic event that can be best described as a 'Hurricane' -- a Cyber-Hurricane. What follows is a collection of commentaries and questions raised around the Net in response to this event during and after the final hours of VeriSign's deadline... more

Reaction to VeriSign's New 36-Hour Deadline

ICANN today has made a formal demand stating: "Given the magnitude of the issues that have been raised, and their potential impact on the security and stability of the Internet, the DNS and the .com and .net top level domains, VeriSign must suspend the changes to the .com and .net top-level domains introduced on 15 September 2003 by 6:00 PM PDT on 4 October 2003. Failure to comply with this demand by that time will leave ICANN with no choice but to seek promptly to enforce VeriSign's contractual obligations." What follows is a collection of commentaries made around the net and by experts in response to today's announcement...
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Can VeriSign Sue You Over SiteFinder?

Attention so far has been focusing on the ethics of the move (positively satanic), its effects on DNS and non-Web applications (Considered Harmful), and on possible technical responses (Software Aimed at Blocking VeriSign's Search Program). On the legal side of the fence, though, we're not just talking about a can of worms. We're talking about an oil drum of Arcturan Flesh-Eating Tapeworms. more

Online Registries: The DNS and Beyond

As the world grows more connected and more complicated, we all need ways of defining, identifying and keeping track of things and cross-referencing them with their owners. The simplest way to do that is with registries -- everything from the Domesday Book, a medieval registry of land, property and people; to current-day auto registries on the one hand and the worldwide Domain Name System on the other...But now, companies and organizations have to keep track of ever more things and people, not just inside their walls but across extended organizational boundaries. Call this new wrinkle an "external registry". Finally, they may want to interact with things and people, rather than just look them up, via an "active registry".  more

Principles for Internet Policy

Of all the candidates for the Democratic nomination, Howard Dean raised the most amount of money over the Internet. On March 15th, the Dean campaign launched the first official weblog in presidential campaign history, six days after Dean himself first stumped in the blogosphere. What follows are Dean's principles for Internet Policy.

This nation -- and not just this nation -- needs to have an honest conversation about what's real, possible and desirable when it comes to the gift of the Internet. Conversations need shared ground. Here are the beliefs we think should guide the development of a fact-based federal policy. We put these forward as part of a continuing Great American Conversation. more

Tangible Property: First Domain Lawsuit Filed After Federal Ruling

Storage specialist Optima Technology Corporation has filed a lawsuit against Network Solutions alleging that the registrar gave away its domain name without its permission causing damage to its business. The suit alleges that Network Solutions transferred ownership of its domain name "optimatech.com" to a former Optima employee Michael DeCorte, which has allowed him to redirect Optima's revenue to his possession. Optima claims that DeCorte along with another former employee Raymond Martin, used a fake webiste to divert Optima's revenue. more

3rd Lawsuit Against VeriSign; Seeks Class Action Status

A third lawsuit has been filed late Friday in a federal district court in California against VeriSign, Inc. over its controversial DNS wildcard redirection service known as SiteFinder. It was filed by the longtime Internet litigator Ira Rothken. In addition, while two other lawsuits have been filed by Go Daddy Software, Inc. and Popular Enterprises, LLC. in Arizona and Florida, this is the first lawsuit to seek class-action status. Here is an excerpt from the "Introduction" section of this class-action lawsuit... more

The Value of Trust in 2007

Applications and devices like cell phones, email, search engines, and automated programs handle the error messages differently; it would be naive for VeriSign to think only humans with browsers rely on DNS. When a user enters a non-exist domain name on their cell phone the DNS error message would prevent downloading. Now cell phones download VeriSign's SiteFinder webpage and Service Providers bill the cell phone user for that extra usage. SPAM prevention programs also rely on this error message to check to see if the domain is real. more

If Only Mike Knew

In the year 2000, Mike wanted "d.com" for his company website. After all, if you sneaked around these so called "reserved domains" long enough, you might be puzzled to see...say this at "x.com" or this at "z.com" or perhaps this at "q.com". As mysterious as this is, you can imagine Mike's disappointment after receiving the following email... more

President of Tucows in Response to SiteFinder

I have been thinking a lot about stewardship lately in my role as CEO of Tucows and how that relates to employees, a board of directors and investors. Where I've got to, which is not necessarily relevant for this post, is that stewardship needs to exist at EVERY level of a company and a life. With the recent dustup created by Verisign's new Sitefinder service it has crystallized for me what has always bothered me about the .com/.net registry and the way Verisign has approached it.
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Blacklists Down from Fear of DDoS

Yet another DNS blacklist has been taken down out of fear of the DDoS attacks that took down Osirusoft, Monkeys.com, and the OpenRBL. Blackholes.compu.net suffered a Joe-Job (A Joe-Job is essentially spam designed to look like it's coming from someone else.) earlier this week. Apparently the Joe-Jobing was enough to convince some extremely ignorant mail administrators that Compu.net is spamming and blocked mail from compu.net. Compu.net has also seen the effects of DDoS attacks on other DNS blacklist maintainers. They've decided that the risk to their actual business is too great and they are pulling the plug on their DNS blacklist before they come under the gun by spammers. more

Breaking the Internet's Consensus Rule

The Internet, ultimately, is a fragile thing, as an entity. It depends upon the consensus of those responsible for its infrastructure to operate on a daily basis. Because of the inherent robustness as a technical architecture, there is no entity that can "break the Internet" in the sense of stopping the flow of traffic, but there are several entities that can create a variety of inconveniences, some minor and some serious, for the millions who use the Internet. more

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