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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

SiteFinder Is Leaking Data

I just discovered that VeriSign's SiteFinder Web site is leaking data submitted in Web forms to its marketing analysis partner, Omniture. Forms can easily contain personal information such as an email address. For the problem to occur, a Web form must use the GET method. This data spill problem occurs if a Web page anywhere on the Internet submits a Web form to an action URL with a misspelled or expired domain name. Because of VeriSign's recent controversial changes to the DNS system, this form data is submitted to the SiteFinder Web site.  more

PIR Opposes SiteFinder; Will Not Implement Similar Service for .ORG

Public Interest Registry, the .ORG registry operator, sent a letter today to ICANN President and CEO Paul Twomey concerning VeriSign's implementation of a DNS wildcard redirection service commonly known as SiteFinder. The letter says that it supports ICANN's call for VeriSign to voluntarily suspend SiteFinder and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) preliminary position paper. It goes on to say that PIR will not be implementing any DNS wildcard to the .ORG zone... more

It's "Verisign vs. Users"

But even if the collateral damage is left out of the picture, the very idea behind SiteFinder is user-unfriendly, and that's the second half of the ALAC's note: SiteFinder is, ultimately, about short-cutting other error handling methods, and redirecting any users that enter non-existing domain names into a web browser to Verisign's own service, for commercial purposes. SiteFinder is designed so it becomes difficult to deploy superior error handling services that would compete with it -- because errors aren't flagged. more

Go Daddy Sues VeriSign Over Site Finder

Go Daddy Software, Inc. has filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Arizona against VeriSign Inc., seeking a temporary restraining order against VeriSign's new Site Finder service, a paid-advertising page VeriSign has established on the Internet to which the traffic associated with mistyped, and other, domain names will be directed. Go Daddy's lawsuit claims that VeriSign is misusing its position as the .com and .net domain registry to gain an unfair competitive advantage by intercepting (and profiting from) internet traffic resulting from the scores of invalid domain names that are typed into users' browsers on a daily basis. more

Privacy and Trust Go Hand-In-Hand

A few days ago, Eric Goldman wrote an interesting thinkpiece in CircleID regarding users' feeling about privacy. He seems to conclude that the existent regulations and policies on the matter are unnecessary, since Privacy doesn't "really" matters to the consumer. Eric based his argumentation on a number of surveys, stating that, even when the user expresses concerns about their privacy, on line behavior shows a different reality. We don't want to discuss here the soundness of surveys as a reliable source of information, but the author could be assuming too much in his analysis. more

Why Site Finder is Breaking MS Outlook & Windows Networking Utilities

I have discovered that VeriSign's SiteFinder service breaks Microsoft's Outlook and Microsoft's Outlook Express email readers as well as many of the standard Windows Networking Utilities by providing misleading error messages, temporary lockups, and incorrect status information.  more

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