ICANN Could Replace VeriSign as Manager for .Net Top-Level Domain

January 19, 2005
With VeriSign’s contract about to expire as the manager for the .net top-level domain, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (icann.org), is now reviewing potential candidates for the job. While VeriSign could retain registry management with public support from both Sun Microsystems and Microsoft one has to wonder whether the recent furor over controversial VeriSign product Site Finder will sway ICANN to select one of the other candidates such as deNIC or Afilias.

In September of 2004 VeriSign released Site Finder which takes mistyped or mistaken requests for emails and websites and redirects them to a VeriSign server which responds with what VeriSign claims are helpful suggestions while ICANN and other groups such as the IAB worried over possible misuses from potential data mining to the simple question of fairness in taking a misdirected request and using it to advertise.

In October VeriSign voluntarily suspended its Site Finder product while many networks moved to block or patch the controversial product. Among those to block Site Finder was China.

With VeriSign initially showing a brazen disregard for the internet’s typically consensual governance of its infrastructure one has to wonder whether this will have any impact as ICANN mulls its decision on whether or not to retain VeriSign as manager for the one of the oldest and most highly used top-level domain name registries on the internet.

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