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VeriSign: Unfair Play?

October 21, 2003 

VeriSign, which some say has a monopoly position as caretaker of Web domains, was hit with a lawsuit in September. The suit claims that VeriSign's new SiteFinder service inappropriately redirects wrongly named Web site addresses. The suit was filed in federal court by Popular Enterprises, which owns search engine site Netster and has a competing service called SmartBrowse.

Rather than indicating that a Web address doesn't exist by delivering a "404 errorPage Not Found" message, VeriSign handles mistyped domain addresses with .com and .net extensions by serving up redirect links to pay-for-placement sites. (For example, try going to www.cnnnn.net.) The paid links are essentially advertisements designed to take you to other sites.

"I can't think of anyone except VeriSign that this adds value for," says Paul Vixie, president of the Internet Software Consortium. "What it's doing is making sure that there is no such thing as a domain that does not exist. Reliable nonexistence is a very valuable property of the Domain Name System."

 

Details at: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1356464,00.asp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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