VeriSign Inc has come out swinging at the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers, calling the organization’s condemnation of VeriSign’s Site Finder service “misguided and wrong-headed”.
In a 95-page document published late last week, VeriSign criticized almost every aspect of a recently published ICANN report into Site Finder, which recommended that VeriSign should be prevented from offering the service.
ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee said that Site Finder, a $13m-a-year system that presented web surfers with a page of links and advertising when they misspelled a .com or .net domain, had substantial and destabilizing effects.
But VeriSign claims the SSAC report was based on foregone conclusions and did not present any evidence of such effects. The Report neither identifies any event of instability or any lack of security, the VeriSign response reads.
The SSAC report is thin on specific examples of problems caused by Site Finder, which essentially removed a certain type of error message from most of the DNS. Instead, the report talks about general principles of predictability and stability.
Instead of a quantitative assessment of Site Finder’s alleged ‘impact’ on the internet, the primary focus of the Report is on Site Finder’s alleged non-conformance with vague ‘internet engineering principles’, VeriSign wrote.
The SSAC report did concede that Site Finder did comply with the Internet Engineering Task Force’s DNS specifications, but said that that did not necessarily mean that the system was not detrimental to the internet.
The SSAC is also entwined in a lawsuit VeriSign filed against ICANN in February. In the suit, VeriSign describes SSAC’s volunteers as a conspiracy, saying it was loaded with competitors and drew its conclusions before evaluating the evidence.
[The] conclusions and recommendations do not follow from any evidence or technical analysis by SSAC, VeriSign claims. Rather, they derive from and reflect the purely personal philosophies and preferences of SSAC’s conflicted membership.
SSAC had no immediate comment yesterday. ICANN recently voted to confirm SSAC’s interpretations with the Internet Architecture Board, and resolved that no new Site Finder-like wildcard services should be introduced in the meantime.
VeriSign, which turned Site Finder off after two weeks last fall, has always said the service will return. The company said that when it does, it will give the internet community advanced notice.