The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

28 September 2003

A VeriStupid move

Two weeks ago, the Internet registrar VeriSign began redirecting lookups for misspelled and nonexistent .com and .net domains to its own Site Finder page in a blatant attempt to snag some advertising revenue. Critics pointed out at the time that VeriSign was breaking some antispam services which checked for invalid domains: if a domain was reported as invalid, the email was marked as spam, and Site Finder doesn't report the same way.

ICANN subsequently asked VeriSign to quit screwing around, VeriSign refused, and now the lawsuits have begun.

The Register says that VeriSign's Site Finder revenue expectations are unrealistic, even if the service isn't eventually shut down by legal action and/or technical workarounds. For individual Webmasters, this whole affair will probably be seen as yet another reason not to trust VeriSign as a domain registrar.

(Disclosure: I own two domains, one of which is registered through VeriSign's Network Solutions subsidiary.)

Posted at 9:34 AM to PEBKAC