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A predictable outcry

If users were made aware of the consequences of Site Finder, they would rebel. Forced to a site with no choice of other error-handling methods, they must adhere to a use policy they have not agreed to and have their information used or tracked without approval.

In response to the Oct. 16 Newsmakers interview with VeriSign CEO Stratton Sclavos by Charles Cooper, "The cultural divide and the Internet's future":

The outcry over Site Finder was predictable. The Internet is based on a set of rules and responses. DNS (the domain name system) is supposed to answer queries and not try to be "smart." Developers use these rules to design software and equipment. When the responses are erroneous, devices and software fail. It's simple.

The statistics Stratton Sclavos presented were preliminary and incomplete. Furthermore, VeriSign used a flawed methodology to determine it had no ill effects. They stated that users approved, and arrived at that conclusion because of the numbers who landed there. Excuse me, but users were forced by a redirect. If users were made aware of the consequences of Site Finder, they would rebel. Forced to a site with no choice of other error-handling methods, they must adhere to a use policy they have not agreed to, have their information used or tracked without approval, etc. There are myriad reasons to fear "innovation" at the core.

Consider if you typed "cnet.com" and were redirected to an obscure ICANN site or competitor's Web site? It's easily done by using a wild card in the root zone. Would this not be done if root servers were made commercial? Perhaps it's one reason for the U.S. government to not turn it over to ICANN?

VeriSign is taking a dangerous path leading to serious stability and choice issues for us all--not to mention that this global communications network now faces capture by the same special interests that also control ICANN.

Heaven help us.

Leah Gallegos
Virginia Beach, Va.