Letter from Internet Society to Paul Twomey
Dr. Paul Twomey
President & CEO
4676 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
September 26, 2003
On Monday, September 15, VeriSign launched a new service called Site Finder. This service redirects incorrectly typed URL’s to a VeriSign-operated website. Unfortunately, Site Finder was implemented with little or no consultation with the Internet technical community and without a thorough examination of how it might affect the stability of the Internet nor how it might impact other services that depend upon the domain name system. (For details, see a recent commentary by the Internet Architecture Board at (http://www.iab.org/documents/docs/2003-09-20-dns-wildcards.html).
This violates many of the architectural principles that have so successfully supported the phenomenal growth of the Internet to date. Not to heed these principles or the advice of numerous expert technical Internet groups is extremely irresponsible and is putting the stability of the Internet at considerable risk.
A survey of Internet Society chapters and Internet Society Advisory Council members found strong disapproval for VeriSign's actions and strong support for the statements by:
- The Internet Architecture Board
- ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee
- The Public Interest Registry
Further, if Site Finder is not suspended, the Internet Society expects to see an increasing number of efforts to develop and deploy software that will "work around" the Site Finder service so that it does not disrupt applications such as spam filters. Unfortunately, while these work-arounds may allow users to bypass Site Finder, some of them may also impact the stability of the network.
The Internet Society is calling upon VeriSign to voluntarily suspend the Site Finder service until they have adequately addressed the concerns of the Internet technical community.We find their current position untenable; the concerns are too numerous and the implications too grave to be ignored. We support ICANN and the United States Department of Commerce taking appropriate action to ensure that VeriSign withdraws the service until adequate consultations have been taken with the Internet technical community.
Lynn St. Amour, President/CEO
cc: John Jeffrey, General Counsel, ICANN
Tina Dam, Chief Registry Liaison, ICANN
Russell Lewis, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Naming and Directory Services, VeriSign