Monday, September 22, 2003

The grass is always greener, or something like that [Updated 9/23]

I'll admit that I always find it easier to solve someone else's problem than to make the hard decisions on my own problems and evidently I'm not alone. ICANN, perhaps trying to divert attention from its new agreement with the US Commerce Department, has now askedVeriSign to suspend its now redirection service for mis-typed .com and .net URLs. Whole hoards of folks are upset with Verisign - but most of them are upset because a) they didn't think of it themselves or (especially) b) they did think of it, but Verisign's move preempts them.

And anyone who calls what Verisign is doing "cybersquatting" is an automatic candidate for a good editor. Verisign is providing a service whereas cybersquatters claim unused "virtual estate" and attempt to hold it for ransom. If you can't get your terms right then I feel no compunction to listen to any of your argument.


Verisign has now politely told ICANN to mind their own business while the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), in a report released late last week, criticized Verisign but also revealed that a number of other top level domain administrators had previously instituted similar services - mostly in the country code domains (e.g., .US, .UK, .JP, etc.). So it isn't as if Verisign was setting a precedent.

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