ICANN gets serious about SiteFinder

This letter from the CEO of ICANN to the General Manager of
Verisign insists that the latter deactivate their SiteFinder service
by 6 PM PDT (GMT-0700) on October 4th. I’m pleased to see that they’ve
decided to take positive action on this instead of just hoping, because
it seemed pretty clear that Verisign wasn’t going to voluntarily shut
it down.

(For those just tuning in, SiteFinder is
a controversial cash grab service that Verisign has recently
implemented in the .com and .net TLDs which, when one tries to look
up an address in the DNS that does not exist, returns the address of
one of Verisign’s own systems which then presents a paid-results
search engine. The general consensus of network operators was that
this broke things badly by not returning an error when an error should
occur and that they were unfairly taking advantage of their limited
monopoly on those TLDs. Earlier responses by ICANN were weakly-worded
requests to disable SiteFinder which Verisign ignored.)