Re: [IP] VeriSign prepares to relaunch "Site Finder" -- calls technologists "biased"

From: Chris Woodfield (no email)
Date: Mon Feb 23 2004 - 11:31:20 EST


At the ISP level, there's nothing inherently wrong with this, IMO; AOL and MSN do it
already, as does Microsoft. If your customers don't like it, they are capable
of voting with their checkbooks, particularly with dial service; with cable and
DSL, the waters are a bit muddier because a cable ISP or LEC could have a captive
audience.

Verisign's crime against the internet was forcing SiteFinder upon the ENTIRE
internet, like it or not, and in the process abusing a resource that had been placed
in their care with the trust that it would not be abused for profit.

-C

On Mon, Feb 23, 2004 at 10:58:39AM -0500, Randall Pigott wrote:
>
> I am curious what the operational impact would be to network operators if,
> instead of Verisign using SiteFinder over all com and net, Verisign or
> their technology partner for SiteFinder began coercing a large number of
> independent ISPs and network operators to install their form of DNS
> redirection at the ISP-level, until all or most of the end-users out there
> were getting redirected.
>
> We have been approached by a guy named Mark Lewyn, president Paxfire, Inc.,
> the company he claims created the SiteFinder technology and offerred it to
> Verisign. Based here in the Washington DC area, he now also wants
> individual ISPs to implement his technology of redirection to a web page
> for unknown domains as a means of earning click-through revenue, and will
> split the take 50/50 "when Paxfire gets paid"
>
> As a network operator of a fair-sized regional ISP, as well as operators of
> arguably the least-expensive nationwide wholesale dial platform for other
> ISPs to gain nationwide access, we have been approached by Mr. Lewyn on
> behalf of his company Paxfire Inc. He wants our company to come have
> meetings at his law firm's offices, consider accepting and implementing his
> technology at our local DNS server level, and then supposedly share in the
> rich profits when customers get redirected, possibly to web pages featuring
> click-through banner ads. He says that this is the exact same techology
> (more accurately, he said that it was evolved one step further, I think)
> that he sold or licensed to Verisign and that Verisign refers to as
> SiteFinder.
>
> Until now, the identity of the technology and marketing partner who created
> SiteFinder has been kept very confidential, so I was surprised to learn
> that Mr. Lewyn's company Paxfire Inc. was indeed that partner!
>
> Further, he claims that Vint Cert himself thinks it is a great idea at the
> ISP level to do this, and is one of his advisory board supporters.
>
> Naturally, with the fracas of last Sept 2003, we are hesitant to give up
> any negative caching, essential anti-spam techniques, and suffer other
> disruptions that such a redirection service may generate within our
> networks whenever a non-existent domain request results in a redirection.
>
> Is there concern to be raised by network operators over such schemes if
> deployed at the individual ISP level, particularly if such technology
> becomes widespread?
>
> Before considering meeting with these guys, we would like to solicit the
> opinions of this list to be better equipped to say "no" if indeed "no" is
> the right operational and technological decision for the integrity of our
> nationwide networks and our interconnection outwards to the rest of the
> world's networks.
>
> Thanks most sincerely,
>
> Randall Pigott
>
> At 06:11 PM 2/9/2004, you wrote:
>
> > From Dave Farber's IP list...
> >
> > ---------------------------
> >
> >
> >http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25819-2004Feb9_2.html
> >
> >VeriSign Reconsiders Search Service
> >
> >"Site Finder was not controversial with users, 84 percent of whom said
> >they liked it as a helpful navigation service," said Tom Galvin,
> >VeriSign's vice president of government relations. "We continue to look
> >at ways we can offer the service while addressing the concerns that
> >were raised by a segment of the technical community."
> >
> >Galvin said that the continued opposition stems from "an ideological
> >belief by a narrow section of the technological community who don't
> >believe you should innovate the core infrastructure of the Internet."
> >
> >Critics also claim that VeriSign must run the domains as a public
> >trust, not a profit-making opportunity. VeriSign is the sole operator
> >of the dot-com and dot-net registries under a contract with ICANN.
> >
> >"I don't begrudge them their profit, but someone in an effectively
> >regulated monopoly position shouldn't use their power for their own
> >profit, beyond the terms under which the community gave it to them,"
> >said Steven Bellovin, co-director of the Internet Engineering Task
> >Force's Security Area.
> >
> >Paul Rothstein a law professor at Georgetown University and a paid
> >VeriSign consultant, said that the critics have some legitimate
> >objections but others are motivated by the scientific and technology
> >communities' "bias on policy."
> >
> >Still, he added, it would be tough for VeriSign to win the public
> >relations war because its opponents are highly regarded technologists.
> >
> >ICANN will reserve judgment until VeriSign decides to relaunch Site
> >Finder, said General Counsel John Jeffrey. VeriSign assured ICANN that
> >it would give 60 to 90 days' warning to resolve any remaining
> >technological problems, Jeffrey said.
> >
> >In the meantime, ICANN is waiting for a final report on Site Finder
> >from its Security and Stability Advisory Committee. Committee Chairman
> >Steve Crocker said he doubts that Site Finder can be changed enough
> >that it won't threaten the Internet's underlying infrastructure.
> >
> >"I thought people were relieved that they took it down and it's hard to
> >believe that there would be any quietness if they brought it back,"
> >Crocker said.
> >
> ><SNIP>
> >
> >_____Related Coverage_____
> >?
> ><http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles//wp-dyn/articles/A57670-2003Oct7.html>
> >VeriSign Service Spawns More Criticism
> >(washingtonpost.com, Oct 7, 2003)
> >
> ><http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles//wp-dyn/articles/A42107-2003Oct3.html>
> >VeriSign Agrees To Shut Down Search Service
> >(The Washington Post, Oct 4, 2003)
> >?
> ><http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles//wp-dyn/articles/A64437-2003Sep25.html>
> >With Site Finder, VeriSign Sparks Internet-wide Criticism
> >(washingtonpost.com, Sep 25, 2003)
> >
> >_____ICANN Headlines_____
> >
> ><http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles//wp-dyn/articles/A13538-2004Feb4.html>
> >Congress Eyes Internet Fraud Crackdown
> >(washingtonpost.com, Feb 4, 2004)
> >
> ><http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles//wp-dyn/articles/A23641-2004Jan16.html>
> >XO Owner Again Bids For Telecom
> >(The Washington Post, Jan 17, 2004)
> >
> ><http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles//wp-dyn/articles/A47327-2003Dec8.html>
> >U.N. Sets Aside Debate Over Control of Internet
> >(The Washington Post,Dec 9, 2003)
> >
> ><http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/technology/techpolicy>
> >Tech Policy Section
> >
> >-------------------------------------
> >
> >Archives at: http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/
> >
> >
> >------------- End Forwarded Message -------------
> >
> >
> >-------------------------------------------------------------------
> >Gregory Hicks | Principal Systems Engineer
> >Cadence Design Systems | Direct: 408.576.3609
> >555 River Oaks Pkwy M/S 6B1 | Fax: 408.894.3400
> >San Jose, CA 95134 | Internet:
> >
> >"The trouble with doing anything right the first time is that nobody
> >appreciates how difficult it was."
> >
> >When a team of dedicated individuals makes a commitment to act as
> >one... the sky's the limit.
> >
> >Just because "We've always done it that way" is not necessarily a good
> >reason to continue to do so... Grace Hopper, Rear Admiral, United
> >States Navy
>
>
>










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