Lawsuits and Judicial Decisions VeriSign Sues ICANN
posted by michael on Thursday February 26 2004, @11:29AM

David McGuire reports in the Washington Post that VeriSign Sues Internet Regulatory Group. Pointers to the text of the complaint would be very welcomed.

The lawsuit reportedly attacks ICANN for purporting to have the contractual power to determine whether VeriSing can introduce the Waiting List Service (WLS), Site Finder and also the internationalized domain name system (wasn't that really an IETF decision?). I am told that the Department of Commerce is not named in the lawsuit, just ICANN.

Update: 02/26 22:20 GMT: VeriSign's Press Release

Update2: 0/26 22:50 GMT: Dow Jones reports that VeriSign's Claim against ICANN includes an anti-trust claim.

Here's the start of the Washington Post story:
The cold war for control over the Internet's address system erupted into open conflict today when VeriSign Inc., the world's largest addressing company, sued the Internet's most visible regulatory body, charging that it has been unfairly prevented from developing new services for Internet users.

VeriSign's lawsuit, filed in a Los Angeles federal court, claims that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) "has overstepped its authority by trying to become the regulator of the Internet," said VeriSign Vice President of Government Relations Tom Galvin.

For Jonathan Weinberg's analsysis of the Site Finder issue see his paper Sitefinder and Internet Governance and the earlier ICANNWatch item Why Verisign Isn't Worried. For a contrary view see Jonathan Zittrain's VeriSign's SiteFinder & ICANN Contracts--A Second Opinion.

Another Report Missing in Action | Links to VeriSign Complaint Against ICANN  >

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  Related Links  
· VeriSign/NSI
· Sitefinder and Internet Governance
· Why Verisign Isn't Worried
· VeriSign's SiteFinder & ICANN Contracts--A Second Opinion
· VeriSign Sues Internet Regulatory Group
· VeriSign's Press Release
· VeriSign's Claim against ICANN includes an anti-trust claim
· More Lawsuits and Judicial Decisions stories
· Also by michael
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Update 3
by michael ( on Thursday February 26 2004, @01:16PM (#13028)
User #4 Info |
Loren Weinstein says []:
Now we're faced with a "Godzilla vs. Mothra" battle, where the Internet -- and its users -- will likely take the brunt of the collateral damage.

VeriSign acts as if the Internet is its personal garden ripe for picking, while ICANN (notwithstanding being on the correct side of the VeriSign "Site Finder" battle so far) is largely responsible for leading us into these kinds of messes in the first place.

[ Reply to This | Parent ]
  • Re:Update 3 by jimrutt Friday February 27 2004, @08:41AM
A True Battle of Evils
by dmehus on Thursday February 26 2004, @01:34PM (#13029)
User #3626 Info |
ICANN has made numerous unpopular decisions throughout its corporate life. So has VeriSign. This is truly a battle of two evils. Which one is the lesser evil, in your opinion?

In my own personal view, I do hope ICANN emerges from this lawsuit as the "victor". If VeriSign were to win its request for an injunction against ICANN, and on the broader claim that ICANN "unlawfully transformed itself from a technical coordination body to the de-facto Internet regulator," I feel it would have far-reaching implications for all of us. It would effectively muzzle ICANN and give VeriSign free reign to do as it pleases with the Internet -- at least until a legislative change was made, such as making ICANN into a government regulatory agency similar to the FCC. Mind you, that might be a good thing. It might force the Bush administration's conservative laissez-faire approach to Internet governance to get a dramatic overhaul and become more regulatory. Another plus to ICANN becoming a taxpayer-funded government regulatory body, it could keep its acronym and be enshrined into law as the Internet Commission for Assigned Names and Numbers. Or, it could become the Internet Naming and Numbering Agency -- or INNA.

Nonetheless, this will be a bitter battle.

It also has high stakes for VeriSign. If VeriSign is unsuccessful, it will almost certainly ensure that the dot-net gTLD is redelegated to a new operator later this year.

My take,
Doug Mehus
Global Member, Internet Society []
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