Paul Mockapetris is not just a "DNS pioneer". He is the author of DNS. The Register is a bit closer, listing him as a co-author of DNS (along with Jon Postel of all things. Jon was many good things but he didn't co-author DNS, it was Paul alone who deserves the credit/blame).|
To the main point, it would be relatively simple to use a Pretty Good Privacy (PGP, or similar) key, even in WHOIS, to ascertain whether one is dealing with the entity that one thinks one is dealing with. I know Paul is dealing with this at a different level, and he has pushed this idea for at least a couple of years now. In fact I think I wrote about this for ICANNWatch and supported him (and still do). It becomes even more important with ICANN's WLS (Wait List Service). If one purchases another's Domain Name but cannot purchase another's unique signature then one cannot pass oneself off as another (assuming, and it is a very large assumption, that the end user can be educated on the difference, or, and this is more likely, someone programs a frontend that makes it seamless, ubiquitious, and idiot proof).
Regardless, much as I detest the present ICANN hegemony, so long as they don't artificially restrict unique identification strings (a bite that even ICANN couldn't chew), one might as well give them control of the process. As with everything good on the internet, one simply routes around ICANN as damage. -g