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    Why it's time to rein in ICANN | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 5 comments | Search Discussion
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    Arrison doesn't understand the issues
    by KarlAuerbach on Tuesday December 02 2003, @12:05PM (#12709)
    User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
    It is extremely clear from the piece that its author, Arrison does not comprehend the technical issues.

    Sitefinder, because it breaks the end-to-end principle, represents a genetic poison to the internet of today and, if allowed to continue, would mutate the internet and severely impair its ability to grow and evolve.

    She equates sitefinder with the name lookup tools of a much more benign nature - Internet Explorer's "search" and Google. Those are more begnin precisely because they do not break the end-to-end principle.

    The article's conclusion - that ICANN might have to be removed - is valid. But not for the reasons the article uses.

    And I do not agree with the article's assertion that governmental powers should be exercised by private bodies - to my mind that train wreck of an ideology has shown for years that it is a fast-track path to abuse, manipulation, and injury to the public intererest.

    On the IETF mailing list, ICANN's Chairman has been trying to explain to the IETF how powerless ICANN is. That would be nice if it were true. ICANN has been telling the exact opposite story to businesses and governments, and ICANN's obligation to have such power is written right into ICANN's bylaws and its contract, oops, MoU with the US Department of Commerce.

    Imagine if ICANN were to stand up before WSIS next week and tell WSIS exactly what it has been telling the IETF - that ICANN has no power whatsoever over the operations of the DNS root servers or the IP address allocation system, that those functions are in the hands of people who can do as they chose and are subject to no enforceable obligations, no publicly created policy, and no review. My guess is that this would create a stampede to move not merely ICANN to the ITU but also to nationalize the root servers and the RIRs.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    I beg to differ...
    by finee on Tuesday December 02 2003, @12:29PM (#12710)
    User #2781 Info | http://www.FineE.com
    The article is in my opinion far from "insightful and well-written". It attempts to place ICANN in a very unfavorable light by ignoring the almost universal opposition to sitefinder in the Internet community and that several multimillion dollar lawsuits that were being launched. ICANN acted in response to this building opposition.

    An example of the clear bias here is the following comment

    "Consumers are far from complaining. VeriSign says that in its first week of operation, Site Finder's search tool was used more than 11 million times. And lost Web users used the "Did you mean?" function, which lists actual Web sites similar to the misspelled Web address, 1.6 million times to get to their intended online destination."

    Apart from only taking the point of view of Verisign the fact that someone used sitefinder does not mean they supported it or went to their intended online destination. In fact I used sitefinder to find out how Verisign's actions related to cyber-squatting. The process is simple

    1) Find a famous brand and a domain involving this brand that was not registered.

    2) Type in the domain into my browser to trigger sitefinder.

    3) Look for competitive products or services to the brand in question among the paid links.

    The business purpose of sitefinder was to redirect consumers to the paid links on the sitefinder page. This does not look much different to me than a cyber-squatter who registers a domain involving a famous brand and redirects this domain to a pay per click search engine. The consumer experience in both cases is almost identical.

    One can continue with numerous examples of why sitefinder was just a bad idea.

    There have been many legitimate criticisms of ICANN over the years but to rein in Verisign over sitefinder is not one of them.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    SiteFinder is worse that spam
    by GeorgeK on Tuesday December 02 2003, @01:30PM (#12711)
    User #3191 Info | http://www.kirikos.com/
    I'd love to see her solution to spam. :)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Domain hijacking is the offense, not SiteFinder
    by odonnell (michael_odonnell@acm.org) on Friday December 05 2003, @09:06AM (#12716)
    User #3447 Info | http://people.cs.uchicago.edu/~odonnell/
    I'm afraid that Verisign has already won a big piece of the debate when we discuss the quality of SiteFinder. Verisign's offense was not the creation of SiteFinder, it was the hijacking of all otherwise unallocated domain names in several zones. Other parties pay fees and subject themselves to trade-name challenges in order to control the mapping of domain names. Verisign is a broker charging a sort of comission, but Verisign does not own the unregistered names, and has no proper authority to assign them in any way, whether the assignment itself appears to be benign or harmful. Verisign did not, as Ms. Arrison suggested, act as a player in a free market. Rather, it bypassed the market and arrogated without payment powers that were supposed to be offered for sale.

    Mike O'Donnell
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]


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