Correction requested: VeriSign


Today, ELIZABETH OLSON relied upon press releases to write an article
about the VeriSign hijacking of the .com and .net domain name spaces.
The article contains a number of errors and misconceptions.

These are not "anecdotal and isolated issues". Network security
monitors raised the alarm worldwide during the day, many hours before
VeriSign admitted that they had made the change without any advance
notice to network operators (in a message to NANOG by "Matt Larson
<> Mon, 15 Sep 2003 19:24:29 -0400").

This action caused a valid technical Domain Name System (DNS) response
to disappear. That response is widely expected by software deployed
over 20 years.

The difficulties with wildcards in the DNS has been under discussion
for many months (and years) within the Internet Engineering community.
VeriSign should have known that this action would be a technical error
that would adversely affect the entire world.

The result was a meltdown at many smaller internet providers, saturated
links, overloaded mail servers, and lost mail. By extension, this cost
network operators worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars per day.

It should come as no surprise that there are now lawsuits seeking
class action status. Surprisingly however, that was not mentioned in
this article.

Nor is this "whether managing the Internet will be allowed to become
more commercial". VeriSign does not manage the Internet. VeriSign is
under contract with public entities (that do manage the Internet) to
register domain names as a public trust. They violated that trust.

This is not "innovation". This is Fisk and Gould attempting to corner
the market.

Although contacting a paid VeriSign spokesperson is obviously easier
than research among a diverse group of network operators, this leads to
a rather one-sided view. In the future, the New York Times might
consider using Internet resources, such as email, to contact competent
persons. In addition to ICANN, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
and/or the North American Network Operators Group (NANOG) are some
places that such technical assistance might be available.