Verisign shuts down SiteFinder

The controvertial SiteFinder service run by Verisign has been shut down. Verisign has been given authority to administer the popular .com, .net and .org top level domains (TLD), and last month, they launched a so-called “Wildcard” service so that misspelled domain names would be directed to their search engine.

The move caused havoc for those using the web, breaking spam filters and domain validation code. Verisign’s move “caused other Internet entities to make hasty, possibly mutually incompatible and possibly deleterious (to the Internet as a whole) changes to their own operations in an attempt to react to the change”.

The company recieved a request from ICANN (the non-profit group that has the right to assign TLD authority) to voluntarily terminate the service. When Verisign refused, ICANN insisted that they remove the service by 9PM et Saturday, or face sanctions. Verisign backed down and shut off the service.

Kudos to ICANN for first giving Verisign the option of shutting down voluntarily, and again for stepping it up when that option wasn’t taken.


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