VeriSign made an interesting announcement this afternoon:
VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN – News), the leading provider of critical infrastructure services for the Internet and telecommunications networks, today announced that it will temporarily suspend its Site Finder, a new service to improve Web navigation for Internet users.
“Without so much as a hearing, ICANN today formally asked us to shut down the Site Finder service. We will accede to the request while we explore all of our options,” said Russell Lewis, executive vice president of VeriSign’s Naming and Directory Services Group. “During the more than two weeks that Site Finder has been operational, there is no data to indicate that the core operation of the Domain Name System or stability of the Internet has been adversely affected. ICANN is using anecdotal and isolated issues to attempt to regulate non-registry services, but in the interests of further working with the technical community we will temporarily suspend Site Finder.”
Launched September 15, Site Finder provides useful tools for Internet users who mistype a domain name or attempt to connect to a web site that doesn’t exist. Instead of receiving a cryptic error message, users receive a Web page that offers a search box, a “Did You Mean?” listing of similar domain names, and a listing of popular categories related to the search request. Through Thursday, Oct. 2, Site Finder has been used more than 40 million times by Internet users to get where they want to go online.
“The service has been well received by millions of Internet users who appreciate getting navigation tools as opposed to the ‘dead end’ of an error message,” added Lewis.
According to a follow-up report from Reuters,
Earlier on Friday, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers issued a statement insisting that VeriSign halt its SiteFinder service and restore the “.com” and “.net” Web domains to the way they were before Sept. 15, when VeriSign began the service.
ICANN gave VeriSign until 6 p.m. PDT (0100 GMT) to comply with the request or face sanctions for violating its contract with ICANN.
Interesting. I got caught in the SiteFinder web numerous times over the past few weeks and was wondering what was going on.