Verisign Threatens to Revive Hated ‘Site Finder’

Not again?

Washington Post, VeriSign Reconsiders Search Service: Stratton Sclavos, chief executive of VeriSign Inc., told investors in a conference call last month that the company might relaunch its “Site Finder” service as early as April.

[For background on why this matters, please see Sitefinder: The Biggest Internet Crisis You May Never Have Heard Of.]

VeriSign officials said they have taken pains to remedy any technological problems that Site Finder caused and maintained that Internet users benefit from the service.

“Site Finder was not controversial with users, 84 percent of whom said they liked it as a helpful navigation service,” said Tom Galvin, VeriSign’s vice president of government relations. “We continue to look at ways we can offer the service while addressing the concerns that were raised by a segment of the technical community.”

Galvin said that the continued opposition stems from “an ideological belief by a narrow section of the technological community who don’t believe you should innovate the core infrastructure of the Internet.”

ICANN will reserve judgment until VeriSign decides to relaunch Site Finder, said General Counsel John Jeffrey. VeriSign assured ICANN that it would give 60 to 90 days’ warning to resolve any remaining technological problems, Jeffrey said.

In the meantime, ICANN is waiting for a final report on Site Finder from its Security and Stability Advisory Committee. Committee Chairman Steve Crocker said he doubts that Site Finder can be changed enough that it won’t threaten the Internet’s underlying infrastructure.

“I thought people were relieved that they took it down and it’s hard to believe that there would be any quietness if they brought it back,” Crocker said.

[Cross posted at ICANNWatch.]

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