[alac] FW: [alac-admin] FYI: Associated Press - Software released to neutralize controversial navigation service
-----Original Message----- From: Roberto Gaetano [mailto:alac_liaison@xxxxxxxxxxx] Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2003 1:15 AM Subject: Re: [alac-admin] FYI: Associated Press - Software released to neutralize controversial navigation service ...re-post it in the public list, please? -----Original Message----- > >September 16, 2003, Tuesday, BC cycle > >SECTION: Business News > >LENGTH: 523 words > >HEADLINE: Software released to neutralize controversial navigation service > >BYLINE: By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Internet Writer > >DATELINE: NEW YORK > >BODY: > > The developer of software that essentially guides Web surfers sought >Tuesday > >to neutralize a controversial service designed to help users who mistype > >Internet addresses. > > The Internet Software Consortium, the nonprofit organization that >develops > >BIND software for Internet domain name directories, is writing an "urgent >patch" > >for Internet service providers and others who want to block customers from >a >new > >Site Finder service from VeriSign Inc. > > VeriSign, which keeps the master lists of names ending in ".com" and >".net," > >launched Site Finder on Monday to steer users to likely alternatives when >they > >type addresses for which no Web site exists. > > Though VeriSign gets unspecified revenues from search engine partners >whose > >technology powers Site Finder, company officials described the service as > >primarily a navigation tool to help lost Internet users. > > Critics, however, say the service eliminates user choice, gives a >private > >company too much control over online commerce and could violate >longstanding > >Internet standards. > > VeriSign's service, which affects only ".com" and ".net" names, also >overrode > >similar services offered by several Internet service providers, including > >America Online, and through Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer browser. > > The BIND patch allows AOL and others to restore control by identifying >and > >then ignoring data from Site Finder, said Paul Vixie, president of the >Internet > >Software Consortium. > > When the patched software receives such data, it will instead pass >along >an > >"address not found" message. > > "We're making this patch available because our customers are screaming >for > >it," Vixie said. > > Though running the software update is optional, Vixie expects many >customers > >will. The consortium was testing the patch Tuesday and planned to release >it >by > >Wednesday. > > VeriSign spokesman Brian O'Shaughnessy said Tuesday that individual >service > >providers were free to configure their systems so customers would bypass >Site > >Finder. But he questioned whether releasing a patch to do so would violate > >Internet standards. > > Vixie acknowledged that it could - standards call for operators like >VeriSign > >to have complete control over their directories - but he said not releasing >a > >patch would create greater chaos. > > BIND, a free product, is used by most domain name servers at service > >providers, corporations and other networks. Typically, those servers keep > >temporary copies of the master directories obtained from VeriSign. > > VeriSign estimates that people mistype ".com" and ".net" names some 20 > >million times daily and cites internal studies showing users prefer >navigational > >help over a generic error message. > > Earlier this year, a suburban Washington company called Paxfire Inc. >tested a > >similar service for ".biz" and ".us" names, but the U.S. government and a > >private oversight board asked Paxfire to suspend it after a few weeks >pending a > >review, Paxfire chairman Mark Lewyn said. > > A similar feature exists with ".museum" names. People who type in >nonexistent > >addresses are offered an index of museum sites.