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[wildcard-comments] Verisign's WildCard Service

  • To: wildcard-comments@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: [wildcard-comments] Verisign's WildCard Service
  • From: Chris_Hubbell@xxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2003 10:48:27 -0500
  • Sender: owner-wildcard-comments@xxxxxxxxx

October 16, 2003

Mr. Paul Twomey
President and CEO
The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
Marina del Rey, California

Mr. Twomey,

I want to thank you and ICANN for your good work and attention on the
matter of Verisign's WildCard DNS service.  ICANN obviously understands the
issue well; and it has been encouraging to see that the DNS is
administrated by people who are such good stewards.

I noticed that Verisign has announced their intention to re-instate the
service and wanted to voice my opinion on the matter.

The technical issues surrounding the service are clear, as are its
implications for whois-type services, anti-spam services, and generally any
application written that expects the DNS to respond as it historically has
to requests for invalid or non-existant domain names.

Beyond those technical issues, however, is one that I think is actually
more important.  After all, we're a technical community and can overcome
nearly any technical obstacle.  But more disconcerting is the sense of
entitlement that Verisign seems to feel regarding their part of the DNS.
Whatever the actual wording of their contracts, charters, etc., Verisign
holds what the community considers to be a position of trust.  They are
entrusted with the .com and .net TLDs.  They are not perceived as owners,
or landlords of those domains, but rather caretakers.

In its infancy, the internet may have seemed more of a community than it
does now; but it is in fact, still a community, and one which relies
heavily on the .com and .net domains.  Our faith in how these domains are
being administrated has been shaken by Verisign's actions.  If nothing
they've done is found to violate the letter of any agreements or contracts
they may have with ICANN, their actions certainly violate the spirit of
their relationship with the DNS, ICANN, and the internet community at
large.  The DNS is the very basis of internet usability.  The protocols
that control the flow of data are virtually useless without the facility
that DNS provides.

I therefore urge you to consider whatever actions are necessary and
possible to prevent Verisign from re-instating their WildCard service,
including the possibility of removing from them, their stewardship of the
.com and .net domains.

Yours Sincerely,
Christopher Hubbell

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