Verisign sued over Site Finder

An Internet search company has sued VeriSign over a widely-criticized service that sends Web users to a VeriSign search page after entering a non-existent Web address.

Popular Enterprises LLC of Orlando, operator of the Netster.com search site, is seeking an injunction barring VeriSign from running the Site Finder as well as damages of up to US$100 million, it said in a statement Thursday.

VeriSign controls the main database of .com and .net domain names. On Monday the Mountain View, California, company added a "wild card" to the databases, sending Web users who enter a non-existent .com or .net address to Site Finder, a new VeriSign search service.

Popular Enterprises accuses VeriSign of antitrust violations, unfair competition and violations of the Unfair Trade Practices Act, according to the statement. The suit was filed Thursday in U.S District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Besides offering a search Web site, Netster also offers a search toolbar product called SmartBrowse that helps users after they enter a non-existent domain. VeriSign has now "hijacked" that traffic, according to Popular Enterprises.

"They are using the whole universe of unregistered domains as their own profit pool and are scooping up all that business by no effort of their own, just by virtue of their position," said Chris Hill, a partner at Scarborough and Rugh in Orlando, which represents Popular Enterprises.

VeriSign's Site Finder has drawn a storm of criticism and caused some anti-spam filters to malfunction. Uproar among network administrators prompted the Internet Software Consortium (ISC) to update its popular BIND (Berkely Internet Name Domain) DNS (Domain Name System) software so Site Finder can be blocked.

Popular Enterprises expects to serve VeriSign with the suit on Friday, Hill said.

VeriSign said it could not comment on the suit because it has not yet received it. However, spokesman Brian O'Shaughnessy did say that although VeriSign has no intention of pulling the Site Finder service, the company is actively engaging with the industry to listen to what the issues and concerns are and improve the service.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?