September 19, 2003

Another Reason to Hate V***S***

[ from Joichi Ito, a recent addition to my blogroll and an intriguing thinker ] :
Not related to the mac directly, but interesting.

Web domain register sued for new service (my title, they don't need anymore free publicity):

An Internet search company on Thursday filed a $100 million antitrust lawsuit against V***S*** Inc., accusing the Web address provider of hijacking misspelled and unassigned Web addresses with a service it launched this week.

[ ... ]

According to the lawsuit, Mountain View, California-based V***S*** has been using its position as the keeper of the master list of all Web addresses ending in ".com" and ".net," also called domain names, to unfair advantage.

Not only is V***S*** making money off the redirected searches, but it is improperly interfering with competing services, including Netster's SmartBrowse and similar services run by Internet service providers like AOL Time Warner Inc.'s America Online and Microsoft Corp., Popular Enterprises said.

Typically, Internet users are shown a generic "404 -- cannot be found" page when a Web address does not exist. SmartBrowse and other services display Web sites and search options that are closely related to the original search request.

SiteFinder reduces the effectiveness of anti-spam programs that work by rejecting e-mail coming from non-existent Web addresses, [Paul] Vixie [President of The Internet Software Consortium, a non-profit group that developed the BIND software that directs most Web traffic to the correct address] said.

It also is raising privacy concerns that V***S*** will have access to log-in names and passwords that are sometimes included in Web address queries and information in e-mails sent inadvertently to non-existent Web addresses, he added. [ read the entire article ]

Posted by ronn at September 19, 2003 07:59 PM