I am outraged.
VeriSign, the company which manages the .COM and .NET domain names, has done the unthinkable. They’ve taken advantage of and abused their power by setting up a wildcard filter on the primary DNS, pointing to their own server – sitefinder.verisign.com.
Now for those of you who are less technically-inclined, this basically means that every mis-typed .COM or .NET domain name will now go to them, and they can do whatever they like with it. They’ve said that their goal is to provide a list of ‘did you mean?’ links, but it’s been demonstrated that their search engine is powered by a pay-per-click advertiser. In other words, if my company’s web site is at www.hardtospelldomain.com and somebody mis-types or mis-spells my domain name, VeriSign could well give a list of ‘who you might have meant’ with one of my competitors, who’s paying VeriSign for the priviledge, at the top of the list!
In addition, many existing types of anti-spam software, which check that the domain names that suspicious-looking e-mails come from, will fail (remember that now, technically, all .COM/.NET domain names act as if they were valid). We can all expect to get more spam as a result of this disgusting abuse of power.
Do not stand for this! The Internet must not be allowed to be so misruled!
See also SlashDot “Resolving Everything: VeriSign Adds Wildcards”. This news doesn’t seem to have made it around the globe yet, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing it on The Register by this afternoon and BBC News by the end of the week.