VSGN to SSAC: Straightening the Record.

Verisign’s response to SSAC is a messy combination of very few good arguments (just why was the limited IDN wildcard so much better than sitefinder, again?), silly distractions, and simple misstatements. The purpose of this entry is to address som…

Verisign’s response to SSAC is a messy combination of very few good arguments (just why was the limited IDN wildcard so much better than sitefinder, again?), silly distractions, and simple misstatements. The purpose of this entry is to address some plainly misleading parts of the document.On page 6, for instance, the report takes up SSAC’s footnoting of my presentation in Carthage, and claims that the comments summarized there were somehow triggered by ALAC’s statement on sitefinder. We’re flattered by the impact that is attributed to ALAC’s statement — but I didn’t summarize the few comments ALAC received on the topic, but the 200+ ones sent to ICANN’s overall wildcard-comments address.Verisign (on page 9) continues to claim high user acceptance based on some polling, and alleges that it made sufficient information about the surveys available. That’s a bad joke: I still haven’t even seen a public, on-the-record answer to the question in what languages the survey was conducted (the answer is: English) — an important factor when VeriSign claims user satisfaction with an English-language service forced on users in countries such as Germany or China. Also, the questions asked in the surveys still haven’t been published, to the best of my knowledge. As far as I’m concerned, Verisign is still in the how to lie with statistics department here.On page 5, VeriSign complains that SSAC didn’t follow up on offers by VeriSign to make relevant data available. Elsewhere, there are complaints about lack of transparency. So, why doesn’t Verisign just publish these data?There’s more to be said about other parts of the report — claiming that Sitefinder fixes 404 errors generated by web servers (after successful resolution of a domain name), talking about format and protocol compliance when operational procedures are at issue, going to great lengths of discussing the confines of SSAC’s mission while avoiding to reply on substance, conflating changes close to the network’s center (sitefinder) with changes close to the edges (firewalls), claiming that hacks deployed at ISP name servers equate end user choice.