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Verisign Hijack .com and .net typos


This is not a web development issue but one I thought might be useful information especially if you have kids that use the net.

I, like many other users prefer the option of not to search from the address bar in my browser. However a couple of days ago things weren't right. I mistyped a url and was promptly redirect to http://sitefinder.verisign.com

Not being one that likes people taking over things on my pc and overriding my instructions, I thought I had been hijacked by rogue software or something similar - the victim of a scam. Unfortunately no - without warning Verisign decided it would be helpful and spam me with their helpful site. Here is a quote from their help page.


Why is the Site Finder provided by VeriSign?
VeriSign provides the services that allow Internet users to find Web sites. Everyday, billions of Web address entries are handled by VeriSign. When users request a Web address that is not registered on the Internet or is inactive to VeriSign, they are forwarded to the Site Finder. The Site Finder provides information to users that may prove useful in locating the resources the user originally intended to access.


To me this is the start of a very slippery slope and who knows where it will end. Here is another quote from their terms page which, if you don't agree with is tough, as there appears to be no way you cannot opt out.


BY THE VERY NATURE OF THESE VERISIGN SERVICES, THE RESULTS MAY CARRY SUBJECTIVE MATERIAL AND INFORMATION. YOU AGREE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THIS AND WILL USE CAUTION AND COMMON SENSE AND EXERCISE PROPER JUDGMENT WHEN ACCESSING THE VERISIGN SERVICES AND THIRD PARTY WEBSITES. AS A CONDITION OF YOUR USE OF THE VERISIGN SERVICES YOU WILL NOT USE THE VERISIGN SERVICES FOR ANY PURPOSE THAT IS UNLAWFUL OR PROHIBITED BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS HEREIN.

SUBJECTIVE MATERIAL AND INFORMATION - well, my kids access the web and I deliberately set do not search from the address bar as kids are good at mistyping urls.

How can Verisign justify their terms as mentioned above? after all, I now no longer have any control over the content that can be served to my kids if they make a typo. I cannot opt out of Verisign yet I must abide by their terms.

I for one will be complaining to Verisign. There is enough spam and scams on the net but we have no control over this one. You can't avoid it by using different browsers. You can't opt out. All you can do is hope you don't make anymore typos.

THIS CANNOT BE RIGHT - Verisign have got this wrong and I hope enough people complain that they rethink this madness ASAP. I have been using the net for around 6 years and this sort of nonsense is going to kill it if they are not careful - I have seen a similar type of thing before where adware programs hijack your search options without warning (perhaps a small mention in the very very small print). I thought it had happened to me and spent quite a bit of time scanning my pc only to find out that it wasn't anything to do with my pc.

No polite message from Verisign when I ended up at their site, which would have been nice and saved me a lot of time. Common sense seems lacking at Verisign and be assured if I find out how to kill this spam I will let you know how :)


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20 Sep 2003
09 dec 2003 - 134




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