Normally, when my computer looks up the address of a site, I never contact to either Verisign or the site’s nameserver directly, but only to my own ISP’s DNS cache server. Verisign only knows about the domains my ISP visits in the aggregate, they don’t know about me personally. But with Sitefinder, if I were to mistype a site I intended to visit, or mistype an address while sending e-mail, I am connected to their server against my will (unless you count making a typo as “requesting their service”).
Some people might be concerned about letting others know that not only do they visit websites about nymphomania three times a day, but it usually takes them several attempts to spell it correctly.
Interestingly, the mail-bouncer they installed did not start sending out error codes as soon as you connected to it – instead, it would appear to be a real mailserver, accept the “From” and “To” address of the message, and only reject the mail after those had already been transmitted. I can’t think of any technical reason for that.
Admittedly, this is not a very big deal as Internet privacy threats go, but it has been named as yet another argument against Sitefinder so I thought I’d throw it in there. To me personally, it’s not the issue.
The article gives Verisign very generous room to present it’s side of the issue, while mentioning the “con” arguments only in the context of Verisign debunking them. I don’t feel that it gives both sides equal weight. Basically, it’s a report about a Verisign press release.
It seems biased in favour of Verisign to me, but as you’ve probably guessed, I’ll happily admit to having a few biases of my own on this issue.
Yes, it seems they removed the entire site rather than just the wildcard DNS entry. So I’m afraid you will have to take my word for it that they made no bones about the fact that they were soliciting advertisers for the site.