ICANN Responds to VeriSign Suit

The domain name oversight body says it is "disappointed" that VeriSign chose litigation and questions the timing of the lawsuit.

A day after VeriSign--the company that manages the Internets most popular domains—sued the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization offered a short response.

In a statement released on Friday, ICANN said it has worked closely with VeriSign in recent years and is "disappointed that VeriSign has again chosen confrontation over consensus."

"It is ironic that VeriSign has decided upon this path at the beginning of a week where the Internet community is convening in Rome for inclusive bottom-up discussions on issues of importance to registries," the statement continued.

ICANN on Tuesday opens a series of wide-ranging public meetings in Italy. Part of the discussions are expected to cover reform efforts, along with trying to improve the process for registries such as VeriSign to introduce new services.

In a federal lawsuit filed on Thursday in Los Angeles, VeriSign alleges that ICANN has overstepped its authority as a technical review body and has "become the de facto regulator of the domain name system" by blocking or adding restrictions to services it wants to offer.

Among the most notable services cited in the lawsuit is SiteFinder, which VeriSign launched in September as a way of redirecting users that mistyped or misspelled a Web address to its own search site. VeriSign suspended SiteFinder after ICANN demanded it be halted.

The lawsuit is seeking a temporary and permanent injunction to prevent ICANN from interfering with any reintroduction of SiteFinder, or the launch of other services.

VeriSign and ICANN both are defendants in a separate lawsuit filed on Friday by a group of registrars over a VeriSign-proposed service for back ordering taken domain names. That lawsuit is trying to block the so-called wait listing service.