ICAAN issued an ultimatum here: ICAAN Advisory Concerning Demand to Remove VeriSign's Wildcard
VeriSlime has announced that it will comply, right on the deadline, not before here:Verisign Press Release
This organization is one that is already infamous to long term citizens of the net for its handling of the crucial 'dotcom' TLD. This latest insult to us all is one that should not go unpunished. They have already voided their contract, IMO. Why not just take it away from them and give it to someone else?
Note the tone of Verisign's press release. They have announced that they will comply with the ultimatum (reading between the lines, it says 'we will void your contract'). However, they are unrepentant and are threatening to do it again as soon as they can.
A search for 'Verisign Wildcard' on google shows nothing but universal outrage over the this 'hijacking' of the internet. However, I think that despite the many reasoned technical objections, the moral and ethical objections are too downplayed.
This whole affair is outrageous and Verisign should be cruelly punished for their misdeed. The only way to do this is to hit them where it counts: take away their revenue stream.
1) Cite violation of their contract, cancel it and replace them immediately with some other entity. Make them come get it back.
2) Put together a Verisign certificate amnesty program and simply replace all their valid certificates with free ones.
3) Examine their entire product portfolio and match it with freeware alternatives.
4) Publicise their behaviour to date (including former misdeeds regarding the TLDs they have managed). This should include the names of the various principals involved and the role they played.
NOTE: As of this post, the deadline has passed, but my browser is still getting hoodwinked into travelling to their spam site As far as I'm concerned, they are in breach. Nuke 'em.
The Verisign Code of Ethics can be found in pdf form here:
CODE OF ETHICS AND BUSINESS CONDUCT
Here is a telling excerpt. As far as I can tell, it is not qualified anywhere. Under the heading of Condition of Employment or Service, this first sentence says it all:
"All Insiders shall conduct themselves at all times in the best interests of the Company."
An insider is any employee.
I can find no reference to the public good anywhere in the document. As a corporate entity, Verisign appears to have a contract with its employees that obliges them to serve the corporate good at any cost. Again, there appears to be no reservation that I can see.