February 10, 2003

VeriSign Reconsiders "Site Finder" Search Service

A company that plays a key role in managing the Internet's domain system is considering whether to restart a controversial search service that makes
money off Web users' typos, a move that threatens to reignite a debate over who controls key segments of the Internet.

Stratton Sclavos, chief executive of VeriSign Inc., told investors in a conference call last month that the company might relaunch its "Site Finder"
service as early as April.

The company, based in Mountain View, Calif., manages the dot-com and dot-net Internet domains, giving it a uniquely influential role in how the online
world operates. Resurrecting Site Finder would be an unfair advantage over search service competitors and an abuse of its privileged position, the
company's critics have said.

Site Finder, which was launched in September, redirected people who type nonexistent or inactive Internet addresses to a search page created by
VeriSign. The page offered links to similarly named Web sites as well as advertisements from companies that paid VeriSign to be listed on the page.
The directory competed with similar search services from America Online and Microsoft.

Link: washingtonpost.com

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