According to TheRegister, Verisign asked ICANN for the authority so it can “comply with any applicable court orders, laws, government rules or requirements, requests of law enforcement or other governmental or quasi-governmental agency, or any dispute resolution process.” The good news is the company can only take action based on orders from authorities.
In the past, VeriSign has helped U.S. law enforcement agencies to seize domains that sold counterfeit goods or promoted online piracy, but only after a court order.
If VeriSign’s proposal goes through, the company will gain the right to close domains even if the court order comes from outside the U.S. It already has requests from around the globe.
Various law enforcement personnel, around the globe, have asked us to mitigate domain name abuse, and have validated our approach to rapid suspension of malicious domain names.
To achieve this domain-restriction power, VeriSign sends a request to ICANN, the non-profit organization that handles Internet Protocol address spaces (IPv4 and IPv6).
VeriSign has also asked ICANN to allow it to create a “malware scanning service,” similar to the one that handles .xxx domains. If approved by ICANN, VeriSign will have the right to scan all .com domains and send security reports to ones that have problems, in order to prompt fixes.
If VeriSign wins the right to restrict .com domains, it won’t be the first. Nominet is close to sealing a deal with UK authorities that will give it the ability to to suspend sites that support criminal activities.