September 20, 2002, 1:26 PM — VeriSign Inc. said this week that it has corrected database inaccuracies flagged by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) earlier this month, after the regulatory body threatened to strip the leading U.S. registrar of its ability to sell ".com" domain names unless it cleaned up its act.
In a letter sent to ICANN Vice President Louis Touton Tuesday, VeriSign said that it corrected the inaccuracies cited by ICANN, and streamlined a process whereby third parties could report incorrect information in the "WhoIs" public database of domain information.
VeriSign was chastised by the regulatory agency earlier this month for failing to correct false information in the WhoIs database. Although almost all registrars file inaccurate information from time to time, ICANN said it signalled out VeriSign because the company repeatedly ignored requests to tidy up its information.
ICANN listed 17 particular cases of false information submitted by VeriSign and gave the registrar 15 working days to correct the entries. At that time, VeriSign Spokesman Brian O'Shaughnessy said that "17 examples out of an active database of 10.3 million domain names is not a pattern and shouldn't be characterized as one."
Although VeriSign has sidestepped penalization by ICANN, the registrar has other worries on its mind, not the least of which is an investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into the company's marketing practices. The FTC probe was initiated after VeriSign was sued by rivals that claimed that the Mountain View, California, registrar was engaging in deceptive marketing practices in an attempt to steal their customers.