Top net villains and heroes named. Verisign got the villain of the year award.
Britain's net industry has named internet domain giant Verisign as its villain of the year. It won the accolade for a system it set up that hijacked mistyped web queries and sent people to a Verisign-run site. Hero of the year was Steve Linford who runs the Spamhaus Project that attempts to thwart peddlers of unwanted mail. The two awards were given out during the annual ceremony in which the UK net industry picks out the best and most innovative in its business.
Verisign beat back competition from the Home Office and the Recording Industry Association of America to win the villain award. Ispa said Verisign deserved the award "for their presumption that they own the internet and the domain name system hijacking scandal." This scandal revolved around what happens when your computer tries to find out the location of a website you want to visit. Often your computer consults master lists of which address is where. If you mistype the name of the website, you should get back an error message. However, Verisign altered this system to direct people who mistyped site names to a page that asked them if they wanted to buy that wrongly spelled domain.