On 15 September 2003, VeriSign deployed a "wildcard" service into the .com and .net Top Level Domain zones. VeriSign's wildcard creates a registry-synthesized address record in response to lookups of domains that are not otherwise present in the zone (including restricted names, unregistered names, and registered but inactive names). The VeriSign wildcard redirects traffic that would otherwise have resulted in a "no domain" response to a VeriSign-operated website with search results and links to paid advertisements.
Since the deployment, ICANN has been monitoring community reaction, including analysis of the technical effects of the wildcard, and is carefully reviewing the terms of the .com and .net Registry Agreements.
Recognizing the concerns about the wildcard service, ICANN has called upon VeriSign to voluntarily suspend the service until the various reviews now underway are completed.
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21 September 2003, ICANN