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VeriSign told to tidy records or lose domain sales

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) threatened to strip VeriSign of its ability to sell dotcom domain names if the registrar failed to clean up inaccuracies in the public database that records who owns which Web sites.

Icann, the nonprofit group that oversees matters relating to the Internet addressing system, gave VeriSign 15 working days to correct inaccuracies in the Whois database, saying that the registrar has "exhibited a pattern of persistent violations".

Although the regulatory body said that nearly all of the 150 accredited registrars complied with requests to correct inaccurate information in their Whois records, VeriSign repeatedly ignored Icann's requests, forcing it to take more stringent measures.

Icann flagged 17 specific inaccuracies in the database, adding that it would give notice of the termination of VeriSign's domain accreditation agreement if the corrections were not made within the 15 working-day deadline. VeriSign may then choose to initiate arbitration against the action.

No one from VeriSign was immediately available to comment.

The Whois database is used to record information on who owns which Web sites, providing the relevant contact details, as well as allowing the public to verify whether a domain name is available or not. Icann said that it would take the necessary measures to ensure its accuracy.

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