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The Bentinel Obtains VeriSign SiteFinder(tm) Surveys
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WUTGAHL, WA - The VeriSign company met earlier this month with ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee to discuss its much-maligned SiteFinder(tm) system. During the discussions, the subject of VeriSign's surveys was brought up. Of particular concern was the wording of the surveys which members of the group suspected may have been weighted in favor of SiteFinder(tm). VeriSign refused to provide the text of these surveys, stating that the materials were "proprietary". The Bentinel has obtained copies of three such surveys from a former VeriSign employee. They are reproduced below:

SiteFinder(tm) Survey

Target demographic: Non-Technical End-Users
Required knowledge: None
Required experience: None

Before asking these questions, show the respondent the screen shots from packet SSNTEU. Point out the $50 bill paper-clipped to the SiteFinder(tm) screenshot. Encourage the user to take the bill, if they wish. Note those accepting the bill in the "preferred SiteFinder(tm)" category. If respondent indicates squeamishness when viewing the mildew stains on the AOL and MSN page screen shots, note this under the category "did not like [AOL/MSN/Other]"

  1. Which of the following comments best describes your view of the SiteFinder(tm) page?
    1. "I would rather carve my initials in my forehead with a bent staple than view this page."
    2. "It is easy, convenient, and useful."
    3. "It is written in Aramaic and contains references to gods I don't worship."
    4. "It is fluffy like a kitten, yet sweet like a cantaloupe."
  2. When an error occurs, would you prefer:
    1. A friendly, happy, genteel, FREE SiteFinder(tm) page
    2. A mean, cold, unfriendly, uncaring ERROR page
    3. A cold mullet across the lips
    4. A visit from the IRS
  3. The page was designed by orphans raised by wolves, only recently exposed to modern society. Personally, we applaud the efforts of these young people, we think of them as heroes. How do YOU feel about their design?
    1. Excellent
    2. Very Good
    3. Good
    4. The little snipes should go back where they came from
  4. We think SiteFinder(tm) makes the Internet a better place. What do you think?
    1. "I agree."
    2. "I want Verisign to sue me."
    3. "I like litigation."
    4. "I'm more technically competent than Verisign, I can make a better technical choice than they can."
  5. Did SiteFinder(tm) let you find what you were looking for on the Internet?
    1. "Yes."
    2. "Uh huh."
    3. "Yep."
    4. "No, and I have head lice. (again)"

SiteFinder(tm) Survey

Target demographic: Technical End-Users ("Savvy")
Required knowledge: "E" in "Email" stands for "Electronic" (accept "Electric")
Required experience: Sent/received an email in the past year, has visited at least once in the past year. (Or knows someone who has)

Before asking these questions, point out that the respondent's answers are considered important because of their advanced technical knowledge. Remind them to be totally honest. Take out box marked "Free Palm m505" and place in plain view.
  1. What best describes the impact you would expect the insertion of a wildcard A record into the .com and .net zones to have?
    1. "Utter, global destruction"
    2. "Death to all firstborn"
    3. "I don't know what that means"
    4. "The sun will be totally blotted out and the Earth will become a frozen, lifeless waste."
  2. When you accidentally mis-type a URL, what would you prefer to have happen?
    1. "An error message should be displayed, and I should be struck with a rock."
    2. "A friendly, helpful SiteFinder(tm) page should be displayed, correcting my mistake and offering me a cash reward just for visiting."
    3. "The computer should lock-up or spontaneously reboot."
    4. "I should be sued for abusing the Internet with my incompetence."
  3. What best describes your attitude toward error messages?
    1. "I like 404 errors."
    2. "I like all errors."
    3. "Errors are more fun than regular pages."
    4. "I like kittens, puppies, candy, and SiteFinder(tm)."
  4. How do you feel about free PDA's, like this one? (Show the box)
    1. "I strongly prefer them, just like SiteFinder(tm)."
    2. "I somewhat prefer them, just like SiteFinder(tm)."
    3. "I would not like to have a free PDA, because I'm a stupid person."
    4. "I don't want a free PDA and I don't like SiteFinder(tm)."
  5. Some people don't like change, whether it's good or bad. How do you feel about change?
    1. "I think changes are good, they spark innovation like airplanes and cell phones."
    2. "Change is bad, which is why I never change my underwear."
    3. "Change can be good, or bad. And I'm stupid."
    4. "Change is bad, and I agree to be sued by Verisign."

In addition to these surveys, the packet sent to the companies that originally reviewed the SiteFinder(tm) system for Verisign was provided to The Bentinel.
The packet consists of:
  1. A check for $50,000
  2. A one-page survey
  3. A note indicating that the checks will be void if the survey is not faxed back to Verisign within the hour.

The text of the survey is reproduced below:

Thank you for agreeing to assist us in our initial testing of SiteFinder(tm). As promised, please find enclosed our check for $50,000 made out to "Cash". This check will be cancelled before close of business if you do not fax this survey form back to us today. Your identity will be held in the strictest confidence, as we can certainly understand why you might want to keep your fingerprints off this particular "crime scene."

Thank you for your cooperation.

  1. Have your technical teams been able to think of any catastrophic, unrecoverable, deadly errors that might result from SiteFinder(tm) and the requisite changes to DNS?
    1. "Nope, not a one"
    2. "All clear"
    3. "Go for it"
    4. "The computers will turn on us, enslave us, and usher in the end of the world as we know it."
  2. If SiteFinder(tm) is deployed as described in our previous contact materials, what will be the reaction of your company?
    1. "None."
    2. "We will immediately go bankrupt."
    3. "We will fire all our employees and purchase trained monkeys."
    4. "Our counsel advises us to not respond to this question."
  3. What protocols do you typically use over the Internet?
    1. HTTP, through a browser
    2. OTRTHG, using the Bixyn III interpolated mechanism
    3. ActTRP
    4. None, we don't use the Internet.
  4. What impact are you expecting SiteFinder(tm) to have on your email systems?
    1. "None"
    2. "We expect all of our emails to become laced with profanities."
    3. "Our email servers will likely explode, creating a fireball that will engulf our entire building."
    4. "It will probably make them even better."
  5. Do you think "VeriSign - The Value of Trust" is a reasonable motto for our company?
    1. "Yes."
    2. "No, and we only hire white men aged 25-35."
    3. "No, and we endorse the KKK."
    4. "Absolutely."

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