VeriSign manages the .com domain (amongst others), but it doesn’t really OWN it. There’s a whole host of ICANN regulations in the way that keeps VeriSign from being able to take down any website it wants, anytime it wants. It’s looking for relief for some of those restraints in an appeal to ICANN that is first and foremost about responding to governmental takedown requests – at least on the surface – but contains slippery verbiage that could cause headaches for website owners around the world.
By now, we're all familiar with the recent practice of government agencies seizing domain names suspected of wrongdoing. But a new initiative could allow world governments to veto future top level domains. This could lead to accusations of stifling free expression, and unjust control over the internet. A meeting in San Francisco next month will be the site of the final decision on who gets to control the next set of domains that augment .com, .org, and the others.