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April 20, 2004

ICANN slaps VeriSign with SLAPP claim

The Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers yesterday tried to have some of VeriSign Inc's lawsuit against it dismissed on grounds that it interferes with free speech laws, the domain name system management body said.

By CBR Staff Writer

As previously reported, the organization believes VeriSign’s suit is a strategic lawsuit against public participation, designed to chill debate. Defendants in California can use the state’s anti-SLAPP law to dismiss claims against it.

VeriSign is suing ICANN, claiming the organization has become its de facto regulator in violations of the terms of the contracts under which VeriSign manages the .com and .net domain name registries.

Of particular concern to VeriSign was an incident in October, when ICANN said VeriSign should turn off its controversial Site Finder service. This was interpreted by many as a direct order, although it may not have been phrased that way.

ICANN’s filing yesterday says VeriSign’s suit has six claims seek to impose liability for simply stating a position. As with previous filings, ICANN does not attempt to dismiss a seventh claim, which is at its heart a contract dispute.

This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire

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