Today's feature CEO interview at the Tech Policy Summit was between VeriSign chief Stratton Sclavos and CNBC's Jim Goldman. Paraphrased and condensed notes after the leap....
JG: What is Project Titan and why should people care?
SS: Backing up, when we bought Network Solution in 2000, we were seeing a billion interactions
a day. Now, we are seeing 25 billion. We think we will be at 100 billion interactions a day by 2010. We are investing $100 million to increase the network capacity by 10x by 2010.
JG: How are you sure that this is all you need?
SS: If it isn't, we will build more.
When we get done, we will be able to look up 4 trillion look-ups a day, including things like RFID.
If we can't do this, I'm not sure that anyone else can.
JG: Where is the growth coming from?
SS: New mediums like online video. The most effective way to deliver full-length video will be over the Internet.
New traffic is international. .com and .net are lingua franca internationally.
Every new product release has its own .com
It's driving massive increases in usage.
JG: One would assume that this means massive increases in attacks?
SS: This becomes a challenge in what we do -- which is publicly acknowledging the issues we face while not over-dramaticsizing them.
These issues scare the hell out of me every day. And, I only get scared when our security guys get scared.
In the course of two weeks, we spent nearly $25 million to shift resources to protect the roots after recent attacks.
JG: There is a criticism that the company has way too much control and that you are not willing give any of it up?
SS: To those who will listen objectively, they know we do a pretty good job and know
that we are focused on protecting the infrastructure.
For all the critics we have today, there would be a 100 times more of them if the network went down.
When the attacks occur, we keep things up, but no one sees this.
We keep the Internet's dial-tone up.
JG: There are voices on the hill criticizing the settlement with ICANN. What do you say about that?
SS: It's amazing what lobbying dollars can do.... Despite what they might say, there is no backroom dealing here.
Esther Dyson: Do you think it might be too cheap to buy domain names? What about
SS: Is it too cheap? I think the system was created in the bubble, where there was a view that this was a commodity.
But, there was a scaling problem. The usage was out of whack. Amazon pays us $6 and Joe's Bagel Shop pays $6 for a domain.
Domain tasting, is you can buy a domain for five days for not paying, but now because of the Google advertising phenom. People use names for four days and then return them.
10 percent of the market is domain tasting.
We are in constant consultation with ICANN on this.
There are 800 registrars and, by the rules, we must give them equal access.
If anyone can pre-authenticate to sift out bad actors, we could. But, we can't under our contract.