Is Google abusing its power in SSL war with Symantec?

Google and Symantec are in a big fight which basically drills down to the fact that Google does not believe that SSL certificates have a future. They found a lot of irregularities in certificates that Symantec has issued.

Since Google controls the biggest browser Chrome they have the power to decide how a website is shown. Marking a website as unsafe is one of these ways.

Symantec obviously did not do a good enough job. However could any CA ever do a good enough job? The validation process is manual work and where people have to validate data they will make mistakes. In that sense any CA including Lets Encrypt that only validates automatically based on whois data is vulnerable to mistakes. Google might be right that SSL in its current form has no future.

So why is Google abusing its power? It is abusing its power because the majority and I mean higher than 99 percent of all SSL certificates are validated correctly. Valid companies have valid SSL certificates and Google is deliberately hurting these companies by forcing Symantec to reissue these SSL certificates. Which means that all these companies with 100 percent valid certificates have to do a lot of work to replace already good certificates by new ones just because Google wants to make a point. Up till now SSL is the best way to validate companies and assure website vistors they are really on the website of the company they think they are. There is no mature alternative.

And since Google is by far the largest browser company they have the power and are abusing this power to deliberately hurt websites that are completely legal, of high reputation and with correctly validated certificates.

There are many other ways to change an industry and its security. Abusing your power in the way Google does in the fight with Symantec is not the way.

Innovation requires competition

img_9667Every company needs constant innovation to stay relevant. Even an industry needs innovation to stay relevant.

New business models, new technologies, new opportunities are all leading to better products and services for eventually the end-user.

In the domain industry this is currently not the case. ICANN has become a highly political organization that is governed by so many compliance rules that all competition is effectively killed.

Domain registrants have no idea why they get all these emails from organizations they do not know because they use hosting companies that are not registrars themselves but resellers of domain registrars. Resellers of registrars cannot move their portfolio to new and innovative companies without the consent of the registrant. I totally believe in regulation that prevents criminals to do their criminal actions. But current regulation kills all competition and locks domain portfolio’s at big players that only grow through acquisitions. In my opinion this is unacceptable.

The good news is that innovation brought Openprovider at least closer to the top of the domain world. Based on the amount of tlds implemented Openprovider is number 6 in the world. See It is the main reason why ICANN uses Openprovider to test new gtlds.

Our innovation continues despite external obstacles.
We have built a very advanced white label solution for resellers that want their registrants to get ICANN emails from them instead of a registrar or spammer they do not know.
Another innovation we made is our SSL workflow manager that even allows end-users to understand what needs to be done in every step of the orderproces.
Our sister company Powerpanel has integrated both solutions in their billing software for hosters and it has been very successful.

Lets hope that all rules and regulations do not completely kill the competition like it does today. That is unacceptable and will eventually kill the industry. We already see that upcoming markets do not use domains and websites in the same way as more developed markets. Lack of competition will only increase prices, kill innovation and will lead to the end of the domain industry.