Some time ago verisign bought the non-profit set up by the US government to administer the .com and .net domains. Today a webpage of their choosing is coming up instead of an error message for a mistyped domain name.
Slashdot article mentioning this.
I believe that common resources should be administered by the people who belong to that common. We've recently had a spate of abuses by for-profit corporations when they get the opportunity to manage a common resource. (See for instance the california electricity deregulation.)
I'm not sure if it will help avoid Verisign, but I think I'm going to go point all my DNS servers to OpenNIC now.