Thursday, September 30, 2010

Warning US citizens, your Internet freedom is about to disappear!

Most people connected to the Internet enjoy freedom to see what they want, visit sites they want and generally roam freely. That is, all except citizens of states such as China, Iran, and others.
And soon, you might be want to add USA to the list. Shocking, isn't is? The country that invented the Internet is now taking legal steps to enable sites to be put on a mandatory and a suggested black-lists respectively. All in the name of media content companies that do not want to change their attitude to digital content; but that is another topic I guess.

There is a very interesting article here:
Let's hope that the bill does not passes to the law. But if it does, what can ISPs do to enforce it and what can tech savvy people (and criminals to be honest) do to go around the restrictions?

Ways to enforce the law

ISPs could update their DNS servers to simply return false responses to DNS queries from their clients.
Analysis: Probably very easy to implement but not much effective unless DNS traffic from clients to other DNS servers is blocked as well.

They could also block IP access to those DNS names, i.e. if resolves to IP address, this could be blocked.
Analysis: Very effective but requiring dynamically change access lists based on DNS queries. This would have impact on the performance.

Ways to overcome the restrictions

Let's assume the blacklist contains DNS hostnames or domains and all DNS servers in the USA must honour the list. In that case, I can simply use my own DNS server (even locally on my computer), use DNS servers of someone outside USA. It would be interesting what OpenDNS would do here, i.e. if they were obliged to do this filtering for all DNS queries coming from USA IP address space. 

Next obvious option is using VPN. I could setup a VPN server outside USA and connect to it from my computer. 
Another variant could be reverse/anonymous proxies.


This bill is a very very bad idea and I hope it does not pass. Because if it does, EU might be stupid enough to follow the suit and we could kiss goodbye to our Internet freedoms and be forced to go underground.

What are you opinions on this topic?


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