Sandia National Labs: DNS Filtering In SOPA/PIPA Won't Stop Piracy, But Will Hurt Online Security

from the more-experts-weigh-in dept

We've covered at great length the problems with DNS filtering in SOPA and PROTECT IP (PIPA) and how it will harm internet security. These concerns were first highlighted by a group of folks who are considered to be some of the foremost experts (and original architects) on DNS. The MPAA and other SOPA/PIPA startups have been trying for months to diminish these points, but have yet to find any kind of argument that makes sense. The argument they fall back on is "well, if this law breaks DNSSEC, just change the code and fix it." This represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the technoloy. That's not too surprising, coming from the MPAA, frankly. However, now, Sandia National Labs, which is a part of the Department of Energy, has sent a letter to Rep. Zoe Lofgren confirming most of the problems with the idea of DNS filtering, noting that it would make the internet less secure... and would do nothing to actually stop piracy.
It is not likely DNS filtering would be effective in blocking U.S. access to targeted foreign websites....
On the question of DNSSEC, the letter notes that slowing the adoption of DNSSEC would have significant "negative consequences" for US online security. While DNSSEC may not be fully rolled out yet, nearly everyone who understands this stuff knows that it's needed to fix key flaws in DNS. And while it takes time, simply breaking it and waiting for the next generation to rewrite it from scratch would be a mistake. Many years of careful work has gone into DNSSEC. Scrapping it for something else random is not going to help.

At this point, I don't see how any SOPA/PIPA supporters can still claim that the concerns over DNS blocking are unfounded. When you even have a major national lab saying that it's a bad idea, won't work and will be bad for online security... can the MPAA still respond with nothing more detailed than "we disagree" (which was the MPAA's actual statement at the hearing when challenged about the security problems associated with DNS blocking).
Napolitano Response Rep Lofgren 11 16 11 c

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2011 @ 4:23pm

    Funny, the Internet didn't break when Google blocked the Public Knowledge site:

    "SOPA supporters question Google's blocking of website
    By Jennifer Martinez

    11/18/11 5:18 PM EST
    Google and Public Knowledge are both opposed to online copyright legislation in Congress, but the search engine’s blocking of the public interest group’s website this week gave supporters of the bills some new ammunition.

    For part of Friday, visitors who attempted to access Public Knowledge’s site via the Mozilla Firefox browser were greeted with a bold warning message that said visiting the site may harm their computers. Public Knowledge spokesman Art Brodsky said that the organization found a piece of malicious code was slipped onto the site and Google blocked access to the site because of this security threat.

    The malware has since been scrubbed from Public Knowledge’s site. But the incident has motivated supporters of the two bills — the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act in the House — to ask why the search giant is objecting to taking the same action against so-called rogue sites that offer illicit copies of entertainment content and counterfeit goods when served with a court order.

    “It does beg the question, if they do this on their own to prevent malware, couldn’t they do the same when a court tells them a domain name is being used to sell counterfeits or pirated works?” a Senate aide for a member who supports the PROTECT IP Act told POLITICO.

    In response, Google pointed to the testimony of the company’s copyright counsel Katherine Oyama this week at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act.

    “Google takes the problem of online piracy and counterfeiting very seriously, devoting our best engineering talent and tens of millions of dollars every year to fight it,” Oyama said.

    She also noted that the search company has spent more than $60 million to remove online pirates from its ad services and processed Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests for nearly five million items so far this year.

    Public Knowledge’s site was accessible via Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari browsers, Brodsky said. The site became available via Firefox Friday afternoon.

    Brodsky lauded Google for taking action to prevent Web visitors from picking up a virus.

    Both Google and Public Knowledge are staunch opponents of the House and Senate bills. They have argued the bills would threaten constitutionally protected speech on the Web, discourage online innovation and ultimately not solve the problem of online piracy.

    Google’s blocking of sites infected with malware and its objection to domain name blocking and filtering in the copyright legislation are “not analogous at all,” according to Brodsky.

    “The situations are very different,” he said."

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer
Anonymous number for texting and calling from Hushed. $25 lifetime membership, use code TECHDIRT25
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.