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

Filed Under: censorship, department of energy, dns, filtering, sopa
Companies: sandia national labs

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  1. icon
    wvhillbilly (profile), 19 Nov 2011 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Re:

    "What SOPA will do is to make it easy for big companies to outright kill innovative noninfringing startups on the net. It's very clear from their actions as well as their words that the **AAs are terrified that they are losing control of the distribution channel. SOPA is a powerful tool to let them forcibly take control of the internet as such a channel."

    I suspect you are dead on in your analysis of this. The people who want this are so paranoid that someone is going to get something without their getting a big chunk of money for it, that they would - so to speak - burn the entire barn (the Internet) to the ground to get rid of a few pesky rats.


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