Mozilla branded as ‘internet villain’ by internet groups for supporting DNS privacy feature

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Mozilla got branded as internet villain by an industry group of internet service providers for supporting the DNS security standard.

The U.K.’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA), the trade group for internet service providers, nominated the browser maker for its proposed effort to roll out the security feature. According to them, the security feature allows users to:

 “bypass UK filtering obligations and parental controls, undermining internet safety standards in the UK.”

Last year, Mozilla said that they are planning to test DNS-over-HTTPS to a small number of users.

The website that you visit, doesn’t matter whether it is HTTPS enabled, the DNS query that is known to convert the web address into an IP address that computers can read is usually unencrypted. The feature has been implemented by Mozilla in its app which makes it the first company to support and use DNS-over-HTPPS. By encrypting the DNS query it also protects the DNS request against man-in-the-middle attacks. This allows attackers to hijack and point victims to a harmful and malicious page instead.

DNS-over-HTTPS can also improve performance. This, as a result, will enhance the overall browsing experience. Not just that, but it will also make it much faster.

However, the ISPA doesn’t agree that DNS-over-HTTPS is compatible with the U.K’s current website blocking regime.

According to U.K. law, websites can be blocked for facilitating or the infringement of copyrighted or trademarked material. A website can also be blocked off they are deemed to contain any sort of terrorist material or child abuse imagery. In encrypting DNS queries, it is said that it will make it more difficult for internet service providers to filter their user’s internet access.

ISPA is not alone in this as spy agency GCHQ and the Internet Watch Foundation have also criticized this move by Mozilla. They have asked the company to roll out encrypted DNS features to the browser.

The ISPA’s nomination quickly drew fire from the security community. They said:

“Bringing in DNS-over-HTTPS by default would be harmful to online safety, cybersecurity, and consumer choice.”

 

 

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