Policies mandating DNS filtering undermine the open architecture of the Internet and raise human rights and freedom of expression concerns
[Washington, D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland – 12 December 2011] – The Internet Society Board of Trustees has expressed concern with a number of U.S. legislative proposals that would mandate DNS blocking and filtering by ISPs to protect the interests of copyright holders. While the Internet Society agrees that combating illicit online activity is an important public policy objective, these critical issues must be addressed in ways that do not undermine the viability of the Internet as a platform for innovation across all industries by compromising its global architecture. The Internet Society Board of Trustees does not believe that the Protect-IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are consistent with these basic principles.
The Internet Society has noted with concern a number of U.S. legislative proposals that would mandate DNS blocking and filtering by ISPs in order to protect the interests of copyright holders. We agree with proponents of the Protect-IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that combating illegal online activities is a very important public policy objective. However, policies that are enacted to achieve this goal must not undermine the viability of the Internet as a globally reachable platform. After close examination and consultation with the Internet community, we do not believe that the current U.S. legislative proposals are consistent with these basic principles.
In particular, we are concerned with provisions in both laws regarding DNS filtering. DNS filtering is often proposed as a way to block illegal content consumption by end users. Yet policies to mandate DNS filtering have not proven to be effective – these approaches interfere with cross-border data flows and services undermining innovation and social development across the globe. In addition, DNS blocking raises significant concerns with respect to human rights and freedom of expression and may curtail fundamental international principles of rule of law and due process.
The United States has an important leadership role when it comes to online Internet freedoms and should show the way when it comes to balancing local responsibilities and global impact, especially with respect to Internet policy.
In short, the negative impact of DNS filtering far outweighs any short-term, narrow, legal, and commercial benefits. The Internet Society believes that sustained, global collaboration amongst all parties is needed to find ways that protect the global architecture of the Internet while combating illegal online activities. We must all work to support the principles of innovation and freedom of expression upon which the Internet was founded.
The Internet Society has issued a statement criticizing recent technical efforts to suppress the Wikileaks website.
It reads as follows:
Recently, we have witnessed the effective disappearance from the Internet of a website made infamous through international press coverage and political intrigue.
The Internet Society is founded upon key principles of free expression and non discrimination that are essential to preserve the openness and utility of the Internet. We believe that this incident dramatically illustrates that those principles are currently at risk.
Recognizing the content of the wikileaks.org website is the subject of concern to a variety of individuals and nations, we nevertheless believe it must be subject to the same laws and policies of availability as all Internet sites. Free expression should not be restricted by governmental or private controls over computer hardware or software, telecommunications infrastructure, or other essential components of the Internet.
Resilience and cooperation are built into the Internet as a design principle. The cooperation among several organizations has ensured that the impact on the Wikileaks organizational website has not prevented all access to Wikileaks material. This further underscores that removal of a domain is an ineffective tool to suppress communication, merely serving to undermine the integrity of the global Internet and its operation.
Unless and until appropriate laws are brought to bear to take the wikileaks.org domain down legally, technical solutions should be sought to reestablish its proper presence, and appropriate actions taken to pursue and prosecute entities (if any) that acted maliciously to take it off the air.
Internet Society Applauds Key Milestone in Domain Name Security Technology
The Internet Society welcomes the significant milestone recently reached in implementing DNSSEC at the highest level of the Domain Name System (DNS), and applauds the efforts by ICANN, Verisign, and the U.S. Department of Commerce that made it possible.
Leslie Daigle, chief Internet technical officer for the Internet Society, said, “We’re excited to see this capstone element of DNSSEC deployment put in place. It signals a new era for operational security of the Internet, and we look forward to new levels of user confidence in network activities using DNSSEC and the services built out from it.”
In February the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) set out its Proposed Strategic Initiatives for Improved DNS Security, Stability and Resiliency (SSR) and, specifically, proposed the establishment of the Domain Name System-Computer Emergency Response Team (DNS-CERT).
At the March ICANN meeting in Nairobi CEO Rod Beckstrom endorsed the proposals, citing increased attacks on the DNS system.
The Internet Society (ISOC) has filed comments stating that 1) there is no evidence of a sudden increase in attacks, increased vulnerability or inadequacy of current arrangements, and 2) that ICANN has jumped the gun with its proposals which are not necessarily within its purview. Indeed it is suggested that ICANN did not even gain the full backing of its own supporting organizations and advisory committees before making the proposals, and this is backed up by the comments of At-Large Advisory Committee Chair Cheryl Langdon-Orr.
ISOC recommends that the proposals be tabled while further consultation is made with the many institutional, national and regional organizations, including existing CERTs, that are already involved in maintaining DNS stability.
ISOC believes it is vital to rely on the Internet model to get the best result. The Internet model relies on open, bottom-up, freely accessible, public, multi-stakeholder, and knowledge-based processes for both technology and policy development.
Reston, VA, USA; and Geneva, Switzerland – 24 November 2008 – The Internet Society today submitted comments to the United States National Telecommunications and Information Administration, in response to a Notice of Inquiry on “Enhancing the Security and Stability of the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System.” Before developing the submission, ISOC management sought inputs from the organization’s global membership. The final version reflects comments provided during several review sessions held during the ISOC Board of Trustees’ meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 22-23, 2008. The text of the submission is available here. Comments submitted by others, including the Internet Architecture Board, may be found on the NTIA website.
On Friday, October 17th, Council Member Gale A. Brewer (D-Manhattan), Chair of the Technology in Government Committee, held a hearing regarding the Cityâ€™s interest for a unique .nyc Top Level Domain (TLD).
ipod | stills | youtube | mp3
On Oct 1 2008 Infoblox will present DNS expert Cricket Liu at the Microsoft Conference Center in an interactive discussion on the very latest information about recently discovered flaws in DNS software, plus a session on best practices architecture for DNS and DHCP, specifically for Microsoft environments.Â Cost free. Breakfast & lunch included.
ICANN is raising awareness of a recently discovered vulnerability in the domain name system (DNS). This includes releasing an FAQ and an online tool for domain operators to test their domains.
Due to the distributed nature of the DNS, no one organization can implement a fix for this vulnerability. It requires the cooperation of all name server operators and DNS software vendors. However, ICANN sees an important goal in spreading awareness of the need to update Internet infrastructure to cope with the threat. The organization has been undertaking significant outreach efforts to top-level domain operators to advise them on the issue. It has also prepared an FAQ and online domain testing tool to raise awareness of the problem, and to encourage network operators to rectify or update their servers.