Wikipedia and other popular online services are opposing and protesting against SOPA and PIPA, therefore these services might go dark (i.e., turning off their services) today. In case you can’t use these online services today, you should think about using Google’s Public DNS or OpenDNS since these third party DNS services might have route their DNS through servers that locate outside of the United States of America, consequently allowing you to access these online services just fine even though you live within the United States of America. For your information, I’m able to access Wikipedia’s English website just now, and this means my using of popular third party DNS services such as Google Public DNS and OpenDNS has allowed me to access these popular services just fine.
The blackout of these popular online services has exposed the useless effort of trying to block websites at DNS level. As you can see, by using third party DNS servers, people can access the blackout websites just fine. It’s rather pointless, and it might encourage people who have no idea of DNS to use the wrong third party DNS servers that may get them in situations where they can be infected with computer viruses, malware, and so on. Don’t think so? What if those third party DNS servers are intending to redirect targeted victims to the phishing websites where people will enter their confidential information such as banking credentials? I think you know where I’m heading, and so I hope you know how important it’s for us to make sure the integrity of DNS structure within the United States of America stays innocent and harmless (i.e., does not discriminate against specific types of web traffics), otherwise people might find themselves to be victimized by computer viruses, identity theft, and more just because they try to use unknown, unpopular third party DNS services’ servers.
Even worse, I don’t think Google Public DNS and Open DNS services will be fine and dandy when SOPA and PIPA become law! Why? If you read Yahoo article’s Why SOPA is Dangerous, it explains that any service enables/allows people to access copyright infringed materials would be subjected to SOPA and PIPA regulations. This means Google Public DNS and Open DNS services might have to be shut down since these popular third party DNS servers are clearly within the United States’ jurisdiction and allowing people to access all contents (i.e., even copyright infringed contents). Since well known third party DNS servers such as the ones that belong to Google Public DNS do not have the ability to screen every web traffic (i.e., simply not cost effective), third party DNS servers simply cannot function under SOPA and PIPA. Without having access to popular third party DNS servers, people might just have to rely on malicious third party DNS servers that locate outside of the United States. I’m going in a loop in explaining to you over and over again on purpose, because I think SOPA and PIPA are just downright dangerous!
Some of you might argue that since the founders of SOPA and PIPA had taken out the specific bits that allow to block web traffics at DNS level, therefore we might not need to worry about SOPA and PIPA anymore. I think you’re wrong! Why? Other bits within SOPA and PIPA are still gunning for shutting down websites and online services that are just simply enabling users to access infringed copyright contents. Knowing these bits are still within SOPA and PIPA, it’s simply making sense that DNS servers that are being targeted or will be targeted by Attorney General (i.e., as how it is explained by Yahoo’s article Why SOPA is Dangerous) will have to be shut down still. So, how can we be sure that Google Public DNS and OpenDNS will be in service in our near future? I think we simply just don’t know! So, the idea that DNS structure as a whole isn’t going to be regulated by SOPA and PIPA is an irony. When SOPA and PIPA become law, the Attorney General might still have the power to shut down specific DNS servers within the United States, because the languages within SOPA and PIPA are just too broad.
When I say DNS servers get shutdown, it might mean certain affected websites might not be accessible within the United States. It’s all depending on how the Attorney General wants to make things happen under the contexts of SOPA and PIPA. For all we know, the Attorney General can just shut down the DNS servers that allow Internet users within the United States to access certain copyright infringed websites. When DNS servers get shutdown, not only infringed copyright websites but all websites that are relying on the same out of service DNS servers will be unreachable. To put this in another way, it doesn’t matter which website, because all websites and online services accept all web traffics, and Internet users who rely on out of service DNS servers might have to rely on malicious third party DNS servers. In the case where specific websites are being blocked by DNS servers and not the DNS servers are being shutdown, Internet users can still access such websites with relying on malicious third party DNS servers. Of course, not all third party DNS servers are malicious, but I think the probability of having people who don’t know much about DNS using malicious third party DNS servers is high! End rant!
- OpenDNS and the SOPA blackout: The censorship you can expect (opendns.com)
- Where Do SOPA and PIPA Stand Now? (mashable.com)
- OpenDNS To Participate in Anti-SOPA Protests (forbes.com)
- Wikipedia to Go Dark on Wednesday to Protest SOPA & PIPA (everyjoe.com)
- Hollywood: SOPA’s DNS Blocking ‘Off The Table’ (mashable.com)
- SOPA Author Attacks Wikipedia, Schedules Debate on Bill (mashable.com)
- White House comments on SOPA/PIPA, Congress responds (vator.tv)
- Reeling MPAA declares DNS filtering “off the table” (arstechnica.com)
- Block DNS… (chrisbuijs.com)
- Wikipedia Will Go Dark On January 18 To Protest SOPA And PIPA (techcrunch.com)