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Discussion Thread: Does DNS Filtering Break the Internet?

December 22nd, 2011 by | 12 Comments »

There’s a lot of controversy about the DNS filtering mandate proposed in two bills moving in the U. S. Congress,  PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA.) This is place to express your point of view and your reasoning. What do these measures require? Is it proper to filter DNS? Is there a conflict between DNS filtering and DNS Security? Is there a better way?

Weigh in with your comments if you please.

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  1. The problem with the questions above, include the use of the passive voice, and the use of pronouns.

    The issues become more clear when nouns are used and the active voice is employed.

    E.g.:
    Is it proper for Copyright Holders to be able to demand that US ISPs perform filtering on the DNS resolvers that the ISPs operate, without any involvement of the Courts, or due process related to the sites for which the DNS entries are to be blocked? [No.]

    Can DNS Security and DNS filtering co-exist without the DNS filtering interfering with DNS Security? [No.]

    Is there a better way to enforce Copyright law on an international stage, than attempting to apply US legislation on the whole Internet (and the international components thereof)? [Yes.]

    The quick explanations for this are:
    Not using legal avenues is a First Amendment issue. Not using legal avenues which legitimately result in court orders relating to domain names, where the courts involved are international in jurisdiction, is futile. Using legitimate, international, legal processes is the proper approach, where the courts can balance the rights of the domain owners (if there are any) against those of the copyright holders. It is effective, even if it isn’t terribly fast. Domain squatting resolution is also effective, and reasonably quick.

    Employing the RICO act in revoking the oligopoly of the RIAA and MPAA, creating a fair market for artist-produced goods (music and film), and removing the ability to lock up markets on an exclusive distribution basis, will allow for market forces to control the pricing and availability of content, will allow artists to receive fair pay for their creative work, and will result in a net growth in overall financial windfall for all involved. Fair pricing will lower the unit costs but drastically increase the volume. Fair pricing will, on a cost vs cost basis alone, be sufficient to end piracy.
    This is the approach the elected representatives SHOULD be using.

    Here’s why, briefly:
    Ordinary people buy what they can afford. When they are excluded from the purchasing market on the basis of cost, they will go to the grey or black market. Failure to recognize this (lower price point for goods) as a new market, is the main reason revenues for the MPAA and RIAA are decreasing. Piracy has no direct impact per se. The shortsightedness of the distributors (and, BTW, not the creators) of the content, is largely to blame. Demand creates markets, not supply. Failure to address the demand, by denying its existence, creates the opportunity for the knock-off suppliers.

    Attempting to abuse the technology, in ways that impose cost on third parties, create massive collateral damage, impact free speech, and basically shred the Constitution, expose the MPAA, RIAA, and Congress/Senate for what they are. Greedy exploiters who use a corrupt system to line their own pockets without regard for the impact their actions have.

    Oh, and unless every packet entering/leaving the US is filtered for DNS traffic, the result will be negligible. Filtering of DNS traffic itself can be circumvented by VPNs. Similarly, Filtering of VPNs would do so much more damage than good, that I doubt anyone would seriously consider requiring that of international ISPs. The bigger the hammer that is used, the more damage that is done. Sometimes a carrot (lower prices on DVDs and CDs) is much more effective than a stick (suing one’s customers for thousands or millions of dollars, as the RIAA is currently trying to do).

    The real problem with SOPA and PIPA, is the temporary chill and damage that will result while it is fought and destroyed via legal challenges all the way up to SCOTUS. Most technical folks expect it to fail the same way, and for similar reasons, that legislation intended to combat child pornography (a much more universally despised issue than unauthorized duplication of music and movies) was eventually struck down, three or four times so far.

    Maybe you can explain this to your corporate masters, rather than trying to persuade the ignorant and gullible, or apologizing for your masters’ slimy tactics. We’d all be better off.

  2. You clearly haven’t read the bill, DNS Engineer. The bill requires a court order before any ISP can be required to filter DNS responses pertaining to any domain, so your first claim is false.

    The DNS response filtering mechanism can be implemented by RCODE REFUSED, which doesn’t affect DNSSEC, so you second claim is false.

    An International court proceeding can’t be accomplished in a reasonable period of time, so your third claim is also false.

    Your comparison of movie studios and record producers to criminal enterprises is simply bizarre, not enough sound enough to be false.

  3. I have read the bill. Section 102 (Attorney General launching the action) is reasonable, to some degree. Section 103, which allows for private parties to unilaterally initiate action, without first having to have the AG do anything, is where it goes off the rails.

    Courts are obligated to follow what laws say, regardless of whether they are sensible or not. If a new law gives private citizens subpoena power, or the right to demand injunctions with the power of the court behind the injunction, then the court has no option but to issue the court orders.

    The problem isn’t the presence or absence of courts per se, it is what needs to happen to satisfy the requirements. The parties to the court order are Service Providers, not the Domain Registries, Domain Registrars, Domain Registrants, the Registrant’s hosting customers (if the Registrant is a hosting company), or whoever the actual perpetrator of the offense (copyright infringement) actually is.

    See my comments on the other article, regarding RCODE REFUSED.

    And whether the courts are effective, efficient, or adequate is actually not germane to the issue. The law is an ass.

    This is a an attempt to abuse technology and bypass the court processes, which while not speedy, are the correct forum for addressing problems.

    Please read my Original Posting beginning at the “Here’s why, briefly:” line – that is the elephant in the room. If you disagree, that’s fine, but I’m interested in what your position on this is, and if you have any contact with the bills’ proponents (privately or otherwise), and you can let us know their view on this, that would certainly be enlightening.

  4. The content creators have accepted that Internet distribution is something they’re wise to accept, even if it means lower unit prices for their goods because it means more sales. There is very little Hollywood content you can’t buy from somebody these days, although there’s still way too much that’s DVD only when it should be available as streaming too.

    They accept that some people will only consume their product if it’s free and they can’t really do much about that. Therefore, the focus of SOPA and PIPA is on people who are paying for their content today; specifically, it’s people who buy Hollywood and Nashville product from unauthorized sellers. That’s the actual focus of these bills, correctly understood.

    • LOL.. Where do you get off? These so called politicians are trying to censor the internet, thereby destroying our free rights as Americans of our freedom of speech, our rights to privacy and its also attempting to put one of the last nails in our constitution’s coffin. You people that are born into oppurtunity and wealth, and also you who decide that you are for nobody other than yourself are not only killing our country and all of its beauty and ideals, but also you’re making an even greater mistake of thinking that this will not affect the way that our country will certainly head with its already too many laws of porportionally tragic and uncertain amounts that already have the world looking at us like, “What the hell?” and you think that you may just have something by proposing fascism? In America, really? I think the people that are alot smarter than you and those who only think outside of their boxes,(DNS_Engineer being one of them) won’t tolerate it when its all worked out. Or you. I think that its time that people that propose to invade the common citizen’s privacy, in this case their right to use our awesome gift from the people who made and gave the internet to all the people of the world, free of charge and judgement, should be the ones charged and found to be guilty of interrupting and waisting valueable time of man and our endless pursuit of progression. Some people actually love what they do, Richard Bennet. And they love it so much, that they don’t put a price tag on it. They give it away because they know that it brings others happiness and maybe helps them to progress too. With more than enough being said about all of this already, the real question really should be.. Whay are you still here?

      • FreedomFighterXNY, honestly, have a word with yourself.

        Richard Bennett asks some perfectly neutral and fair questions inviting a discussion of the technology of DNS filtering in regard to SOPA, and so far we’ve seen one response from a guy who begins with a false characterization of what the bill actually contains and then descends into rhetoric about ‘corporate masters’, and another who’d rather talk about Mr. Bennett’s supposed wealth and how he’s apparently a selfish fascist who is killing our country and all of its beauty. For heaven’s sake. I’ve been following the SOPA debate for some time now, and generally believe there are two (or more) sides to every story – so why is that every SOPA opponent I come across is seemingly incapable of discussing the facts as they stand without resorting to hysterical caricatures or personal abuse?

  5. One more thing, am I missing something by you asking these questions, and not being objectionable about them? What trully is your take on this subject, I wonder because I wasn’t aware that you were the person who started this subject on this forum. Well if I misunderstood and you weren’t giving an opinion of your own then you have my apologies, Richard_Bennet, and of course from my post you already know where I stand. Also thank you for raising this subject because I as a citizen, with rights, think that this is a very important issue and a very big problem that should’nt have made it this far in the legal system. Again if you weren’t casting any opinion towards this you have my apologies. And happy new year to you aswell.

  6. If you read these bills, I think you’ll find that PIPA and SOPA are much less ambitious than you imagine.

    They don’t alter or reduce anyone’s ability to speak, they actually increase the control that speakers have over the distribution and sale of their own speech, which has to be liberating in the long run.

    • No it isn’t becausae once someone releases their item or “product” that sale is final, and what you’re saying is that they should have control over their item long after its sold so in that instance it would never trully belong to someone. Also we both know that these right infringement proposals are just the very beginning of more to come on letting just anyone try to change and alter the internet in any way that will get them further in power and that is not and will never be acceptable, so just try to look at it from a creator’s point of view and not an infringer.

      • Creators create, don’t they? I don’t see pirates are creators.

  7. People that choose to share their files are doing so at their own risks and what does that have to do with the people that don’t? I was personally reffering to the internet’s creators and I think that behind this ignorant and blind support of this beginning act on trying to control everything that the people do or say, you know that this is the wrong way to approach this thing. I’ll just give up the ship for you right now. If these companies weren’t involved in these conspiracies to filter way more money in their direction (laughs), or so as planned, everyone should already know that if they don’t want their movies slipping out for early releases, either titghten up on your security, or stop letting people walk out with your material and post it on the net for everyone before your movie comes out. You just have to have better control over your item for yourselves. It is not a reason to start altering this free enterprise and gift that is still untouched and undefiled by corporations and furthermore law proposers, that should not have any control over clearly something that is not any of their subjects or sciences, or expertise. These people need to get a hold on what they produce and if they don’t want it to be copied to another kind of file, although be it that it loses substantial quality every time that it is copied and transferred from its original source and different type of file, then they should put more security on them and their devices and products. You can try to make this seem like its not bad and is something that is acceptable, but in reality you are not really representing the people in free society. You’re only representing a corperate view of this and I assure you that you may think that you know what effect this could have over the internet as we know it, but you have no idea. People are sick and way further than being tired of the way that our American governments are trying to take everything away from us piece by piece. I know in my mind that this will not be stood for. There are already millions of people in complete disagreement and are trying to challenge the new wave of evil trying to challenge our very base of our freedom and choices that we can make for ourselves. Hopefully some day a leader with your quailifications will come along and put a stop to all of this nonsense. One thing that I know and that is if this bill passes, I will do all in my power to never buy a movie, or another game from Capcom.. Again. Also I will be bad naming everyone else involved with this and saying exactly what I think about their stupidity and support for the beginning attempts to enslave the people of America. Yeah, this is the beginning… But yeah, aside from this all you think what you want man. I will respect your opinion for now.