October 11, 2011

DNS Bypass Systems Needed Now! -- VeriSign Wants Right to Shut Down Domains for Pretty Much Any Reason

VeriSign has formally requested permission to shut down domains (apparently in most cases with only "after the fact" recourse for targeted sites) for a long list of reasons, ranging from what they view as "malware infestation" to "requests" (not limited to court orders) from "law enforcement."

By this move, VeriSign continues efforts to morph the Domain Name System (DNS) into an adjunct of both the "domain-industrial complex" and law enforcement, including efforts to impose U.S.-based enforcement on sites based wholly within other countries.

Though it is possible to posit extremely rare scenarios where rapid takedown of a domain may be needed to protect the safety of individuals or the Internet at large, in reality most of the circumstances cited by VeriSign are much more akin to commercial concerns or law enforcement desires short of court orders, and involve an obvious effort to bypass due process, both domestically and internationally.

While it is understood that long-term efforts are necessary to replace the existing increasingly co-opted and abused DNS with an entirely new, distributed system not subject to such abuses (e.g. "IDONS" or some other mechanism), it is also extremely clear that concerned organizations and individuals need to be working right now on short-term alternatives that can be brought into immediate action -- to help insure continued access to sites after inappropriate and in some cases likely illegal domain takedowns by VeriSign or other entities.

There are a number of technical approaches available to accomplish this, that could provide for rapid deployment on an "as needed" basis, without requiring significant new engineering.

Your thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thanks.


Posted by Lauren at October 11, 2011 05:04 PM | Permalink
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