Thursday, October 6

The European Union is preparing its own public DNS with which to block “illegal and malicious” traffic


Europe presents its own alternative to Google DNS, Cloudfare and the rest of the free DNS. His name is DNS4EU and it will be a public tool that will be at the service of the different administrations and operators, who will be able to offer it as an alternative to the current DNS, mostly from North American companies.

The DNS (‘Domain Name System’) is one of the essential components to understand how we connect to the Internet and the tool used for browsers to know which web domain they should go to based on the IP. Many operators have their own DNS, but it is very common to use third-party services. And this is where the European Union is concerned, since wants this key component to connect to the network to also have European origin.

A public alternative that could also serve as a censorship mechanism

DNS4EU has been proposed this week by the European Union. Its operation is simple, it is one more DNS but it follows the designs of the European administrations. “DNS4EU will offer a high level of resilience, global and EU-specific cybersecurity protection, data protection and privacy in accordance with EU standards, will ensure that DNS resolution data is processed in Europe and that personal data is not monetized,” the statement explains.

The project has a budget of 14 million euros and has security as one of its bases. The idea is that it will allow malware and phishing to be blocked, based on what is determined by the national cryptological centers (CERT). That is to say, the DNS will be used to detect possible malicious domains and be blocked directly.

Filtering is precisely one of the most controversial aspects. Section 12 of the DNS4EU characteristics is define So:

“Filtering of URLs leading to illegal content based on applicable legal requirements in the EU or national jurisdictions (for example, based on court orders), in full compliance with EU rules.”

This will allow operators to automatically block through these DNS content that has been deemed illegal by court order. Those websites will no longer be accessible to all users who use this DNS. It will be necessary to see how this blocking will be carried out, since if the DNS is common throughout Europe, the blocking of these web pages could be extended across several countries.

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Although it is still early to see how it will finally be implemented, there are already some voices critical of this measure. In respuesta a Torrent Freak, Patrick Breyer, MEP from the Pirate Party, explains that this public DNS is unnecessary and that the current open DNS is sufficient: “Blocking access via DNS allows content to remain online and therefore can be easily bypassed and often results in excessive blocking and collateral suppression of legal speech hosted on the same website, by the same provider, or through the same network.”

In the opinion of the defender of digital rights, content that has been declared illegal must be removed and not blocked through the DNS. Otherwise, you could run the risk of blocking too much.

Image | Krzysztof Kowalik
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