The Fight Over Encrypted DNS: Explained

From IEEE Spectrum:

Privacy and security specialists are in the middle of a very public fight over the future of Internet encryption. In September, cable companies and other telecommunications industry groups in the United States sent a letter to Congress protesting Google’s plans to encrypt domain name servers (DNS) in the browser. Mozilla sent a letter [PDF] of its own this month, asking lawmakers to reject the industry’s lobbying efforts, saying they were based on “factual inaccuracies.”

At stake is how DNS traffic—the network queries that translate people-friendly domain names into server IP addresses—should be encrypted.

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No one is arguing that DNS shouldn’t be encrypted. Bad actors shouldn’t be able to intercept and redirect users to malicious sites that host malware or phish user credentials and information. The disagreement is over how that encryption should be done.

There are two options: Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (known as “DNS over HTTPS”) or Transport Layer Security (called “DNS over TLS”).

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