Wednesday 12 October 2011

Alternative DNS Systems Sprouting Up To Bypass Censorship

After the US government, via Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division, started seizing domains without any notification or adversarial hearing (things that most of the world would consider to be reasonable due process), some folks quickly put together a browser extension, called MAFIAAfire, that would route around any ICE seizures and take you directly to the sites whose domains had been seized. This is, as the internet saying goes, a form of seeing censorship as "damage" and routing around it.

Of course, that could be done on a much larger scale. As a bunch of the folks who built key pieces of the core internet infrastructure warned, continuing this kind of policy will lead to more workarounds that inevitably will fracture key pieces of the internet.
So now, totally as expected, we're already seeing alternative DNS systems showing up, advertising that they should be used to route around US government censorship of such websites. The one getting attention these days is called