Google Expands Control of Internet Architecture

Google has announced Google Public DNS, which will route all requests for internet addresses, a core Internet function, through Google’s servers. These requests would normally only pass through the servers of the users’ internet service providers. Google’s Domain Name System service does not use the new authentication standard DNSSEC, (Domain Name System Security Extensions) but instead uses a proprietary security method. By tradition, DNS is a distributed function, subject to an open standard-setting process. For more information, see EPIC DNSSEC.  (Electronic Privacy Information Center)

2 Responses

  1. One of the things you want in a DNS is speed. I just learned of an Open Source tool that will test the speed of various DNS servers and report to you which is the fastest. You can then use the fastest one as your primary DNS, and include others further on down the list (assuming your OS allows for more than one or two).

    http://code.google.com/p/namebench/

  2. There are a few statements that are a bit misleading. Not an accusation against you, but this stuff is pretty technical. Note I am not a DNS expert, but an Internet user since the early 1990’s. Also I have no affiliation with Google and I too have some issues with them.

    Google has announced Google Public DNS, which will route all requests for internet addresses, a core Internet function, through Google’s servers.

    This is not accurate as stated. There is no way they could “route all requests for internet addresses, through Google’s servers.” The Internet is like a net. :-) Imagine a fisherman’s net and each knot is a computer, in particular servers. Even though some companies would prefer a “star” or “hub” topology with them as the central “God” and each us as only passing data through the central hub, that is a LOUSY way for the Internet to work, and thus it was not designed that way.

    Name servers are only required when a request is made using a text name of the computer you wish to contact. The Domain Name Server receives the text request and returns (or finds out) the IP numeric address of the computer.

    Think of it this way, if you know someone’s phone number, you can just call it, bingo, you’re done. But if you don’t know the phone number but you have the text name of the entity you wish to call, you must do a “look up,” similar to the DNS. You consult a directory that matches names to numbers. Once you find the text match, you use the number to contact them directly. Typically each Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides this directory for their customers, but there are many other DNS providers which allow you to bypass your ISPs DNS. Also no ISP’s DNS is exhaustive with regards to having the complete table of text domain names and their IP address equivalents; DNS servers routinely ask other servers if they know the numeric IP address.

    These requests would normally only pass through the servers of the users’ internet service providers.

    The use of the word “normally” is probably where people would find issue with me, but the fact is that anyone can go into their network settings and fiddle with the DNS IP addresses.

    It’s (probably) true that most ISP’s by default set up themselves to be the primary/main/default DNS. But at least on the Mac (it’s been a while since I’ve muddled through the obtuse frustrating confusion that is MS WIN), you’ve always been to, and it’s remarkably easy to, add new DNS servers as well as remove DNS servers.

    Google is just the latest to offer this service. There’s OpenDNS which has been around for many years.

    You can configure your own computer, or fiddle with your ISP’s xDSL box, to ignore your ISP’s name servers and make requests directly to the OpenDNS servers.

    But on the issue of using proprietary or open and publicly documented standards, give me RFCs any day.

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