Last week's SOPA hearings were punctuated by facepalming moments in which learned members of the House Judiciary Committee dismissed the distinguished engineers who say the bill weakens Internet security. They said things like, "I'm no nerd, but I just don't believe it."
Well, you don't have to be a "nerd" to understand a) what DNSSEC is; b) why we desperately need it (or something like it) before the Internet collapses along with the creaking public key infrastructure; and c) how the insanity in SOPA will tank that effort. Stewart Baker at the Volokh Conspiracy lays it out in small, easy-to-understand words.
Unfortunately, the things a browser does to bypass a criminal site will also defeat SOPA’s scheme for blocking pirate sites. SOPA envisions the AG telling ISPs to block the address of www.piracy.com. So the browsers get no information about www.piracy.com from the ISP’s DNS server. Faced with silence from that server, the browser will go into fraud-prevention mode, casting about to find another DNS server that can give it the address. Eventually, it will find a server in, say, Canada. Free from the Attorney’ General’s jurisdiction, the server will provide a signed address for piracy.com, and the browser will take its user to the authenticated site.
That’s what the browser should do if it’s dealing with a hijacked DNS server. But browser code can’t tell the Attorney General from a hijacker, so it will end up treating them both the same. And from the AG’s point of view, the browser’s efforts to find an authoritative DNS server will look like a deliberate effort to evade his blocking order.
The latest version of SOPA will feed that view. It allows the AG to sue “any entity that knowingly and willfully provides …a product … designed by such entity or by another in concert with such entity for the circumvention or bypassing of” the AG’s blocking orders.
(via Interesting People)
When pianist James Rhodes uploaded a recording of his own performance of a Bach composition to Facebook, it was immediately blocked thanks to a match with a recording that Sony had claimed copyright in; Facebook uses an automated filter of the sort that the EU voted to make mandatory for all content types and services […]
Lobbyists for "creators" threw their lot in with the giant entertainment companies and the newspaper proprietors and managed to pass the new EU Copyright Directive by a hair's-breadth this morning, in an act of colossal malpractice to harm to working artists will only be exceeded by the harm to everyone who uses the internet for […]
Tomorrow's the day: the EU will vote on the text of the new Copyright Directive, including the most sweeping and invasive internet regulations in European history: Article 11, letting news sites decide who can link to them and charge for the privilege; and Article 13, creating vast, unaccountable databases of "copyrighted works" and censoring anything […]
It might still be September, but the holiday season will be here before you know it, which means now is the time to think about where you want to vacation to—and what to do once you get there. To this end, we’ve scoured the Web and tracked down a number of travel hacking ebooks, gadgets, […]
The human eye is a beautiful, incredible thing, but it’s far from perfect, especially when it comes to examining objects up close. Capable of magnifying objects up to 1,000 times, this portable microscope camera lets you see wonders hidden to your regular vision, and it’s on sale today for $38.99. Don’t let its compact size fool […]
There’s no shortage of apps available for your Mac, and, while it’s great to have options, this overabundance makes it difficult to find the apps worth installing on your computer. Thankfully, there’s the Pay What You Want: The Ultimate Mac Bundle ft. 2Do to simplify the process, which boasts 10 of the best Mac apps out […]