Congress scrutinizes Google over use of private DNS in Chrome

Congress scrutinizes Google over use of private DNS in Chrome

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DNS over HTTPS is a new-ish concept that was first introduced and proposed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) back in October 2018, roughly a year ago. For starters, it allows for performing DNS resolutions over the HTTPS protocol, providing great advantages for both privacy and security. This new protocol was supported, among other companies, by Google, and the company is currently working into implementing DNS over HTTPS on Google Chrome and is planning to start testing the feature on Chrome 78, rolling it out to a small number of users.

But this new protocol is, however, not sitting well with ISPs as it effectively blocks them from having any insight into their users’ traffic. Now, Congress seems to be scrutinizing Google over its implementation of DoH, according to a Wall Street Journal report. According to this report, the House Judiciary Committee has sent a letter to Alphabet Inc. asking for information regarding its “decision regarding whether to adopt or promote the adoption” of DNS over HTTPS, as well as information on whether they were planning on using data processed through this protocol for commercial purposes. The Justice Department has also expressed that they were aware of concerns regarding this protocol and has confirmed that they’ve received complaints, likely from ISPs.

In response to this, Google has declared that they were supporting this feature to maximize and ensure the privacy and security of users online, as well as dismissed claims that they were trying to force users into passing their data through their own encrypted DNS servers. The company has declared in an emailed statement that “Google has no plans to centralize or change people’s DNS providers to Google by default” and that “any claim that we are trying to become the centralized encrypted DNS provider is inaccurate.”

As we said before, Google plans to begin testing a rollout of DNS over HTTPS starting with Chrome 78, in anticipation of a wider rollout on a future Chrome version.

Source: The Wall Street Journal