Google Chrome will add support for DNS over TLS providers like CloudFlare
The internet was created to be an open infrastructure but it has become such an integral part of so many companies (and governments) that they have been trying to take advantage of its weaknesses. A popular topic around online usage these days is privacy. Not only is Google Chrome showing bigger warning signs of websites that are not using the HTTPS protocol, but it has also given a boost to websites’ rankings in its search engine for those who have implemented it. DNS has a weakness just like HTTP had but this is something DNS over TLS has resolved. A commit to the Chromium Gerrit repo shows that Google is working to add support for it in a future update.
So, just like the regular HTTP protocol was originally implemented in a way that allowed others to snoop on those requests, the same is possible with DNS requests. In a simplified explanation, when you go to a website such as XDA-Developers.com you are using its domain name to access it. So your web browser (or an app as well) connects to the domain name server (DNS) that you are currently using and then finds the IP address for the website. With this information, you are then shown the contents of the website.
When the DNS protocol was designed in the 1980s they didn’t have privacy in mind, so over the last few years, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has been working on a new protocol currently known as DNS over TLS. Not all DNS providers support it, but there are some that do (such as the recently launched CloudFlare DNS service). There’s another part to all of this as well. Just because you are using the CloudFlare DNS service doesn’t mean you are using the DNS over TLS protocol for added privacy.
Google first spoke about Android 9 Pie getting support for DNS over TLS back in April of this year and we were able to discover the commit for it later that year in October. So, this leaves people wondering when Chrome will begin to support the new protocol. In a recent commit to the Chromium Gerrit, it looks like engineers at Google are currently working on adding enhanced privacy to DNS requests to Chrome. The commit talks about it as “DNS over HTTPS (DoH)” and there is a dropdown menu of pre-approved options for the user to choose from.
The commit hasn’t been merged yet, but it’s marked as Active. As of right now, there are three different merge conflicts that need to be resolved first. As soon as those are handled though, browsing the internet with Chrome will be a much more private experience.
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