Google Faces the Antitrust Hammer Because of Its Plans to Add DNS Encryptoin

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by Christopher Hamman · 4 min read
Google Faces the Antitrust Hammer Because of Its Plans to Add DNS Encryptoin
Photo: Pixabay

Google is coming under congressional scrutiny due to its plans to include increased security for Domain Name Servers (DNS) in its popular Chrome browser.

The United States’ anti-trust movement is coming after Google and it is over the search engine giant’s plans to include Transport Layer Security (TLS) over the Domain name servers which resolve domain names in its popular web browser Chrome.

The US House judiciary committee is extremely concerned about the potential strategic advantage that Google will gain if and when it fully implements the DNS-over-https which is aimed at securing the users of what is today the World’s most popular web browser.

According to sources, the congressional committee had on September 13, 2019, asked the search engine giant for more information “decision regarding whether to adopt or promote the adoption” of the protocol”.

Already Google has vehemently denied trying to change users DNS. It indicated in a statement:

“Google has no plans to centralize or change people’s DNS providers to Google by default. Any claim that we are trying to become the centralized encrypted DNS provider is inaccurate.” 

The legislators aren’t the only ones who are involved in the process. Reports indicate that the United States department of justice has also received petitions from concerned parties as well. 

While privacy groups such as the electronic frontier foundation are quite excited about the development, the antitrust movement is concerned that this is the end for internet traffic companies who rely on internet traffic via domain resolution for profit. 

Although privacy groups such as the EFF also have their misgivings, the excitement of a user having control over how DNS services resolve domain names outweigh the concerns over a “centralized internet”.

Internet Traffic Companies Are Worried

Akamai technologies who is arguably one of the world’s largest internet traffic companies have been quick to react to Googles’ plans. 

Andy Ellis who is the Chief security officer of Akamai technologies had this to say about the issue:

“Right now, each internet service provider has insight into the traffic of their users, and that’s going to shift” as a result of the change.”

While the new Standard presents a whole lot of opportunities to secure traffic running between browsers and web servers, it also presents a scenario in which the world’s most popular browser on both desktop and mobile would also be used for a monopoly which is the exact situation the politicians in Washington DC want to avoid.

TLS-DNS encryption will change everything about the way the internet works. While we are going to have a safer internet with no one having to worry about hackers, and other cybercriminals from having access to sensitive data, people are also wondering if the guys at Google’s parent company Alphabet have something else under their sleeves.

While many already believe that the technology giants have way too much power and this power has already been abused in more ways than one (the Cambridge Analytica scandal is a case in point), others believe that such scrutiny stifles innovation and that the same innovation that brought the technology giants to light could be stifled if peered under the microscope every single time.

While smaller browsers such as Mozilla’s FireFox are already planning on automatically switching over their United States clients to the TLS-DNS standard, a position that Google hasn’t taken, many are still concerned about its ability to “kill off’ the competition with an off switch at one end of the TLS tunnel.

Communications companies are very concerned about this as they would be the hardest hit if Google were to switch people over to its DNS system. While there may be no love between the anti-trust movement of Google, it seems like this love-to-hate relationship will continue for a while.

In the end, it points to the fact that the only way to beat the competition is to out-innovate it. Something Alphabet’s competition isn’t doing very well at this point.

GOOGL MSFT is currently at $1,225.95, decreasing 1.32% from it’s $1,242.29 previous close.

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