Vint Cerf, the allegorical computer scientist who’s accepted as one of the fathers of the Internet for his assignment on TCP/IP, is the latest technologist to argue the Stop Online Piracy Act.
Cerf, a onetime DARPA affairs administrator who went on to accept the Turing Award, beatific a letter bygone admonishing of the dangers of SOPA to its author, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). The House Judiciary chairman, additionally Hollywood’s admired House Republican, has appointed altercation of the bill to resume at 7a.m. PT tomorrow.
Smith appear a revised adaptation of SOPA beforehand this week. Cerf, now a carnality admiral at Google, a allegiant SOPA opponent, said SOPA v2.0 is still problematic. (See CNET’s FAQ.)
SOPA represents the latest accomplishment from the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, and their allies to adverse what they appearance as aggressive piracy on the Internet, abnormally adopted sites such as ThePirateBay.org. The admeasurement would acquiesce the Justice Department to seek a cloister adjustment to be served on chase engines, Internet providers, and added companies banishment them to achieve a doubtable anarchic Web armpit finer vanish from the Internet. It’s against by a advanced ambit (PDF) of Internet companies, engineers, and civilian liberties groups.
Not alone will SOPA abort to “be able in preventing users’ admission to illegal, adopted Web sites,” Cerf wrote, but it will additionally admit “a common accoutrements chase of aberrant ‘censorship’ of the Web.” Added arresting Internet engineers accept offered agnate critiques.
Keep account for the abounding argument of Cerf’s letter to Smith.
December 14, 2011
The Honorable Lamar Smith Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary U.S. House of Representative 2138 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
Dear Administrator Smith:
I acknowledge the befalling to accurate my apropos about and action to the managers’ alteration to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and, in particular, the “technological solutions” accompanying to the Area Name System (DNS) and chase engines.
By way of background, I am a Carnality Admiral and the Arch Internet Evangelist for Google. I additionally serve as a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and I am a affiliate of the National Academy of Engineering.
I accept captivated positions at MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, Stanford University, UCLA and IBM. Until 2007 I served as administrator of the lath of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and I was the founding admiral of the Internet Society.
As one of the “fathers of the Internet” and as a computer scientist I affliction acutely about issues apropos to the Internet’s infrastructure. In that spirit I ambition to accompany the Internet and cybersecurity experts who accept already bidding affair about the aboriginal adaptation of SOPA’s DNS provisions. Former NSA accepted admonition Stewart Baker, Sandia National Laboratories, baby businesses such as OpenDNS, inter-industry groups such as the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), bristles arch DNS engineers (Steve Crocker, David Dagon, Dan Kaminsky, Danny McPherson, and Paul Vixie), and dozens of alone aegis experts accept abundant these apropos in antecedent letters.
Unfortunately, the amendments to SOPA do not boldness the axiological flaws in this legislation; the bill will still attenuate cybersecurity including the able-bodied accomplishing of DNS Aegis Extensions, accepted added frequently as DNSSEC.
Section 102(e)(2)(i) continues to crave account providers to block admission to sites. While that accouterment no best mandates DNS blocking in adjustment to achieve that goal, it still permits falsifying IP addresses in acknowledgment to area name resolution requests. Any acknowledgment that provides a apocryphal IP abode triggers abeyant accident to the absorbed of DNSSEC.
If these changes were meant to allay the apropos of the aegis community, again they abatement far abbreviate of the mark. The Section 102(e)(2)(ii) “safe harbor” finer singles out the abetment of DNS as the adopted apparatus for blocking admission to sites. A key anticipation in the Internet architectonics and architectonics is the all-around bendability of DNS lookup responses.
I abide to accept apropos apropos the adeptness and acumen of this legislation. First, attempts to dispense DNS will abate the account of DNS as our arch apparatus for analysis sites, and animate abusers to accept another mechanisms, such as IP abode lists. Second, audience of the anarchic agreeable can readily change their DNS settings to advance adopted DNS resolvers. Third, sites committed to contravention accept abounding options for artifice these measures, such as registering assorted area names with adopted registries in adjustment to break advanced of cloister orders. Fourth, falsifying responses to area name resolution requests will accommodation the “downgrade resistance” of next-generation improvements to DNSSEC, because systems that do not accept a active acknowledgment from a resolver will abatement aback to accepting bearding responses to boldness a area name.
Thus, alike with the proposed manager’s amendment, SOPA’s site-blocking accoutrement abide problematic. They would attenuate the architectonics of the Internet and arrest the 15 year accomplishment by the accessible and clandestine sectors to advance cybersecurity through accomplishing of DNSSEC, a analytical set of extensions advised to abode aegis vulnerabilities in the DNS.
This accessory accident of SOPA would be decidedly afflictive because armpit blocking or redirection mechanisms are absurd to achieve a cogent cavity in the availability of anarchic actual and counterfeits online, accustomed that DNS abetment can be defeated by artlessly allotment an adopted DNS resolution provider, advancement one’s own bounded DNS accumulation or application absolute IP abode references.
The chase agent antidote additionally suffers from the actuality that it will not be able in preventing users’ admission to illegal, adopted websites. A aldermanic “tech mandate” on chase engines to annul a area name from chase after-effects does not aftereffect in the website disappearing. Users can and do today acquisition their way to these websites abundantly after the advice of chase engines. Relative to the ambiguous adeptness of this proposed remedy, acute chase engines to annul a area name begins a common accoutrements chase of aberrant “censorship” of the Web.
Rather than continuing to advance abortive and adverse “technical” solutions as those begin in the managers’ alteration to SOPA, I appetite Congress to accompany a added tailored, able approach, such as the “follow-the-money” tactic. Such an access would cut off allotment mechanisms to rogue adopted sites by denial their adeptness to accomplish announcement acquirement and their adeptness to accept payments processed.
cc: Members of the House Judiciary Committee
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