Here are the two steps ANY consumer can take to COMPLETELY bypass the DNS filtering proposed in SOPA:
1. Find The Computer's DNS Settings
On a Mac, go into System Preferences, then Network, select the network connection being used (typically "Wi-Fi" or "Ethernet") and then click on the "Advanced..." button in the lower right corner. On the resulting screen, click on the "DNS" tab to see a screen like this one:
On a Windows computer, go into the Control Panel and look for "Network and Sharing Center", find the adapter being used, right-click it and choose "Properties". Next click on "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)" (or IPv6 should you use that) and press the "Properties" button. Microsoft provides step-by-step instructions on their website for changing these properties.
On mobile devices, tablets, etc, the same kind of screen can generally be found in a "preferences" or "settings" area. Linux systems likewise may have a graphical control panel/settings area or may requiring editing of a file.
2. Enter In Addresses for Public DNS Servers OUTSIDE The USA
All someone has to do is search for "list of public DNS servers outside us" in Google or other search engines. They can look at the OpenNIC list of public DNS servers or any of a zillion other web pages.
Choose one or more DNS servers outside the United States and enter them into the computer's DNS settings.
Apply those settings and... ta da... the consumer is no longer subject to any DNS filtering that is proposed as part of SOPA. (Because they are no longer using DNS servers that are subject to US law.)
IS IT REALLY THAT SIMPLE?
Could the entertainment industry seriously be lobbying for a filtering solution that can be defeated so easily?
Yes, it is... and yes, they are.
BUT HAVEN'T THEY BEEN TOLD IT'S SO SIMPLE?
YES! Pretty much everyone who knows anything about the Internet has explained to SOPA proponents that this proposed mechanism will not work.
White papers have been issued, statements have been received from organizations charged with cybersecurity, a group of 83 prominent Internet inventors and engineers sent a letter to Congress...
WHY DO THE SOPA PROPONENTS PERSIST?
Good question. Ask them. Perhaps they think US consumers are too dumb to follow simple steps like these above. I don't know.
Beyond simply not working, consumer's bypassing normal DNS settings from their ISP can potentially make the Internet LESS secure because consumers could be using DNS servers set up my malicious entities (and then promoted to people looking for pirated content) who could then send people to sites that download malware, engage in phishing, etc.
This is just one more reason why SOPA should NOT become a law!
Please note that this blog post represents my personal opinion and has no connection whatsoever to any employers or other organizations, either past or present.
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