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July 04, 2005
German Publisher's Group Pushing to Poison DNS
Constitutional Code brings some disturbing news from Germany (DNS Poisoning Requested From Providers by Rights Organisation).
The German rights organisation for composers, lyricist and publishers, GEMA, has asked 42 access providers to poison their DNS servers in order to block sites that provide links to eDonkey files. In short, DNS poisoning obstructs the process of converting a URL to a numeric IP address. The GEMA apparently expects the access providers to configure their DNS servers so that "inquiries by end-users are not passed to the correct server, but to an invalid or another pre-defined side." The GEMA also demands that the providers sign a testimony,with which they commit themselves to ensure full blockage under a contractual penalty of 100.000 euro if any of their customers can still reach the targeted site after July 25th....
In the Pennsylvania child pornography case, slightly reminiscent of this one, new legislation allowed the government to aks access providers to block sites, using DNS poisoning amongst others. In that case there was a law to challenge, constitutional restraints to invoke, a court to review the pressure put on the public (government) - private (users) relationship. While laws may be applicable in the German case, users could "constitutionally" loose out if private demands are enforced by private parties. A judicial review is appropriate here, if for one thing, to test how far decisions to block the information flow can be pushed and taken within the private realm. Even if there's arguably illegal activity involved. Because there always is....arguably. [links, emphasis in original]
Definitely not good.
posted by Ernest Miller |
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