January 9, 2012
The registry operator of the .info generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) says while it supports SOPA's intended outcome in the battle against online piracy, it's against the method proposed.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a controversial bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives in October last year. If implemented in its current form, actions could include preventing ad networks and payment processors from associating with web sites allegedly infringing on intellectual property rights and selling counterfeit goods. It could also see search engines being forced to remove listings of such sites and compelling Internet Service Providers to block access to those sites.
While objections to the legislation are many and varied, Affilias Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer Ram Mohan believes one of the major issues of SOPA relates to DNSSEC.
Mr. Mohan says SOPA could undermine the security benefits of DNSSEC, which makes the Domain Name System (DNS) more reliable and trustworthy, in that SOPA related actions may require ISPs to execute what DNSSEC would interpret as an attack whenever they are forced to block an allegedly abusive domain name.
"If applications are unable to tell the difference between a criminal attack and a legal, court-mandated interception, DNSSEC could become virtually useless," states Mr. Mohan.
Afilias also believes the legislation could actually make it easier for criminals to pursue various forms of online fraud, including identity theft as users can easily get around any blocks put in place, putting people that do so at even greater risk.
However, SOPA in its current form is not a done deal.
"When Congress returns in early 2012 to consider SOPA and other anti-piracy legislation, Afilias hopes the volume of dissent will have been turned up sufficiently that lawmakers will not be able to ignore the very real problems the legislation could create," says Mr. Mohan.
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