Chrome devs tell the world that DNS over HTTPS won’t open the floodgates of hell

Well, their version of it won’t, they claim.

Chrome devs have had a little rant about “misinformation”, repeating that DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) will be supported but won’t necessarily be automatically used in upcoming builds of the browser.

In a blog post published last night, Google’s Chrome product manager insisted it was not going to “force users to change their DNS provider” after building the technology into Chrome 78, released last week.

The blurb comes as part of Google’s effort to convince hostile police agencies and legislators around the world that DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) won’t result in ordinary people’s internet usage being completely shielded from the ability of state agencies and ISPs to monitor and police them – the snoops will just have to work harder to eavesdrop on folks. In contrast, Mozilla, maker of Firefox, has vowed to press on and redirect users’ DNS queries to its preferred host, Cloudflare, if it is so enabled.

Google said last night that Chrome’s DoH feature will operate by checking whether the user’s DNS provider – typically their ISP – is on a Google list of participating DoH providers. This, so far, the small list includes Google’s own DNS service, OpenDNS, Cloudflare, and a few others. If the netizen’s provider is on the list, the query is routed to that DoH server, and if not, then their DNS queries continue over an unencrypted connection, just as they do today.

“We are optimistic about the opportunities DoH offers for improving user privacy and security, but we also understand the importance of DNS and that there could be implementation concerns we haven’t foreseen,” simpered the Chocolate Factory in its blog post. It might as well have said: “Please, regulators, don’t ban or bugger about with this.”

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