Congress doesn’t appear particularly happy about Google’s new Internet protocol to implement DNS over TLS in Google Chrome, the Wall Street Journal has learned.
In a letter sent to Google on September 13, antitrust investigators from the House Judiciary Committee have asked information on the adoption of protocol and whether the data channeled through the process would be used by the tech giant for commercial gains.
Investigators’ main concern over the new internet protocol is that it could give Google a competitive advantage since it would become extremely difficult, particularly for Internet providers, to access the consumers’ data.
What is DNS over TLS Internet Protocol?
For those who don’t know, a DNS (Domain Name Server) translates website address from a URL to an IP address, to which then your computer connects to.
While the process is hidden from users, it is easy to read the DNS queries since they are not heavily protected. Hence, even when you use incognito mode, ISP’s are always able to identify the website you’re visiting.
DNS over TLS will encrypt the DNS queries to the same level of protection as HTTPS. With this encryption tech, ISPs won’t be able to sneak peek at the websites that you visit.
The new internet protocol will prove useful against hackers trying to identify the websites we visit. Also, it will save users against hackers faking websites to gain private credentials.
However, the move from Google might turn out disastrous for Internet service providers.
Internet Service Providers’ concerns
The ISP’s believe that the new protocol will shun them from accessing the consumers’ data.
“This could inhibit competitors and possibly foreclose competition in advertising and other industries,” a coalition of internet service providers said in a Sept. 19 letter to authorities.
Another concern of ISPs is that Google’s DNS upgrade would lead to too much of a consumer data control in the hands of the search giant specially because Google Chrome is the most preferred browser among users. Meanwhile, Google has said that it won’t force users to switch to encrypted DNS.
“Because the majority of worldwide internet traffic…runs through the Chrome browser or the Android operating system, Google could become the overwhelmingly predominant DNS lookup provider,” the letter from ISPs reads.
Google isn’t the only one
Interestingly, Google is not the only one advocating for the DNS over TLS upgrade. Mozilla also has similar plans. In fact, the browser is going with a small-scale rollout in the coming weeks.
Marshall Erwin, a senior staff analyst at Firefox, told WSJ that the antitrust claims are “fundamentally misleading.” And ISP just wants a tight hold of user’s data in order to throw targeted ads.