German Government: Put Mandatory Backdoors In All The Things


Weekly Axis Of Easy #28

 


In this issue:

  • RETRACTION: Last week’s Telus piece was from 2005 #facepalm
  • German Government: Put mandatory backdoors in all the things
  • Russia floats proposal for separate DNS root for BRIC nations
  • Quad9: A new Recursive DNS service that blocks malware for you
  • EFF to ICANN Registrars: Don’t become censors 
  • Paypal discloses breach in TIO acquisition affecting 1.6 million customers


RETRACTION: Last week’s Telus piece was from 2005 #facepalm

Last week’s item about Telus blocking access to a union website was from 2005. Somehow I came across it and put it in my folder items without checking the date, something I usually make a point of doing. Sorry for that.

German Government: Put mandatory backdoors in all the things

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere who earlier this year opened ZITiS, Germany’s new a new cyber-snooping agency called for further measures to enable government and law enforcement to spy on citizens by requiring all computer, mobile device and IoT manufacturers to install government accessible backdoors in all devices.

Russia floats proposal for separate DNS root for BRIC nations

I think a few people over the years called me a nutter be cause I’ve been saying for years that if ICANN and the US did not get the global aspects of internet governance right, it would eventually lead to a “net split” because foreign entities wouldn’t want their internet infrastructure to be subject to US law. The transition of the internet root was the chance to get it right, and giving it to ICANN, a California-based corporation may not be perceived by some as having accomplished that.

So it’s no surprise to see the BRICs (Brazil-Russia-India-China) examining their options. Most recently the Russian Security Council asking the country’s government to start building a global backup DNS system that could be used by the BRIC nations. The article also reminds us that Russia has already conducted a test of a home grown backup DNS system in 2014, and has the stated goal of routing 95% of all internet traffic locally by 2020.

Quad9: A new Recursive DNS service that blocks malware for you

There’s a new recursive / resolver DNS on the scene (“RDNS”, like OpenDNS or Google’s 8.8.8.8) which will filter malware and hostile sites from your DNS lookups. Packet Clearing House (pch.net) has teamed up with IBM & the Global Cyber Alliance to provide free resolver DNS at 9.9.9.9 (hence “Quad 9”). We’ve had a couple customers asking us about it so we mention it here. PCH is entirely reputable, if you were wondering, and you have our blessing to use it.

EFF to ICANN Registrars: Don’t become censors 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation made a plea to Registrars at the last ICANN meeting that they should remain neutral and not act as censors, specifically citing the plight of  DailyStormer as they floundered around the internet looking for a place for their domain to land. EFF calls out Godaddy specifically for prior patterns of taking down protest sites without a court order, and levelled criticism at Google’s excessive step of not only suspending DailyStormer’s domain, but locking it from transferring away – something we proved Registrars absolutely cannot do under the current rules back when it was about BitTorrent search engines.

Also recall, we denied permission for DailyStormer to use our services, which was for the most part applauded by our members. It still leaves me uneasy and despite our own misgivings toward these cretins, wondering if we really did make the right call. Feel free to comment on the blog.

Paypal discloses breach in TIO acquisition affecting 1.6 million customers

The data-breach of the week goes to Paypal, who disclosed that a review of their recent TIO Networks acquisition revealed indications of unauthorized access to as many as 1.6 million customer records. TIO Networks was acquired by Paypal earlier this year and provides a cloud-based billing system to “the largest telecom, wireless, cable and utility bill issuers in North America”.

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