The Domain Name System (DNS) is a central part of the Internet, providing a way to match names (a website you’re seeking) to numbers (the address for the website). Anything connected to the Internet – laptops, tablets, mobile phones, websites – has an Internet Protocol (IP) address made up of numbers.
The question is whether those concerns are the government’s or its citizens’, with the government pushing its own DNS service – a setup that is typically used to spy on people’s internet communications.
The announcement comes, somewhat unusually, in the form of a PDF of a presentation posted to the Government’s Internet Service Network (GSN) news page.
Going through the presentation – written in Chinese – the GSN outlines the problem, as it sees it, with Google’s DNS service, repeatedly highlighting DNS spoofing techniques and other cybersecurity issues.
“If you can reduce the use of restricted sources, then with the appropriate DNS protection mechanism, you can effectively reduce the risk of DNS spoofing,” it notes, with numerous DNS diagrams that make it clear that Google’s public DNS system should be viewed as one of those sources.
One diagram shows Google DNS service being used to circumvent a firewall – which is precisely what many Chinese citizens used it for in an effort to get around the Great Chinese Firewall. Another shows packets being dropped while using the service.