IT Experts: Alternative Public DNS Blockage is a Waste

Avi Tejo Bhaskoro - 10 October 2014

It seems that Indonesia’s internet ecosystem is getting more and more likely to Turkey’s in term of the freedom of using Internet. Unfortunately, it’s not actually something to cherish for. After confirming that they ‘officially’ block the alternative public DNS for the sake of its Healthy Internet Campaign, the government, in this case the Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI), is seen by many to be lacking of comprehension in addressing the people’s freedom in exploring the digital world.

Dondy Bappedyanto, Infinys Indonesia’s Managing Director, stated via e-mail that the government has yet been wise to force all local ISPs to use their own local DNS, while it fails to manage the infrastructure to support the policy properly so far.

“It doesn’t make any sense at all. The Ministry has to know that Google Public DNS is one of those which have the fastest resolve and propagation period. Compared to local DNS which, in general, lack of proper maintenance, sometimes it takes 48 hours at maximum to propagate new domain or domain record modification. The better the TTL of DNS provider is, the faster it takes,” Bappedyanto stated.

The most common example to alternative public DNS is indeed the Google Public DNS, as it may substitute the role of ISP’s DNS perfectly. Moreover, it offers excellent speed and stability. Given that fact, no wonder that the blockage of Google Public DNS has drawn tons of negative comments from internet users.

The MCI relies on Trust+ program initiated by Nawala DNS to filter out negative contents from the internet. Unfortunately, the program has gone too far, as it also blocks websites like Vimeo, Reddit, and a number of Japanese Manga websites.

In regard to this condition, Rendy Maulana, PT Qword Company International’s CEO, stated that the government didn’t really have to block websites that way at the first place. However, such decision may be ‘valid’ should they take base it on the narrow understanding of anti pornography acts.

“The mechanism of public DNS query itself is open, thus a blockage is not supposedly to be made. However, if the basis of the action is the narrow understanding of anti pornography acts, it would probably be justified by a group of people, but still it’s not necessarily required,” Maulana stated via e-mail.

Interestingly, both Dondy Bappedyanto and Rendy Maulana are of the belief that this action of the government is a waste. They also suggested that there will always be cracks in the blockage. Instead of dealing with such waste, they think that the government should put their focus on much more important issues.

“When something gets blocked, it can always be cracked, so it’s just a waste. All roads lead to Rome. It’s better for the government to focus on their Healthy Internet Campaign and educate people, as well as enforce law,” Bappedyanto added.

“There will always be cracks, moreover the Indonesian people are smarter nowadays. The government should educate people about using the internet, let them know the positive points of it, as well as ask telcos to upgrade their last mile internet connection quality to spread the establishment of internet network equally all over Indonesia instead of dealing with such waste,” Maulana stated.

Furthermore, Maulana informed that DNS Resolver may act as a problem solver to counter this blockage problem. He stated that anyone can create his own DNS Resolver which refers directly to the Root Server Domain for an internal use easily.

Maulana took the query of public DNS Resolver, which may reach 10 Mbps, as an example of the implementation. After developing their own DNS Resolver internally, their utilization of bandwidth and query will be even faster and much more efficient. In his opinion, this practice is similar to what the ISP does to manage their bandwidth and content.

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