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[ NNSquad ] DNS Interception by ISPs (was Verizon P2P discussion)

OK, we need to get to the bottom of this.  Last I heard, Verizon
allowed subscribers to opt-out of their DNS redirection service
through the rather cumbersome technique of manually changing 
client DNS settings.  Can we confirm that this is no longer the
case, and that regardless of client DNS settings users' DNS requests are 
routed to Verizon's "diversion" Yahoo Search DNS servers?  If this
is indeed true, it is unacceptable, but we need the facts.

There are also reports that Time Warner has started DNS
redirection on RoadRunner here in Southern California
( http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/02/26/1741253 ), though
reportedly you can still change client DNS settings effectively, or
can opt-out of their various "value added" DNS services (including
what appears to be a default so-called "safe search" DNS lookup) via
this page at the moment: http://ww23.rr.com/prefs.php .

Any additional info regarding related Time Warner DNS behavior
would also be appreciated.  Thanks.

NNSquad Moderator

> Kevin McArthur wrote:
> > Verizon does continue to set itself apart.
> >
> > The statement:
> >
> > "Pasko stressed, however, that Verizon wants to work with P2P 
> > companies that are focusing on delivery of legitimate media, like 
> > Pando -- not systems where anyone can upload anything, which usually 
> > means lots of pirated material."
> >
> > does strike me as having the potential to run into neutrality concerns 
> > when the carriers begin picking winners and losers in the P2P 
> > technology competition. As we all know, Bittorrent is open-source (and 
> > as a company, focused on legitimate media) while other solutions are 
> > either closed source or subject to content controls, patents and other 
> > nonsense. I'd hate to see the carriers giving competitive advantage to 
> > one but not the other just based upon their ownership of the gateway.
> >
> Verizon DSL and FIOS service already has one dark stain when it comes to 
> neutrality.  They have a feature called "DNS Assistant" which is 
> designed to redirect web browsers to a Verizon/Yahoo search page in the 
> event they type in a URL for which the hostname does not resolve.  
> Verizon's DNS servers will reply with the IP addresses of their own 
> search engine rather than returning a correct negative response.  Up 
> until a few months ago it was possible to opt out of the DNS Assistant 
> service; however, the opt out capability has been removed.  After 
> talking to a number of sales, internal support, technical support, and 
> engineering personnel at Verizon, it became apparent that the marketing 
> department at Verizon initiated the policy change that led to the 
> removal of the DNS Assistant opt out capability.
> The DNS Assistant service causes problems for VPN software, among other 
> things.
> The message in both the Pando P2P announcment and the "DNS Assistant" 
> change is that marketing trumps everything else.
> Kelly