Simple DNS change defeats Optus filter

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Photo: Kainet/Flickr (Creative Commons)

As debate continues over the decision by Optus and Telstra, the two largest ISPs, on implementing a filter that would block out sites containing child pornography, according to one source, a simple change to the DNS settings can defeat Optus’ filter.

Yes, you heard that. A simple DNS change.

Optus’ implementation of filter relies, according to Delimiter, on blocking sites from Interpol’s list on a domain name layer – what you type in the address bar, not IP address – and via a less complex technique than what is proposed by the mandatory filter that the Rudd/Gillard government wants to implement.

The company has confirmed that it could be defeated by the simple change, saying “It’s a feature of the Interpol list.”

So, yes, you can simply change to a different DNS service – such as OpenDNS or DynDNS (among other names listed on Google – in order to not get your sites filtered. Find your site being accidentally blocked, well switch DNS systems.

Of course, the bad thing is that of course it means those who seek child pornography will be able to switch over to a different service. However, another way to look at that is that it provides a pseudo-opt out in case you find your speeds are severely degraded (depends on location, of course).

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