SOPA and PIPA are pieces of legislation currently under consideration in the United States Congress that have serious implications for DNS, the Domain Name System which makes possible the Internet as we know it. To give them their full names these bills are HR 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and S.968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).

More than 100 million Internet users in over 180 countries rely on ESET products to protect their personal and enterprise data systems. This gives ESET a fairly unique perspective on the DNS filtering proposed by SOPA and PIPA. There is hardly any part of the United States economy today that does not depend upon the smooth operation of the Internet, which it turn relies upon the integrity of the Domain Name system. Along with many others in the Internet community I am of the opinion that the DNS filtering proposed in SOPA and PIPA would seriously undermine that integrity.

That's why I think these bills, as currently written, are bad for the Internet and bad for our economy, a point of view that I have expressed to legislators in an open letter to Congress (PDF). In addition to a number of technical issues that others have documented in detail, the DNS filtering proposed in SOPA and PIPA appears to be at odds with the sterling efforts of United States law enforcement agencies that are leading the world in the fight against cybercrime, a point made by ESET Security Evangelist Stephen Cobb in a recent post here on the Threat Blog: DNSChanger and PROTECT IP: FBI hit and legislative miss. Together with many of my colleagues in a wide range of high tech companies I urge Congress to think again.

Andrew Lee
ESET North America