There has been a kerfuffle in the tech policy world in the past few days about Google's new DNS service offering. The Domain Name System is the lookup directory system that seamlessly converts human-readable Internet addresses (like "www.cdt.org") into the actual numeric "Internet Protocol" addresses that are used to reach the computers designated by particular domain names (184.108.40.206 in the case of www.cdt.org). Most people never think about the Domain Name System or what DNS server they are using – they simply point their computers to the DNS servers provided by their broadband ISP.
But there has never been a requirement that Internet users must use the DNS server of their ISP, and public DNS servers have been around for years. OpenDNS and Level 3 provide the most prominent U.S.-based public DNS servers. Until Google decided to play in the DNS pond. Google announced last week that it was rolling out a network of public DNS servers that anyone could use for free. Google argues (correctly) that the DNS system can introduce sluggishness in the online experience, and Google asserts that its new system will be significantly faster than the DNS system offered by many ISPs. Google claims that it just wants to help speed up Internet communications for all (and Google says that is has some clever techniques to speed up the DND process).
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