Comcast Lobbies US Lawmakers Over Google DNS Encryption

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Vice today reported on a presentation from Comcast that aims to lobby U.S. lawmakers against Google's latest encryption plan for Chrome. The presentation reportedly argues that the new DNS setting would give Google a monopoly on user data. However, Google insists the DNS settings in Chrome would be an option that users can change at any time.

Google designed the new plan to enforce DNS data encryption when using Chrome. But the new Chrome configuration will only use DoH (DNS over HTTPS) connections if the current DNS service will support it. This may make it harder for ISPs, like Comcast, to monitor user activity.

The presentation from Comcast suggests the new encryption settings from Google are an attempt to centralize user information and would exclude ISPs from resolving a user's DNS.

"If Google encrypts and centralizes DNS, ISPs and other enterprises will be precluded from seeing and resolving their users’ DNS," Comcast stated in the presentation.

The Firefox team has similar plans to roll out an encryption protocol of their own. The director of trust and safety at Mozilla, Marshall Erwin, spoke about the lobbying from Comcast with Motherboard. He insisted that the new encryption settings give users more freedom to choose where their information is handled.

"We are trying to essentially shift the power to collect and monetize peoples' data away from ISPs and providing users with control and a set of default protections," he said.

Google's Response

In a statement sent to Vice, Google refuted Comcast's claims.  

"Google has no plans to centralize or change people’s DNS providers to Google by default. Any claim that we are trying to become the centralized encrypted DNS provider is inaccurate," it said.

Ash Hill
Contributing Writer

Ash Hill is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.

  • bit_user
    What's next? Are they going to try and outlaw encrypted VPNs?

    ISPs should be simple utilities. Not content providers and certainly not trying to spy on their users.