The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is inviting wrath from innumerable internet communities. In a recent outbreak, the groups of coders and free speech have termed the act as intolerable digital damage. Although the SOPA act is yet to be put for vote, the techies have already started to work on developing tools to bypass the probable restrictions on foreign and copyright-infringing sites.
Tamer Rizk, a developer has been working on a Firefox add-on named DeSopa that aims at allowing access to the SOPA censored sites to the Firefox users. The note consisting of the application’s download page program says that the program is a proof that SOPA will do nothing good to stop online piracy. It further speculates the surfacing of innumerable of such innovative programs to combat the restrictions. The software note defines SOPA as a big mistake that ceases to solve even the underlying problem.
DeSopa takes into account the flaw in SOPA that allows the editing of IP list based on American DNS servers. It checks correct IP address from the foreign DNS servers and helps the users to navigate directly to the blocked site. The program also negates the possibility of incorrect IP addresses in these foreign servers by checking domains that possess three DNS servers. It finally chooses the IP address that has a minimum of two agreeing answers of the three.
Users on Reddit have been prompt to cash in on this opportunity since the last two weeks, they have created their own list of IP addresses what they call as “Emergency List’. The IP addresses thus included represent websites that are more likely to be blocked if SOPA is implemented. They can tally the list for IP address of the censored sites and can use it to explore the website directly. Alternatively, the Reddit users can utilize their own computers to edit ‘hosts’ file as well, which is a locally-stored list that dominates DNS and directs the web browsers about the domains corresponding to the concerned IP addresses.
However, the fact the SOPA can be challenged by the latest internet applications doesn’t mean it could be overpowered completely. If the act comes into effect, it is expected to cause severe damage to internet and can cause saviour internet censorship. The Engineers have even warned US Congress about the apprehensions of their failed DNSSEC implementation. The new DNS protocol intends to combat the spoofing attacks that hijack browsing from the users and direct them to untrusted websites no matter if they have mentioned the name of a trusted site. Such a concern has caused a delay on SOPA discussion in the Congress until the next year that would give the technical people to research even more about the feasible solution.
To conclude, SOPA is in its final stages and whenever it comes into effect, chances are higher that it affects the entire internet community. Hence, a better solution would be to consider and implement all the fundamental security problems regarding internet without imposing any restriction. Blocking the access to copyright-infringing sites is no feasible solution since any of the software tools would come in handy to circumvent the censorship.
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