Mozilla has announced that its Firefox browser has begun to roll out encrypted DNS over HTTPS by default for all users in the U.S., a major step in the push to fully encrypt all Internet traffic and eliminate the risk of attack. However, while Mozilla is pushing the feature as “one of the many privacy protections you can expect to see from us in 2020,” it could be gearing up for a lengthy legislative battle.
On a technical level, DNS over HTTPS (DoH) encrypts the initial lookup of the website you want to reach, known as the Domain Name System. “DNS is a database that links a human-friendly name, such as www.mozilla.org, to a computer-friendly series of numbers, called an IP address (e.g. 192.0.2.1),” Mozilla explains. “By performing a ‘lookup’ in this database, your web browser is able to find websites on your behalf.”