This is an absolutely metal business decision made by Cisco (OpenDNS).

The French and Portuguese courts have issued court orders requiring the large open DNS services (Google Public DNS, OpenDNS, CloudFlare, etc.) to block a small number of domain names related to live sports broadcast piracy. While blocking at the DNS level can be a useful tool in some circumstances, it’s absolutely not useful as a way to prevent determined individuals from reaching particular content.

I’m not going to go on about all the reasons this was a bad choice. What I want to do is heap some praise on OpenDNS for their response to these wrong-headed court orders.

Instead of implementing the requested block list, OpenDNS has decided to cease all service in France, Portugal, and the affected French territories. What’s more, they pushed this change at around 17:30 local time, on a Friday, for maximum chaos.

; EDE: 16 (Censored)
;            IN    A

;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:        0    IN    TXT    "Due to a court order in France issued
under Article L.333-10 of the French Sport code the OpenDNS service is not
currently available to users in France and certain French territories."

As I noted elsewhere, I’m not sure the timing is the wisest decision but it demands respect, and there is at least some wisdom in it. Outcry from the general population is the best way to generate change in public policy.

#100DaysToOffload article 3 of 100