BlockAid or PeerDNS was born following the illegal seizure of various domains by the US government and in the aftermath of the recent ruling against the newest incarnation of Newzbin in the British courts. Our aim is to demonstrate the futility of employing DNS ‘blocking’ methods in the fight against online copyright infringement and thus, as a way of censoring the internet.
Those who use our DNS service will not be prevented from accessing a domain, even after it has been seized. Use of the system is completely free.
How does it work?
Basic information about the workings of DNS can be found at this Wikipedia page. Essentially it is a series of electronic ‘sign-posts’ that translate alphanumeric domain names into IP addresses. When you visit a website like Google.com, you’re actually visiting an IP address. Google.com is purely for human convenience so we don’t have to remember numbers that mean nothing to us. The Domain Name System (DNS) is the service that translates the domain name into numbers for your computer.
When I.C.E. (the body responsible for ‘seizing’ domains in US) takes control of a domain, they change the translation so the DNS takes you somewhere else, a different IP address. It’s a bit like being directed to the wrong street. In reality nothing has been seized, but rather, a new route declared.
There are a number of public DNS services available, such as those offered by Google and OpenDNS, but they won’t help if a domain has been/is seized. BlockAid will. Our records override those of the internet root, so when you visit a domain on the database, our signposts put you back on the correct path.
Join our censorship free public DNS now!
BlockAid is currently an experimental project. As such, we describe ourselves as being in open beta. In other words, feel free to take part and use the system, but be aware that you do so at your own risk. You can find our configuration instructions here.