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Comcast Unleashes Trial DNS Redirection in Select States

In a post today on Comcast's blog, Chris Griffiths, DNS Engineering Manger, has informed customers that they have begun to role a DNS redirection service — a controversial service offered by several other ISPs over the years to redirect mistyped URLs to ad-based pages instead of a typical 404 error page. The service called "Domain Name Helper Service" is being launched as a market trial in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington according to the company.

Customers are given the option to opt-out of the service — Griffiths writes: "We also understand that sometimes customers want to surf their own way, without the assistance of services like Domain Helper, so we offer an easy way to opt-out right on the Domain Helper search page. This is a feature we feel is a best practice and is a key part of a white paper we submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force, an open international community of experts concerned with the evolution, architecture and operation of the Internet, for comment and review."

Related Links:
Domain Helper service: Here to help you Chris Griffiths, Comcast, Jul.9.2009
Comcast Finally Launches DNS Redirection DSLReports, Jul.9.2009

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IETF Draft Comments Jason Livingood  –  Jul 09, 2009 11:52 AM PST

The IETF I-D is available at http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-livingood-dns-redirect-00.  I'm listed in the co-authors section and appreciate any feedback on the draft via email (suggestions, changes, additions, stuff you like / don't like, etc.).

- Jason

http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-livingood-dns-redirect-00 Carl Byington  –  Jul 15, 2009 5:17 PM PST

Page 26 of that does some hand-waving regarding dnssec, but that issue cannot be avoided. In the future we should have validating stub resolvers in many client machines, which will simply refuse these answers. The entire point of dnssec is that the client can prove that the answer they are getting is the answer that the authoritative servers want you to see. And that answer in these cases in NXDOMAIN.

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