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Firefox rolling out DNS-over-HTTPS privacy by default in the US – Naked Security


Mozilla has said it plans to make a privacy technology called DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) the default setting for US users of Firefox within weeks.

As our previous coverage explains, DoH encrypts Domain Name System (DNS) queries, which browsers use to resolve website addresses to their underlying numeric IP addresses.

Normally, these requests are sent in the clear, which means that ISPs and governments can see which web domains someone is visiting, which is where the privacy concerns begin.

In the US, ISPs have been accused of selling this data to advertisers. Although not a perfect shield against DNS snooping, DoH makes that a lot harder.

The technology’s been inside Firefox since mid-2018 although until now users had to enable it manually. In September 2019, Mozilla started testing DoH-by-default in the US – with that completed, from next month DoH will become a setting that users have to consciously opt to turn off.

Users can do this via Options > General > scroll down to Network Settings at the bottom of the page and then click Settings. The ‘Enable DNS over HTTPS’ tick box is the last one on the page.

Notice how buried this setting is? Having backed DoH development since its earliest days in 2017, Mozilla doesn’t want to make it easy to turn off something it thinks is against the user’s interests.

Just below the tick box, there’s a second setting that allows users to choose which trusted DNS resolver to use. Cloudflare, Mozilla’s long-time DoH collaborator, is the default but recently users gained the ability to choose a second, NextDNS.

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