Google faces house antitrust scrutiny over plans of encrypting DNS in Chrome

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Google "G" logo (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The House Judiciary Committee is investigating Google's plans to add DNS Encryption to its Chrome browser.
  • In addition to the House Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department has also reportedly received complaints over the protocol change.
  • Internet service providers are concerned the new standard will result in them being shut out from user data.

Just two weeks after 50 U.S. states and territories signed onto an antitrust investigation against Google, a report from The Wall Street Journal has revealed that the House Judiciary Committee is now probing the Mountain View-based company over concerns that its plan to encrypt DNS in its Chrome browser will give it a competitive edge and make it more difficult for others to access consumer data.

Investigators from the House Judiciary Committee reportedly asked Google to provide information about its "decision regarding whether to adopt or promote the adoption" of DNS over TLS protocol. A letter sent to the company by the House Judiciary Committee on September 13 also asked whether the data collected using the new protocol will be used for commercial purposes.

As per the report, the Justice Department has also received complaints expressing concerns over the protocol change. Internet service providers are concerned that the new protocol will "alter the internet's competitive landscape" and shut them out from the majority of user data. Some of them are worried about Google encouraging Chrome users to switch to its own services.

A coalition of ISPs wrote in a September 19 letter sent to the Congress:

Because the majority of world-wide internet traffic runs through the Chrome browser or the Android operating system, Google could become the overwhelmingly predominant DNS lookup provider

Google has said that adding Domain Name System over Transport Layer Security will help prevent spoofing attacks and snooping on the websites visited by users. In addition to Google, Mozilla is also planning to implement DNS over TLS in its Firefox browser.

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Babu Mohan
News Writer