If you are a Firefox user in the United States, you may be interested to know that the browser’s creators, Mozilla, have confirmed the roll out of DNS over HTTPS (DoH) encryption in the region starting today.
For those unfamiliar with DoH, it is a new encryption standard that encrypts the portion of your internet traffic which is normally sent over an unencrypted plain text connection. This is the type of traffic which could allow other people to see what websites you’re visiting, as well as making your communication with the website itself visible.
Mozilla, and by extension Firefox, is now the first browser to make DoH encryption default in the States, with it set to roll out in coming weeks throughout the country as the firm looks to tackle any issues or bugs that may crop up as a result of this process.
While this feature is default in the US, Mozilla is making it available to internet users outside of the region too (shown in image below).
“We’re enabling DoH by default only in the US. If you’re outside of the US and would like to enable DoH, you’re welcome to do so by going to Settings, then General, then scroll down to Networking Settings and click the Settings button on the right. Here you can enable DNS over HTTPS by clicking, and a checkbox will appear. By default, this change will send your encrypted DNS requests to Cloudflare,” Mozilla explained in a blog post about the announcement.
As The Verge points out, this latest encryption tool may court controversy, especially for firms who specialise in the collecting and use of internet traffic and data. This new offering will not stop data collection altogether, but may make it more difficult for companies to do so.
In terms of rolling out this feature as default for Firefox in other parts of the world, the UK is said to be the next target, but the government there have harshly criticised such a tool, and could move to block its use. Child advocacy groups and internet service providers in the region have also been quick to criticise DoH.
“We continue to explore enabling DoH in other regions, and are working to add more providers as trusted resolvers to our program. DoH is just one of the many privacy protections you can expect to see from us in 2020,” the blog post concludes.