Google’s public DNS service would soon be blocked by the Taiwanese government in favor of its own DNS service –HiNet. The government claims cyber-security as the reason for this action.

However, questions have come up whether these cyber-security concerns are for the people or for the government given the fact that HiNet has been typically used to spy on internet communications of the citizens.

Google DNS Taiwan

This update was originally posted on the government’s internet service network (GSN) news page in a PDF format and laid emphasis on DNS spoofing techniques and other cyber-security related incidents.

It noted that “if you can reduce the use of restricted sources then with the appropriate DNS protection mechanism, you can effectively reduce the risk of DNS spoofing”. This was made clear through the use of several DNS diagrams that made it obvious that Google’s DNS system should be considered as one of those sources.

One of these diagrams depicts how Google DNS service can be used to bypass a firewall like many Chinese citizen try to get around the Great Chinese Firewall while another diagram shows dropped packets while using the service.

It is still hazy about the scope of this blockage on Google DNS….whether it is specifically for government personnel or the general public is yet to be determined. One slide on the pdf makes it clear in pictures and text that only DNS request through the government’s service will be unrestricted and the date of this blockage is yet to be known.

Google’s DNS allows people bypass government firewalls that block certain websites and services and by providing this DNS service, the ISP can determine what is available to be viewed and what is not. This also helps the government to maintain surveillance of its citizens. While Google’s service is an easy and open alternative, what it actually does with the massive amount of data it has is still a secret.

The Taiwanese government’s concern over this might simply be to improve its government personnel cyber-security activities by ensuring only their services are always used.

Early in the year, Taiwanese internet users faced various problems while trying to access Facebook, Youtube, Google and Gmail and only those using HiNet’s broadband and mobile services were affected by this. The National Communication Commission declared the challenge was as a result of ‘router overload’ and not because of DNS anomalies noticed by different cyber users and suspected to be a likely hack.