Firefox users will be getting private and secure encrypted Domain Name System (DNS) services from NextDNS, after Mozilla added the company to its Trusted Recursive Resolver (TRR) program.
A key mechanism for accessing sites and services on the web for over 30 years, DNS translates site domain names into numeric Internet addresses (IPs), and almost all activities on the Internet begin with a DNS request.
Although one of the oldest parts of Internet architecture, DNS hasn’t been a focus when it comes to making the web safer and more private, Mozilla says.
Thus, malicious actors can spy on users or even tamper with their browsing, while DNS providers and Internet service providers (ISPs) can collect and monetize a user’s browsing activity.
Mozilla is one of the Internet organizations involved in the development, standardization, and deployment of DNS over HTTPs (DoH), an effort that seeks to protect user browsing activity from all kinds of interference.
In addition to encrypting DNS data with DoH, there is also a need for rules that the companies handling this data should abide to, and this is where Firefox’s TRR program, which includes Cloudflare as a partner since 2018, comes into play.
By allowing Mozilla to demand strong privacy policies from providers, TRR aims to prevent the abuse of this data by limiting data collection and retention, ensuring transparency, and limiting the use of the resolver to block access or modify content.
“By marrying the right technology – DoH – and strict operational requirements for those implementing it, we are improving user privacy by default by finding good partners, establishing legal agreements that put privacy first, and shipping a product we believe is best by default,” Mozilla says.
The newly announced partnership with NextDNS should help Firefox provide users with increased control over their data and privacy online, the Internet organization notes.
Launched in May 2019 in Delaware, NextDNS provides a customizable, modern and secure DNS resolver and has already released DoH apps for all major platforms (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux) and routers.
A validating DNSSEC resolver, NextDNS claims to provide users with full control over their privacy and says that its analytics degrades based on the configured level of logging, down to no analytics if logging is disabled. Moreover, users are also provided with full control over the content filtering in place.
Related: DNS-over-HTTPS Coming to Firefox
Related: Chrome 78 Released With DoH, 37 Security Patches