Today we published a new policy. It’s something we’ve always honored, but we’re so firm in our convictions about this particular topic that we felt it necessary to share our stance officially. OpenDNS does not provide content filtering services to governments or Internet Service Providers that contribute to oppression by censoring the Internet for their people.

We are a business, and we strive to do the right thing for our business at all times. We believe it is the right thing for our business, our reputation and the sanctity of our service to avoid providing state-sponsored censorship services. Other security companies have been accused of, and in some cases admitted to, selling censorship technologies to oppressive governments. We are disappointed in these companies, not to mention they may have broken US trade laws in the process.

As we have invented and delivered new security functionality, we have remained highly cognizant of how our services are being used. Our services are intended for use at the network’s edge. By individual network operators in homes, schools and businesses. The important part is that the choice is made by you at home, and the network admins at your place of employment or school. Access to the Internet is quickly becoming a human rights issue, and we believe it’s your right as a citizen of the world to have access to the communication and information power of the Internet. In fact, we want to be the company that delivers that the Internet to you in a secure and safe way.

The policy, in its entirety, is here:

As a steward of an open Internet and choice in the hands of individual network administrators, OpenDNS does not sell to or allow its security and Web filtering services to be used by governments or Internet Service Providers that engage in mass Internet censorship. OpenDNS operates with the core principle that governments and ISPs should not be empowered to dictate which website are accessible at a national or regional level. OpenDNS puts forth every possible effort to ensure its services are not used in this capacity and will immediately cease providing filtering services if made aware it is enabling a government or ISP to censor the Internet for its people or constituents.

OpenDNS will consider providing filtering services to governments and ISPs only in cases where the government or ISP is restricting Internet access for its employees, in the same way a business might, to ensure a safe and secure working environment.

OpenDNS stands firm in the belief that control over what is accessible on the Internet should be managed exclusively at each network’s edge: in individual households, places of business and academic institutions.

As CEO of OpenDNS I think of how my company’s decisions affect the world. I think of people in rural Indonesia who can access the Internet because a third-party DNS service like OpenDNS exists. I think of the schools in Africa who use OpenDNS to provide not only a reliable Internet connection, but a safe one, to their students. When I first started this company, acknowledging the global impact it could have, I shared my decision-making methodology widely: I always want to be able to look my mother in the eyes and tell her what my business is doing. Today I’m more proud than ever to be a part of OpenDNS and I hope our employees and customers are, too.

  • Matthew

    Props to you David!

  • Phil Grass

    David,

    In principle a great position. Do you intent to publish the names of governments that you believe fall into this category ?

    P.

  • Russell

    And it’s policies like aiming to keep internet goers safe without suppressing content, that make me proud to have an OpenDNS account… Though it does seem as if my ISP (Mediacom) overrides my DNS settings from time to time, I do hope that doesn’t become common practice, because I’m much happier with the reliability of OpenDNS.

  • John

    I am very pleased that OpenDNS is taking a stand against this new censorship and monitoring government. Our freedoms are already almost gone and so few people are fighting it.
    Another good thing about OpenDNS is the encrypted DNS solution which I think is amazing and can’t wait for some more software development to take advantage of it.
    Thanks guys and keep up the good work.

  • Robert

    Thumbs up for that David! Internet should be safe place for all. Thanks for doing your bit. God bless you – seek after Him while you can.

  • Peter

    Thanks, I appreciate you taking this stand.

  • Martin Tipper

    It is very refreshing to see OpenDNS taking this stand. I have used the internet from it’s beginning, both professionally and personally and I have always passionately believed that it should be above politics and above government – that it should be truly open and available to everyone. These days, all other media are controlled or manipulated directly or indirectly by governments, and however much they may believe that they are doing so for our own good, that can never be so. In a world where freedom is worth dying for, we must keep the internet a free place – so thank you OpenDNS.

  • Mark Y

    Glad to see people continuing to take a stand on Government interference with the web. Kudos. I will continue to recommend you to my clients.

  • David Martin

    I have throughly enjoyed OpenDNS since I got it when I bought a new Netgear Wireless Router. It has stopped a lot of the crap my stepson was getting into on the internet. And I will continue using it as my youngest daughter begins to experience the great things the internet can offer. As a parent I have always believed it was my responsibility, not the governments, on what all my children, while minors, should should not have access to. I am, and will tell others, I am an OpenDNS customer.

  • Ron Bennett

    THANK YOU. Finally an organization that makes sense. Let’s keep the Internet free and open, and not what China calls the Internet. I applaud your efforts, keep up the good work.

  • John B

    Fanstastic. Keep up the good work.

  • Barry

    Thank you for such a principled and democratic policy, as well as for your statement that internet access is a human rights issue.

  • Zoran

    My full support. Go for it OpenDNS.

  • Eric

    It’s nice to see an actual DNS server standing up against this injustice. And I am damn proud to be a user of it.

  • Jeff

    Pleased with your stand, The Gov. is definetley trying to surpress the masses

  • Mitsuho Otsuka

    Please publicly display all official requests you receive to remove a listing from DNS. Would you ever consider moving away from ICANN? If they prove themselves untrustworthy than OpenDNS has the opportunity to provide a middle ground between the government and dark services.

  • Mark R.

    You go, Boy!

  • t-t

    do u guys mean SOPA and PIPA?! if u are then thanks!!!

  • Bobby

    Thank-you, for making a stand. I will continue to support your efforts, and encourage all of my IT customers to continue to use your service.

  • Alex

    I fully support OpenDNS on this! Freedom of Speech and ideas needs to continue.

    I do wonder though, will OpenDNS be willing to stand up to the US government’s infringement on the ‘net? We all know it’s coming, it’s just a matter of when. Between SOPA, the Lieberman-Collins bill, and others, I do see a time when US ISPs will be asked, if not forced, to block parts of the ‘net.

  • George Worley

    Thank you.

    George

  • Walter

    I agree

  • Paul

    I live in Australia where the internet speed is already slow, and having the government threatening us with two filters to ‘protect’ us from the evils of the Internet is just typical idiots who do stupid things for a handful of votes. I use DNScrypt and love it. Keep up the good work.

  • Roger

    I support your policy but what will you do if a government puts a legal requirement on your to block a website?

  • Sean

    100% support from me on this. It`s sad that it`s necessary though. Shame on those companies who sold censorship technology.I`d love to know who they are so I can avoid using their software.

  • Apollo

    Either we hang together or we’ll hang separately. Well done! You can count on my support!

  • Fikri

    OpenDNS is one of the best thing that ever happen to the internet and I’m quiet relieved that OpenDNS did not fall under the influence of the government. Keep on making the internet free and safe for all.

  • Lud0

    Hi from a french guy,
    You perhaps hear Hadopi and other kickass laws the french government had voted.
    Recently a minister want to close a website by removing it from french FAI DNS.
    Of course, it’s a big joke for network or security administrators but your independance is a big pleasure to hear.

    Thak’s for that !

  • dncholas

    Much respect for a company that actually stands for freedom. Very rare these days. Most companies work to remove it or hinder it. I’m a big believer in Internet privacy and freedom of information. The government and the elite, who controls them, already controls TV and radio broadcasters including the ability to black them out using the EAS system. They apparently hate the freedom of information on the Internet simply because they do not like the truth to be told.. only their version of it. Keep up the good work and your stance.

  • Happy Harry

    I respect and support the stand you are taking.

    I sincerely hope you will be able to maintain it when the US Government accuses you of “supporting and fostering terrorism”
    thus enabling them to use the “Homeland Security total denial of rights” legislation to bully OpenDNS into compliance.
    (Ironically an act of terrorism in itself).

  • Carsten

    You’re doing the right thing! Thumbs up!
    I live in Denmark, and would hate to be limited by rules and regulations imposed on the internet by other governments!
    The internet is the ultimate “freedom of speech” we have, and this should be defended any time!

  • Bill S.

    Cudos to you and OpenDNS.

    I think ol’ Ben Franklin said it best:

    Any society willing to give up a little liberty for a little security shall deserve neither and lose both.

    Keep the internet free the way its meant to be.

  • Dan

    I don’t care what political beliefs or background Open DNS has
    ..The fascist police state is here folks and it is going to get worse under this administration if you believe that history repeats itself. I have read many books over the past ten years, if there is one book that people need to read about government control it’s Liberal fascism by Jonah Goldberg..Modern day Liberalism = yesterdays Progressivism.

  • http://dnmeyer@frontiernet.net Douglas Meyer

    I am in total support of your policy of keeping the government out of our lives with respect to Web filtering.

    Thanks for standing firm.

  • Brian Herrera

    I’ve been a fan and user of OpenDNS for a long while now, and I’ve been wondering if you were going to take a stand on the censorship issue. I’m glad to see you’ve done the right thing.

    The citizens who are paying attention stand with you. Thanks for taking a step in the right direction.

  • Johan

    I agree with Phil,

    What do you consider to be mass Internet censorship? Will you publish a list of governments/ISPs you refuse(d) to provide service? It is easy to point to the typical censorship countries, but more and more what people consider free western countries engage in censorship.

    I live in the Netherlands and recently switched to OpenDNS because my ISP is now required by a judge to block several PirateBay owned domains. This while my ISP (XS4ALL) is typically known as anti-censorship, but they can’t do much else than comply with the judge’s demands while they go through the lengthy process of an appeal.

    Which brings us to another issue, what is the policy for OpenDNS itself being forced to censor? With proposals like SOPA/PIPA/ACTA and court decisions across the world it is not unimaginable one day it will affect OpenDNS…

  • Jesse

    I love you guys!!

  • Tim

    You have my full support OpenDNS. Thank you for your great service!

  • James

    True in terms of political censorship but the move in the UK to make it harder for kids to access porn by having ‘off’ as the default option with ISPs is surely a positive form of censorship; what’s your stand?

  • Pierre

    Nice position you took.

    Hope that it will be followed by many ISP and DNS providers.

  • RANDY ALLEN

    ABSOLUTELY DEAD-ON CORRECT POLICY. THANKS OPENDNS. AMERICA APPRECIATES YOUR STAND THAT PROTECTS OUR LIBERTIES.

  • lk

    Thanks for that.

  • Bill Anon

    Thank you for your brave stand to keep internet communication free of government censorship. I live here in the United States, a country notorious for censorship at every level of the media. Hopefully others will join you and decide in favor of personal freedom and fight U.S. government oppression of speech and choice.

  • Peter Shields

    Maybe I’ll be the only dissenting voice here, but I think having openDNS provided at ISP level would be a fantastic idea.

    It’s no more censorship than having your water filtered at source rather than saying, “we’ll leave the consumers with the choice of filtering their water for themselves”!

    My ISP already has a “family filter” option – but it’s set to OFF by default. I’d much rather it was set to ON by default and then force people to choose “adult” material. Again, it’s no different from having the “adult” magazines on the top shelf of a newsagents. You could easily argue that they should be accessible to all and responsible parents should go into the shop first and remove them from sight.

  • Adam

    You have my full support and thumbs up for taking the right decision and a firm stand. Bravo!

  • http://www.sunrisefoursquare.com Jim Pelletier

    Stick to this… whenever a line is drawn in the sand, someone challenges it. Don’t budge. Thank you.

  • http://www.misteridigital.com Cecep SWP

    Thanks David! I agree and give full support for your policy.

  • Allan

    This is awesome. Thanks for taking a stand on this. Let us make our own decisions on what is safe for us to view.

  • Michael Piepgras

    Way to go OpenDNS!

  • Emilio

    I stay with you.

  • Joe Whitman

    We, as real people of the countries, support your policies against the cencorship of our substitutes. Although we give the power to act in our’s stead, they misuse it, using their power to limit us.. Thank you guys..

  • TJ

    My internet is safe in my home because of OpenDNS. However there’s more crap coming over the air on primetime TV that leaves me wondering why the governments feel their decision is what’s best for my home! I guarantee there’s more open sexual content, foul language, immoral homosexual agenda on channels such as ABC & CBS than there will never be on my internet because of MY choice in OpenDNS. I don’t see the government trying to protect anyone from primetime – so why my internet.

  • eeellama

    As others have asked in different ways, what happens if the government passes a law REQUIRING your compliance with blocking sites they deem “infringing”, “dangerous”, or even just “innacurate”? Oh ya, that law already exists…

    Just curious what you’ll do if/when the feds come knocking. Will you be able to fight them even if you’re legally prohibited from revealing you’re under investigation?

  • Michael A. R.

    Thank for taking the right decision…

    Me, My Family and friends are with you on this…

  • Filip

    you are doing great job OpenDNS
    thank you

  • http://onfollowingchrist.wordpress.com Paul B.

    I think that’s a pretty good policy. It prevents censorship of the wrong kind, but allows entities to make choices, such as a school or library filtering porn. I do wonder if there are sites which should be banned on a larger level, though, such as those promoting terrorism. Maybe it is better to deal with such things in other ways rather than open the pandora’s box of widescale censorship – I’m not sure.

  • http://www.jpcsolutions.com Jared Newnam

    This is a great thing you’ve done, David. I truly support your cause and what you’re doing. I look forward to many more years working with you and OpenDNS.

    Cheers to you and yours!

    Jared L. Newnam

  • http://strasma.blogspot.com Man in the Middle

    Thanks for supporting freedom. I couldn’t even do my job as an OpenDNS moderator if my ISP were able to and chose to block what sites I can see from home. That said, I do block several categories myself, but agree it should be my choice as the customer, not my ISP’s or my government’s.

  • http://segmentum-solar.com Thomas E. Bussell

    As someone who has been using OpenDNS for college, and home networks, I love you guys.

    I have OpenDNS as my primaries, and my backups are Google. I am proud to say I’m a user of OpenDNS.

  • Who

    “governments or Internet Service Providers that engage in mass Internet censorship”
    Publish these entities otherwise the statement is misleading.

    In principle, your stand against censorship is noble.
    In practice, this caveat can make the noble stand as free and fair as elections in Cuba.

  • http://members.dodo.com.au/~pawprint/ Rick Lower

    This is the reason I use your service. My only concern is that governments may block 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220.

  • Ivo

    Thank you so much for standing up against what is a violation of human rights. Censorship is but the first step for facism and we need to fight against this prevailing movement of taking our liberties away in the name of our “security”.

  • Paul OBrien

    Wondering how this will be affected by Canadian legislation currently being pushed through regarding giving police powers to demand ISPs give access to individuals browsing.

  • Sub

    I’ve used OpenDNS for a couple of years and love it. I switched all my relatives over to it, have a OpenDNS button on my website to promote it, and I recommend it to others whenever possible.

    BRAVO on the anti-censorship policy OpenDNS! We MUST take a stand. SOPA and PIPA were defeated, but the next bill, ACTA is in works, and these powerful corporate interests aren’t going to give up buying influence from our elected officials.

    You have my respect and admiration.

  • 60srocker

    What I view and when I view it are nobody’s business, period.

  • Erica Rogers

    Thank you OpenDNS! Thank YOU David Ulevitch, Founder/CEO! Your words and mission are a solace and a safe haven in this much troubled, tyrannical world…where the GOP in the U.S. is striving (and unfortunately succeeding in some cases) of stripping all rights and personal responsibilities away from the people of this country for the benefit of the 1% and the fundagelicals. You provide the intelligent, liberal thinkers of the world with an avenue to know that their access to information will not be impeded by governments or government mandates. Thank you for supporting the freedom of information, the freedom of thought. Knowledge is POWER and you keep the power lines open.

  • http://www.civildispatch.com CivilDispatch.com

    We here at CivilDispatch.com, civilian emergency dispatch system applauds OpenDNS’s decision to fight online censorship.

    Our parent company is also one of OpenDNS’s valued Enterprise Clients and will forever remain one. Not only do we utilize OpenDNS’s Enterprise solutions for our own internal networks but all of our employees use it for our home networks as well.

    I would love to explore more ideas on how we can better integrate our emergency communications with OpenDNS more than we already are.

    Keep up the great fight, and services!

  • Greg Rajewski

    I second Mr Bussell’s statement by affirming that I am proud to say I’m a user of OpenDNS.

  • Dave P

    Nice to see a company taking a firm stand against government censorship. That is not what the net was conceived for. It should be free and open and the likes of Chinese censorship, SOPA, PIPA, and the UK so-called Digital Economy Act (all of which I put in the same class as outright censorship) should never have been contemplated by grand-standing politicians who do not seem to have a clue about what they are legislating against. There seems to be an insidious creep of governments trying to place ever more control on citizens and what they are allowed to do or say. This must not continue.

  • Bazzrington

    Kudos on your stance.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks!
    This is great news!
    I am very pleased to hear this.

  • dan

    Thank You

    The internet should be free and safe place for all of us

  • http://www.steveliddle.net Steve Liddle

    Been using the service for years and use the service to block known malware sites

    Noticed that the UK government are looking to block a file sharing site that I do not use, would using the opendns servers get around this block as I do not use my ISP’s dns settings

    With a small business ISP that seem pretty good

  • Peter

    Fantastic. Information wants to be free, thanks for helping it keep its freedom.

  • Chase

    Thank you for your strong stance on this issue. I’m proud!

  • David Webb

    Whilst I laud your stance on the matter, from a technical point of view if an ISP wanted to block a website then they will no matter what DNS service you use.

    In the UK we use a service which blocks access to sites which contain illegal content, mainly images of child abuse, changing to OpenDNS won’t get you around the filter (nor should it, child abuse is disgusting), but my point is that if an ISP wants to block a website it can (and does).

  • Michael E

    Thank you for this! I have loved OpenDNS for the entire time I’ve been using it! This just adds one reason why I should continue to use it, and share it with my friends and family! Thank you, OpenDNS!!! You guys are amazing!

  • http://www.rockandrollive.com Snapafun

    When I discovered DNS a couple of years ago, using it was a ‘no brainer’. I live in New Zealand and am responsible for the kids I coach in Rock’n’Roll Live Dancing and social skills. OpenDNS is the tool I use when I set up their computers BECAUSE…. what ever a Government decides, you, the parent, will still be held responsible for any misuse of the internet INCLUDING using sites permitted by said governments. They set themselves up as the caretakers then blame the parents when things go wrong instead of taking responsiblity for their own actions.

    Stay with this OpenDNS. You certainly get my full support. For me, being practical is as said above… a ‘no brainer’.

  • Thomas Marx

    I assume that those who promote censorship for whatever reason are aware that a democracy only exists if based on the expression of the free will of the citizen. If that will is based on filtered, suppressed, censored, fabricated or falsified information it is neither a “will” nor is it “free”. It is degenerated into a product of successful manipulation. Manipulated by those who have the power to control information. There is no difference if a human will is manipulated by brute force like in old fashion totalitarianism or more elegantly by information control and public deception: both procedures are crimes against humanity, both procedures violate basic civil rights, both procedures are bound to the duty, not the right, to resist.

  • Michael Fiher

    Thank you for standing strong in an environment that can be hostile and supportive.

  • rmontiel

    thank you so much for supporting free internet world.

  • http://RonPaul2012.com Ron

    That’s nice. What are you going to do when the Democrat-Republican Party passes a law to force you?

  • http://www.customcomputer.me Sharon Peralta

    Thank you for maintaining this policy and supporting a free Internet where we all have individual choice. I recommend this service to all my friends and clients as an added layer of defense–whether it be to protect children, increase business productivity and protect against legal action. Keep on rockin’!

  • http://vsscc.com Vince

    I am glad we are still free to voice our opinions freely in internet postings and websites, etc… The media outlets are far right or left leaning and tries to brainwash folks to one side or the other. We do not to pick sides but rather be free thinkers and dwell on our thoughts and opinions.
    The internet needs to stay free as we all need to work to keep government out of our daily lives as much as possible. WE KNOW BEST and the governments needs to respect this.

    The internet seems to be the last front of true freedom for now.

  • Brett

    I agree with some of the previous posters about overkill views on censorship. Their is a difference between what China does and filtering for the sake of blocking items like Malware and child porn. I even think it’s ok to block porn by default even at an entire country level. Porn is too easily available on the internet. If a child goes into a store and asks for a Playboy it’s not going to happen but if they open up a browser on their phone then their instantly in it and the parents have no method to block it unless they remove the data service.

  • Ethan

    Way to go! This might get hard to maintain. Please do whatever it takes, and ask us for the money to pay for it if necessary. It is a shame that smaller companies like yours are taking this stand, while the Google’s of the world roll over and hand the keys to our government – and others.

  • Miss Australia

    I used to work for the govt and they treat people like children for their own power trip. It’s disgusting and I applaud your public statement.

  • Martin

    Very good.. Keep that way. OPENDNS is the best

  • Jerrod

    OpenDNS is one of the few companies I respect. In fact, you have given me inspiration to start an Open%Project% of my own. Thank you for your transparency and please continue to run your business this way, it is much better for the long haul.