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.