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Kris Beevers
Posted by
Kris Beevers on
March 9, 2022

Why We Will Continue Responding to DNS Queries from Russian Networks

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced many companies to examine their relationship with Russia. We will continue to look for ways to support the Ukrainian people and encourage deescalation and peace. We have decided on the following actions:

NS1 Will Respond to DNS Queries From Russian Networks

After carefully considering all the ramifications, we have decided it is critical that NS1 continue responding to DNS query traffic coming from Russia to our customers, especially the many customers NS1 serves that provide valuable global news, education, or social resources. While it is tempting to punish the aggressors with digital sanctions that cut off access to global content, this type of isolation could easily backfire and end up hurting Ukraine. By continuing to enable access to the global perspectives delivered by NS1’s customers, we ensure the Russian people have access to information from the outside world rather than escalating the conflict through information isolation.

As a provider of smart network services, specifically DNS solutions, we had to ask ourselves if continuing to offer access to our customer sites for the Russian people aligned with our values as a company. Would turning off access serve as a form of sanction, and would doing so help deescalate the violence and obtain peace or would it make matters worse? How could we best support the Ukrainian people and government with the means we have available to us?

We’ve always believed in and promoted the open and free communication the Internet provides. So much of the world gets their information from Internet sources, and Russians are no different. By continuing to ensure Russian citizens can access alternative sources and points of view outside of their government’s propaganda sources, we ensure the Russian people hear global discourse regarding the invasion of Ukraine.

As Mikhail Klimarev, executive director of the Internet Protection Society said in a recent Washington Post interview: “...If you turn off the Internet in Russia, then this means cutting off 140 million people from at least some truthful information. As long as the Internet exists, people can find out the truth. There will be no Internet — all people in Russia will only listen to propaganda.”

Since the start of this conflict, we have seen Russians protest against their government’s actions. There are also reports of military units surrendering without a fight and sabotaging their vehicles and weaponry. It is clear that many of the Russian people oppose this war as strongly as the rest of the world. To cut them off from information and their ability to share their experiences could have an adverse effect on the undercurrent of pro-Ukrainian and anti-war sentiment.

Protecting and Securing Ukraine Internet Traffic

In addition to heightening our own security posture, we are on alert to protect traffic flowing from the Ukraine. As the conflict continues, attacks against digital infrastructure have accelerated. Ukrainian domains, as well as the domains in any region that supports Ukraine, are particularly likely to be attacked. Our Information Security team has been working closely with Operations, Infrastructure, and Customer Support teams to ensure operational readiness in the event one or more of our customers or our infrastructure come under attack. NS1 stands ready to support all of our customers internationally.

Finally, we will support the Ukrainian people by offering our DNS services to companies and organizations in the Ukraine for free. In this way, we can ensure the Ukrainian people have continued access to information and these organizations can continue interacting with the outside world.

Like so many others, we are saddened and frustrated by the attack on Ukraine. In addition to ensuring information flows freely in Russia and the Ukraine, we are directing our corporate giving programs to Ukrainian relief efforts until the end of this attack.

We stand with Ukraine.

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