OpenDNS No Longer Accessible in France

OpenDNS No Longer Accessible in France

As of June 28, 2024, the public DNS resolver OpenDNS has ceased to respond to IP addresses located in France. This measure follows the demands of rights holders, as demonstrated by the test conducted using the dig tool from an IP address of the ISP Free:

$ dig @

; <<>> DiG 9.18.26 <<>> @
; (1 server found)
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: REFUSED, id: 44529
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 2

; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 1410
; EDE: 16 (Censored)
;			IN	A

;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:		0	IN	TXT	"Due to a court order in France issued under Article L.333-10 of the French Sport code the OpenDNS service is not currently available to users in France and certain French territories."

;; Query time: 18 msec
;; WHEN: Fri Jun 28 20:02:49 CEST 2024
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 244

As you can see, the query status is REFUSED, and a TXT record explains the situation: a court order under Article L.333-10 of the French Sport Code now prohibits access to the OpenDNS service from France and certain French territories.

This law, which claims to protect the interests of sports entertainment, has been widely criticized for favoring football clubs and rights holders at the expense of ordinary users. Advocates of intellectual property rights often argue that these measures aim to "protect creators," but they seem primarily to enrich major sports entertainment companies.

Tests and verifications

To confirm this restriction, additional tests were conducted, notably with RIPE Atlas probes:

$  blaeu-resolve --requested 200 --country FR --nameserver --type A
[ERROR: REFUSED] : 173 occurrences
[TIMEOUT] : 2 occurrences
[] : 4 occurrences
Test #74532693 done at 2024-06-28T18:09:58Z

Alternatives to OpenDNS

The results are clear: the majority of queries are refused from almost all French ISPs. Attempting to use IPv6 does not change the situation.

It is important to note that OpenDNS is just one of many public DNS resolvers available. Although it is a Cisco service, it is not necessarily the most recommended, particularly due to past practices such as replacing negative responses with advertisements.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives. In Europe, you can use services like DNS.SB or DNS4all. In France, resolvers like FDN are available. For those who wish to avoid resolvers managed by large American capitalist corporations like Google or Cloudflare, there are even individual or community-run options.

In conclusion, the restriction of access to OpenDNS from France raises questions about the balance between protecting the rights of holders and ensuring freedom of access to information for users. This situation also highlights the importance of diversifying the DNS resolvers we use, to avoid relying on a single entity and to protect against similar censorship measures.

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