China creates 6 mirror DNS name servers as backup

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/27 22:27:54

Thales' Cybersecurity Operation Center in China's Hong Kong. Photo: Courtesy of Thales

China created six mirror copies of root name servers, a critical part of the internet infrastructure that help users connect to the internet, a move that analysts said will improve Chinese netizens' internet speed and offer the country more backups when facing a breakdown of the internet led by the US. 

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology made the announcement on Wednesday, permitting the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) to operate, maintain and manage the six mirror copies of root name servers. 

The ministry requires CNNIC to formulate and continuously improve the management system of root name servers and assign dedicated personnel to run, maintain and manage them, and establish a fixed contact mechanism.

A root name server is the highest-level domain name system (DNS), which helps computers connect to the internet or a private network. There are 13 root name servers and 10 of them are controlled by the US. 

China has no root name servers but has established mirror copies. 

Lu Feng, an industry analyst at Beijing-based consultancy firm CCID Consulting under the ministry, told the Global Times that establishing mirror servers does not change root name servers situation being controlled by other countries

There are nearly 1,000 mirror servers in the world and establishing mirror servers will help speed up internet access, Lu said.

Deng Huan, director of the security research institute at internet security firm Baimaohui in Beijing, told the Global Times that since the internet infrastructure is controlled by foreign countries, developing mirror copies helps China avoid the impact if they completely shut down their servers.  

Some technology insiders noted that netizens' IP addresses will finally flow to root name servers, which means that if China has none of its own root name servers, security would remain a problem and countries like the US would still have the ability to access Chinese netizens' IP addresses. 

Posted in: SOCIETY

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