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Nominum Delivers Service Provider Compliance Solution for Blocking Child Exploitation Sites Online

Nominum, the leader in network naming and addressing solutions announced today that it has a very simple, efficient, and effective solution that allows Internet Service Providers to quickly comply with regulatory mandates or agreements being negotiated that require them to block access to child exploitation sites on the Internet. Nominum’s solution offers providers several key advantages:

  • No invasion of user privacy; packet contents are not examined
  • Simple deployment with no new equipment in the network or operational overhead
  • Preserves the subscriber experience; performance, latency and availability are not impacted
  • Confidentiality of lists of banned sites to prevent inadvertent disclosure or theft

The problem of child exploitation sites on the Internet has been widely publicized around the world with the media and citizens becoming increasingly vocal about the need to protect Internet users by blocking access. Governments worldwide are working to address this problem. In Germany the government moved rapidly, starting legislation in January that was approved through their legislative arm in early July. Similar initiatives and agreements already exist or are being worked on in other parts of the world.

Nominum’s solution for blocking access to child exploitation sites allows service providers to leverage the DNS infrastructure that is already present in every IP network. Nearly 50 percent of broadband households around the world already rely on Nominum’s DNS for their browsing needs. Virtually every Internet application, including web browsers, relies on the DNS to navigate to destinations on the web. When a user inadvertently clicks on a link that leads to child exploitation sites, Nominum’s software can direct them to a “teaching” page, rather than to the unwanted web site. The key advantage of this solution is that it does not rely on examining the information contained in user’s data packets (“opening the envelope”). This means there is no possibility of ever invading a user’s privacy.

With Nominum’s solution, lists of illegal web sites to be blocked can be continuously updated to reflect the very latest information. The process of distributing the lists throughout the provider network is completely automated, with no operator intervention required. Deployment does not require any specialized equipment or changes to the network architecture and confidentiality of blocked domain lists is ensured by storing them in an encrypted format. Unlike Nominum’s solution, alternatives rely on deep packet inspection which requires looking at packet payloads and raises substantial concerns about user privacy.

“Nominum has a corporate commitment to protecting the Internet and improving the user experience. We have been at the forefront of innovations that provide Internet users with a more productive, safe and secure Internet experience,” said Tom Tovar, CEO of Nominum. “We are actively working with Internet Service Providers to rapidly comply with pending regulations and agreements without disrupting their networks or impacting their operations. Together we are committed to protecting Internet users and preserving privacy.”

The products that implement the compliance solution are:

  • The Malicious Domain Redirection (MDR) Service Delivery Module incorporates continuously updated data about “illegal” websites, including child exploitation sites, and intelligently examines DNS requests from users in real time. Rather than simply directing users to sites hosting illegal content, MDR instead directs them to “stop” pages or “teaching” pages that educate them about the problem. The MDR module is an add-on to Nominum’s Vantio caching DNS platform.
  • The CentrisTM Threat Aggregation Database is a centralized, multi-protocol server that enables real time threat data to be collected and distributed at massive scale. Centris hosts lists of child exploitation sites and automatically distributes the information to MDR modules across an ISP network. Confidentiality of lists is assured by distributing and hosting them in an encrypted format.

Pricing and Availability

Products used to implement this solution are software only. The full solution is generally available now and already deployed in production networks. Pricing is configuration dependent.

About Nominum

Nominum’s network naming and addressing solutions power IP networks of all sizes globally, from the largest carrier broadband network to enterprises, universities and government agencies. Nominum’s Domain Name System (DNS) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) products lead the industry in security, performance, and reliability. They are the foundation of the always-on broadband Internet, supporting 170 million households connected by more than one hundred carriers in every region - North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Large businesses, educational institutions and governmental networks also depend on Nominum to support mission-critical IP services and applications. For more information, visit www.nominum.com. (Click here for a partial list of Nominum’s key customers).

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