Autonomica, which runs i-root-servers.net, has stopped advertising its Anycast node in Beijing, after reports last week that its responses were being tampered with.
It seemed that DNS lookups for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were being censored as they returned from I-Root’s node in China, which is hosted by CNNIC.
There was no suggestion that Autonomica was complicit in any censorship, and chief executive Karl Erik Lindqvist has now confirmed as much.
“Netnod/Autonomica is 100% committed to serving the root zone DNS data as published by the IANA. We have made a clear and public declaration of this, and we guarantee that the responses sent out by any i.root-servers.net instance consist of the appropriate data in the IANA root zone,” he wrote.
While Lindqvist is not explicit, the suggestion seems to be that somebody on the Chinese internet not associated with I-Root has been messing with DNS queries as they pass across the network.
This is believed to be common practice in China, whose citizens are subject to strict censorship, but any such activity outside its borders obviously represents a threat to the internet’s reliability.
The CNNIC node is offline until further notice.