NEW YORK, – Google’s Alphabet has released a new Android app called “Intra” which prevents “DNS manipulation”, a process used often by ISPs to redirect invalid domain name resolution to their own version of branded search results, usually accompanied by search engine ads – when used nefariously, it is also a tactic of hackers who steal and redirect users to phishing sites or to otherwise dupe them into downloading viruses and spyware.
The app is made available by a company called “Jigsaw Operations LLC”, which is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., specifically dedicated to the research and creation of tools and technology designed for protecting access to information and data security. This specialized branch of Alphabet was previously known as “Google Ideas” and is led by a past member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff within the United States Department of State.
How it works (encryption)
Intra encrypts your internet connection to a public Domain Name System (DNS) server. DNS servers work like a contact list — when you use the internet, your DNS server provides the exact addresses you need to visit a website or open an app. However, DNS servers can be altered to block access or redirect you to fake websites. By encrypting your connection to DNS servers on your Android device, Intra helps ensure that the results can’t be manipulated, so you can safely access the internet.
Interestingly, this app is said to also be designed to “limit censorship” and prevent users from being deterred from blocked websites, effectively allowing devices to freely bypass toll-roads and access to any site on the web; seems like a noble endeavour, how un-Google like of them?
DNS manipulation is one of the most common forms of online censorship, used to block access to news sites, information portals, social media platforms and communication apps.
Intra is only available on Google’s Android devices (with no immediate plans to make an iOS version).
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Searchen Networks Inc. and Internet Advertising Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, authored a ‘how to’ book called ‘‘Mastering Your Website’, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy company Searchen Networks®