This is a blog of
mcr at sandelman.ca
Sat, 05 Jun 2010
If you've stayed at a Hotel that "features" Internet service from Montreal supplier datavalet, you may experience that it... well... isn't Internet.
It's not surprising that hotel Internet services think they are "forced" to use Network Address Translation (NAT), so you aren't really on the Internet, but only half of it. It is also not surprising that they intercept all of your packets until you sign in through their portal (possibly paying).
What is surprising is that after doing that, that they continue to intercept many of your packets, violating both your privacy and BREAKING THE INTERNET.
What does Datavaley do? Well they intercept ALL of your DNS requests. DNS is the Domain Name System, the thing that translates names like www.kame.net to IP addresses like 220.127.116.11, but also to IPv6 addresses like: 2001:200:0:8002:203:47ff:fea5:3085.
Except that Datavaley doesn't. If you ask them for the IPv6 address (the AAAA resource record), then instead of answering either "do such name", they just don't answer. And they do this, even if you asked your own corporate server rather than their server. It requires EXTRA programming to do this.
The result? Anyone running with IPv6 turned on experiences the Internet to be broken. Who does that? Today, if you are running modern software: Windows 7, Linux, Mac OSX. Even XP and Vista (if you turned on IPv6).
I first experienced this at Indigo Hotel at the Toronto Airport in April. I reported this to the hotel and to DataValet. My colleagues report that the Holiday Inn (Terasse de Chaudiere) also has this.
My advice: don't stay there. DataValet broke RFC1034/RFC1035. Those documents are 23 years old --- the is no excuse for breaking the fundamental protocols. There is also no excuse for not having fixed this in the past two months.