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09.26.13

People Trust Mozilla, Show Confidence Regarding Security and Privacy

Posted in Security at 11:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mozilla in Europe
London Mozilla Workspace; photo by Mozilla in Europe

Summary: Mozilla keeps its Web browser (Firefox) secure from surveillance and “anyone who actively trusts Chrome is a good subject for psychological study,” says one commenter

EVER since Edward Snowden left his mark on the world’s news we have found out to what degree complicity (between corporations and the NSA) helped infringe people’s privacy. Nobody does it like Microsoft, the unbeatable champion of lies and corruption.

Several years ago Mozilla was losing its way. This drove me further away to Konqueror and Rekonq, which I still use. For similar reasons I also dumped Google Search. But Firefox changed technically and also changed its staff (e.g. not just getting rid of Microsoft folks but also hiring some privacy advocates). Nothing served as a better recruitment and advocacy tool for Firefox than the advertising ‘industry’ smearing Firefox and protesting blocking of ads, cookies, etc. It seemed like Mozilla was really fighting for us and taking the beatings from surveillance moguls. So earlier this year I returned to using Firefox.

Firefox version 24.0 is coming to Ubuntu GNU/Linux, which is said to be the first distribution to adopt it [1]. It has already been updated for security reasons [2] while versions 25 and 26 are being actively developed [3]. Given some of Mozilla’s policies in recent years, especially when it come to privacy, no wonder people trust Firefox far more than they trust Chrome [4]. Here is a good comment which is both factually correct and humourous:

I don’t trust Google as far as I could throw ‘em. As a company, it’s entirely uninterested in my security or privacy, especially if it can make money by selling my personal information.

Trusting any software completely is a bit foolish, but anyone who actively trusts Chrome is a good subject for psychological study.

Chromium too should not be trusted all that much, either. Just because it bears the “Open Source” label doesn’t mean it’s harmless. On Android devices, always install and use Firefox. It’s a solid browser for Android and it respects privacy by default.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Ubuntu Is the First Linux Distribution with Firefox 24

    Canonical has announced a few minutes ago, September 17, that they’ve updated the Mozilla Firefox packages to version 24.0, on all their supported Ubuntu operating systems, making Ubuntu the first Linux distribution with Firefox 24.

  2. Mozilla Updates Firefox 24 With 17 Security Advisories

    The latest open-source Firefox browser release adds new user features and patches critical security vulnerabilities.

  3. Mozilla Resets for Firefox 25 and 26

    The open-source browser effort is aimed at fixing flaws and improving security in upcoming releases of Firefox.

  4. Firefox burns Chrome in our trustworthy browser poll

    About a month ago I asked Naked Security readers Which web browser do you trust? Your answer was emphatic: it’s Firefox.

    [...]

    The poor showing of Internet Explorer is notable but perhaps not surprising given that it is often imposed on users as a matter of corporate policy.

    What stands out at me is the difference between the Mozilla and Google products. Both browsers are well established and well known open source projects, they both run on Windows, Mac and Linux and unlike Explorer or Safari neither come bundled with an operating system.

    Perhaps Chrome users are more cynical or more realistic about where they place their trust. Or perhaps people who choose Chrome are also people who don’t vote in internet polls.

    We don’t know but I suspect, as the comments on our poll seem to suggest, that the reason for Chrome’s poor showing is that Google’s claim to Do No Evil is simply no longer convincing.

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A Single Comment

  1. NotZed said,

    October 1, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Gravatar

    If you follow the money Mozilla gets it’s income from advertising as well. So I’m not sure they can be trusted all that much either for the same reason as google. Look how long they’re taking to block 3rd party cookies which is an absolute no brainer and should never have been enabled in the first place.

    The fact that they’ve convinced people otherwise is just effective marketing.

    Also look at their approach to plugins. One can argue fairly strongly for the security implications but make no mistake, flash and java plugins are also competing with ‘html5′ as a platform. But betting the farm on ‘html5′ as a platform is a big risk for Mozilla because they will forever be playing catch-up and a company like google can make internet-breaking changes on it’s own due to it’s market share. It’s already happened with video.

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