EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.15.14

Mozilla Should Denounce Microsoft Windows, Not Just Proprietary Web Browsers

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Mozilla raises an important point by alluding to the fact that non-free (proprietary) software should be assumed to have back doors

SECURITY and privacy require freedom and control (by the user) from bottom to top, starting from the bootloader (NSA backdoors in bootloaders are now rumoured [1]). A British blogger in ZDNet, one whom UEFI Forum tried to silence or appease less than a couple of years back (as they did with other UEFI critics), continues to criticise UEFI, the Microsoft (notoriously strong NSA ally) promoted and Intel (as in intelligence) managed back doors-friendly BIOS replacement (UEFI facilitates remote bricking of computers, over the Internet).

Several months ago Tor was compromised through Firefox on Microsoft Windows. Firefox itself did not have back doors, but Windows has plenty of back doors (this month Microsoft already revealed several [2], which the NSA already knows about) and Mozilla’s own platform uses Linux, not Windows.

Yesterday there were quite a few headlines quoting Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, CTO and SVP of Engineering, for his warning about back doors [3-5], which are destroying any notion of information security in proprietary software [6].

With Mozilla diverging away from Windows (Firefox OS brings back memories of Netscape [7]) and signing major deals to bring this Linux-powered operating system to a lot of devices (not just phones [8-12]) we can hope that the whole stack, from bottom to top (hardware, operating system, applications) will be void of back doors. Let’s wish Mozilla good luck. Chrome, which has just had another major release [13,14] is proprietary (never mind the Chromium marketing) and it cannot be seen as a back doors-free substitute to Firefox and Firefox OS (the same goes for Chrome OS). As for Android, recall what company is behind it. There are already reports (in corporate press) about it being remotely hijacked by the FBI. Ubuntu, Tizen, and Sailfish OS (Jolla) might be other decent options, but we don’t know enough about them, at least not yet. WebOS is controlled by a very surveillance-happy company (LG), so we can assume, as the name suggests, that it transmits personal data over the Web/Internet.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. NSA’s backdoors are real — but prove nothing about BadBIOS

    Recent revelations about NSA hardware and firmware backdoors gives all the evidence that those who believe BadBIOS Trojans exist need to see. The spying technology has arrived. The only question is if the BadBIOS incident truly happened.

  2. Microsoft Starts 2014 With Four Security Advisories
  3. Mozilla Calls on World to Protect Firefox Browser From the NSA

    Brendan Eich is the chief technology officer of the Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit behind the Firefox web browser. Among many other things, he oversees the Firefox security team — the software engineers who work to steel the browser against online attacks from hackers, phishers, and other miscreants — and that team is about to get bigger. Much, much bigger.

  4. Mozilla: Firefox Has No Government Backdoors

    Andreas Gal, Mozilla’s vice president of mobile and R&D, and Brendan Eich, CTO and SVP of Engineering, have updated Gal’s blog with a long entry about how Firefox users can trust Mozilla when it comes to government backdoors and user privacy.

    In the blog, they point out that due to laws in the U.S. and elsewhere, Web surfers must interact with Internet services knowing full well that even though cloud service companies want to protect user privacy, eventually one day those companies will be required to comply with laws. The government may acquire information that seems to violate privacy and could even force surveillance. Even more, the government can do so while enforcing gag orders on the service, leaving the consumer unaware.

  5. Mozilla CTO Eich: If your browser isn’t open source (ahem, ahem, IE, Chrome, Safari), DON’T TRUST IT

    Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich has cautioned netizens not to blindly trust software vendors, arguing that only open-source software can be assured to be free from government-mandated surveillance code.

    “Every major browser today is distributed by an organization within reach of surveillance laws,” Eich wrote in a joint blog post with Mozilla research and development VP Andreas Gal on Saturday.

    Under those laws, Eich argued, governments could compel software companies to include surveillance code in their products. Worse, the vendors may not be able to admit to the public that such code exists when asked, because of gag orders.

    The Mozilla man argued that open-source software can help alleviate this risk because customers have the opportunity to review its source code and spot any potential backdoors.

  6. RIP, information security, done in by backdoors and secret deals

    It seems that the very tools we use to secure our networks represent the greatest insider threat of all

  7. Firefox OS: The Return of Microsoft’s Netscape Fears

    Back in the days before the release of Windows 95, just as the public was discovering the Internet as an alternative to private networks such as Prodigy and CompuServe, Netscape was the bomb. In those days, Microsoft didn’t supply any method for surfing the Internet, so people visited their local Egghead store, or other software outlets, to buy a shrink wrapped version of Netscape on floppy disks, which opened up a whole new world to computer users.

  8. Linux-based Platform Coming to Low-cost Smartphones, Tablets, Smart TVs
  9. Firefox Developers Continue Tuning ASM.js Performance

    ASM.js is the subset of JavaScript that is aimed for performance, easy to optimize, and is suitable for EmScripten to target in its converting of C/C++ code through LLVM and into this optimized JavaScript. EmScripten itself has been an incredibly interesting project.

  10. Mozilla Reveals Plans to Take Firefox OS and HTML 5 to New Devices
  11. Mozilla Expands Its Firefox OS Partners, Platforms
  12. Firefox OS Tablets, TVs and More to Arrive This Year
  13. Google Releases Chrome 32 Web Browser for Windows, Mac, Linux
  14. Chrome 32 Has New Tab Indicators, Better Performance

    Google Chrome 32 features new tab indicators for sound / webcam / casting, automatic blocking of known malware files, a number of new apps and extension APIs, and numerous “under the hood” changes that promise to provide better stability and performance.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Kather Augenstein and Bristows Shift Attention to Germany in an Effort to Ram the Dying UPC Down Everyone's Throats

    Down the throat, hopes Team UPC, the Unitary Patent system will go, even though Britain cannot ratify, throwing the whole thing into grave uncertainty



  2. United for Patent Reform Defends USPTO Director Michelle Lee From Attacks by the Patent Microcosm

    Michelle Lee is finally (if not belatedly) shielded by a bunch of large technology companies; The deep-pocketed industry finally steps in line with our position, which is usually when things turn out the way we advocate for



  3. Team UPC and CIPA Are Lobbying, Publishing Puff Pieces, and Rewriting the Law for Unitary Patent (UPC) Behind Closed Doors

    A collection of the latest news and views on the UPC, which is being lied about by those who stand to benefit from it and is probably going nowhere because Brexit means that the UK stays out, in which case it must be reset and pertinent ratifications done all over again



  4. China's Suffering From Patent Maximalism Has Europe Forewarned

    The parasitic elements inside China -- those that just want lots of litigation (even if from patent trolls) -- are winning over, much to the detriment of the Chinese economy, and Team UPC threatens to do the same in Europe with help from Battistelli



  5. Links 27/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.5 RC1, Git 2.13.0 RC1, and Linkerd 1.0

    Links for the day



  6. The Latest Expensive PR Blitz of the EPO, Led by Jana Mittermaier and Rainer Osterwalder Under the 'European Inventor Award' Banner

    The PR agencies of the Corsican in Chief, who appears to be buying political support rather than earning any, are very busy this week, as yet another reputation laundering campaign kicks off



  7. Links 26/4/2017: SMPlayer 17.4.2, Libreboot Wants to Rejoin GNU

    Links for the day



  8. PatentShield is Not the Solution and It Won't Protect Google/Android From Patent Trolls Like Microsoft's

    A new initiative called "PatentShield" is launched, but it's yet another one of those many initiatives (Peer-to-Patent and the likes of it, LOT Network, OIN, PAX etc.) that serve to distract from the real and much simpler solutions



  9. Patent Quality Crisis and Unprecedented Trouble at the European Patent Office (EPO) Negatively Affect Legitimate Companies in the US As Well

    The granting en masse of questionable patents by the EPO (patent maximalism) is becoming a liability and growing risk to companies which operate not only in Europe but also elsewhere



  10. Blog 'Takeovers' by Bristows and Then Censorship: Now This Firm Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Then Deletes Comments That Point Out the Errors

    Not only are Bristows employees grabbing the mic in various high-profile IP blogs for the purpose of UPC promotion (by distortion of facts); they also actively suppress critics of the UPC



  11. Links 25/4/2017: Kali Linux 2017.1 Released, NSA Back Doors in Windows Cause Chaos

    Links for the day



  12. Astoundingly, IP Kat Has Become a Leading Source of UPC and Battistelli Propaganda

    The pro-UPC outlets, which enjoy EPO budget (i.e. stakeholders' money), are becoming mere amplifiers of Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand UPC woman Margot Fröhlinger, irrespective of actual facts



  13. EPO Fiasco to be Discussed in German Local Authority (Bavarian Parliament) Some Time Today as the Institution Continues Its Avoidable Collapse

    Conflict between management and staff -- a result of truly destructive strategies and violations of the law by Benoît Battistelli -- continues to escalate and threatens to altogether dismantle the European Patent Office (EPO)



  14. In the US and Elsewhere, Qualcomm's Software Patents Are a Significant Tax Everyone Must Pay

    The state of the mobile market when companies such as Qualcomm, which don't really produce anything, take a large piece of the revenue pie



  15. In South Asia, Old Myths to Promote Patent Maximalism, Courtesy of the Patent Microcosm

    The latest example of software patents advocacy and patent 'parades' in India, as well as something from IPOS in Singapore



  16. Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

    Links for the day



  17. Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

    How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards



  18. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

    A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays



  19. For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining

    In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions



  20. EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO's Decision

    The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli -- activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation



  21. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day



  22. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)



  23. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press



  24. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)



  25. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments



  26. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day



  27. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive



  28. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)



  29. In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won't Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)

    Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International



  30. Expect Team UPC to Remain in Deep Denial About the Unitary Patent/Unified Court (UPC) Having No Prospects

    The prevailing denial that the UPC is effectively dead, courtesy of sites and blogs whose writers stood to profit from the UPC


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts