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. The EPO Has Sadly Taken a Side and It's the Patent Trolls' Side

    Abandoning the whole rationale behind patents, the Office now led for almost a year by António Campinos prioritises neither science nor technology; it's all about granting as many patents (European monopolies) as possible for legal activity (applications, litigation and so on)



  2. Where the USPTO Stands on the Subject of Abstract Software Patents

    Not much is changing as we approach Easter and software patents are still fool's gold in the United States, no matter if they get granted or not



  3. Links 19/3/2019: Jetson/JetBot, Linux 5.0.3, Kodi Foundation Joins The Linux Foundation, and Firefox 66

    Links for the day



  4. Links 18/3/2019: Solus 4, Linux 5.1 RC1, Mesa 18.3.5, OSI Individual Member Election Won by Microsoft

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

    Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network



  6. Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

    As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)



  7. Links 17/3/2019: Google Console and IBM-Red Hat Merger Delay?

    Links for the day



  8. To Team UPC the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Has Become a Joke and the European Patent Office (EPO) Never Mentions It Anymore

    The EPO's frantic rally to the very bottom of patent quality may be celebrated by obedient media and patent law firms; to people who actually produce innovative things, however, this should be a worrisome trend and thankfully courts are getting in the way of this nefarious agenda; one of these courts is the FCC in Germany



  9. Links 16/3/2019: Knoppix Release and SUSE Independence

    Links for the day



  10. Stopping António Campinos and His Software Patents Agenda (Not Legal in Europe) Would Require Independent Courts

    Software patents continue to be granted (new tricks, loopholes and buzzwords) and judges who can put an end to that are being actively assaulted by those who aren't supposed to have any authority whatsoever over them (for decisions to be impartially delivered)



  11. The Linux Foundation Needs to Speak Out Against Microsoft's Ongoing (Continued) Patent Shakedown of OEMs That Ship Linux

    Zemlin actively thanks Microsoft while taking Microsoft money; he meanwhile ignores how Microsoft viciously attacks Linux using patents, revealing the degree to which his foundation, the “Linux Foundation” (not about Linux anymore, better described as Zemlin’s PAC), has been compromised



  12. Links 15/3/2019: Linux 5.0.2, Sublime Text 3.2

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO and the USPTO Are Granting Fake Patents on Software, Knowing That Courts Would Reject These

    Office management encourages applicants to send over patent applications that are laughable while depriving examiners the freedom and the time they need to reject these; it means that loads of bogus patents are being granted, enshrined as weapons that trolls can use to extort small companies outside the courtroom



  14. CommunityBridge is a Cynical Microsoft-Funded Effort to Show Zemlin Works for 'Community', Not Microsoft

    After disbanding community participation in the Board (but there are Microsoft staff on the Board now) the "Linux Foundation" (or Zemlin PAC) continues to take Microsoft money and polishes or launders that as "community"



  15. Links 14/3/2019: GNOME 3.32 and Mesa 19.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  16. EPO 'Results' Are, As Usual, Not Measured Correctly

    The supranational monopoly, a monopoly-granting authority, is being used by António Campinos to grant an insane amount of monopolies whose merit is dubious and whose impact on Europe will be a net negative



  17. Good News Everyone! UPC Ready to Go... in 2015!

    Benoît Battistelli is no longer in Office and his fantasy (patent lawyers' fantasy) is as elusive as ever; Team UPC is trying to associate opposition to UPC with the far right (AfD) once again



  18. Links 13/3/2019: Plasma 5.15.3,Chrome 73 and Many LF Press Releases

    Links for the day



  19. In the Age of Trumpism EFF Needs to Repeatedly Remind Director Iancu That He is Not a Judge and He Cannot Ignore the Courts

    The nonchalance and carelessness seen in Iancu's decision to just cherry-pick decisions/outcomes (basically ignoring caselaw) concerns technologists, who rightly view him as a 'mole' of the litigation 'industry' (which he came from)



  20. Links 12/3/2019: Sway 1.0 Released, Debian Feuds Carry On

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft is Complaining About Android and Chrome OS (GNU/Linux) Vendor Not Paying for Microsoft Patents (Updated)

    Microsoft, which nowadays does the patent shakedown against GNU/Linux by proxy, is still moaning about companies that don’t pay ‘protection’ money (grounds for antitrust action or racketeering investigation)



  22. Watchtroll Has Redefined "Trolls" to Mean Those Who Oppose Software Patents (and Oppose Trolls), Not Those Who Leverage These for Blackmail Alone

    The controversial change to 35 U.S.C. § 101 guidance is being opposed by the public (US citizens who oppose American software patents), so patent maximalists like Janal Kalis (“PatentBuddy”) and extremists like Gene Quinn (Watchtroll) want us to believe that the public is just “EFF” and cannot think for itself



  23. EPO's Latest 'Results' Show That António Campinos Has Already Given Up on Patent Quality and is Just Another Battistelli

    The patent-granting machine that the EPO has become reports granting growth of unrealistic scale (unless no proper examination is actually carried out)



  24. Links 11/3/2019: Linux 5.0.1, Audacity 2.3.1, GNU Coreutils 8.31

    Links for the day



  25. US Patent Law Currently Not Changing Much and Software Patents Are Still in Limbo

    Surveying the news, as we still meticulously do (even if we don't write about it), it seems clear that American courts hardly tolerate software patents and proponents of such patents are losing their voice (or morale)



  26. EPO Examiner: “I Have Been Against Software Patents and Eventually 3/4 of My Job is Examining Software Patent Applications.”

    Overworked examiners aren't being given the time, the tools and the freedom to reject patents, based on prior art, patent scope and so on; it is beginning to resemble a rubber-stamping operation, not an examining authority



  27. Europe Will Pay a High Price for Software Patents Advocacy by António Campinos in Europe's Patent-Granting Authority

    EPO President António Campinos — like Iancu at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — is still promoting software patents in Europe even though such patents are clearly detrimental to Europe’s interests



  28. António Campinos -- Like His Father -- Lacks Support From Colleagues, Endorsed Only From the Top

    History lessons from Wikileaks



  29. Links 10/3/2019: GNU and GNOME Releases

    Links for the day



  30. Koch Brothers' Oil Money is Poisoning Academia and Distorting Scholarly Work/Research on Patents

    Meddling in patent law by the Kochs, the oil tycoons who can be seen everywhere Conservative think tanks are, shows no signs of abatement


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