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


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. Links 20/3/2018: GStreamer 1.14.0, Freespire 3.0, Endless OS 3.3.13

    Links for the day

  2. BIO, MDMA and PhRMA Are Pushing the PTAB-Hostile STRONGER Patents Act While IAM and Patently-O Continue to Bash PTAB

    The patent microcosm, which compares the Board to the above (crude analogy from Judge Rader and other patent extremists), is still trying to kill inter partes reviews (IPRs), in effect overlooking its own hypocrisy on the matter (they don’t want patent justice, they just want to metaphorically ‘shoot down’ the judges)

  3. 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Still Effectively Tackling Software Patents in the US, But Patent Law Firms Lie/Distort to 'Sell' These Anyway

    The assertion that software patents are still worth pursuing in 2018 is based on carefully-constructed spin which mis-frames several court decisions and underplays/downplays/ignores pretty much everything that does not suit the narrative

  4. Battistelli's EPO Became Extremely Reliant on China for Distraction and on Endless Supply of Applications (Supply Which Doesn't Exist)

    Discussion about the EPO granting machine (or patent-printing machine) and figures the way EPO management would rather the public won't ever see them; the concept that China means redemption for this patent system is as laughable as always

  5. The US International Trade Commission (USITC) Against Comcast, Courtesy of the Intellectual Ventures-Connected Rovi

    The USITC/ITC, which mostly serves to impose embargoes (sometimes in shocking defiance of PTAB decisions), is being invoked by a firm connected to the world’s largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures

  6. Tinder/Match Group Uses Software Patents to Sue a Rival, Obviously Choosing to Sue in Texas

    Software patents are being used for leverage, but only those which were likely granted before Alice and only in courts at districts somewhere around Texas

  7. Links 19/3/2018: Linux 4.16 RC6, Atom 1.25, antiX 17.1, GNU Mcron 1.1

    Links for the day

  8. From PTAB Bashing to Federal Circuit (CAFC) Bashing: How the Patent 'Industry' Sells Software Patents

    The latest tactics of the patent microcosm are just about as distasteful as last month's (or last year's), with focus shifting to the courts and few broadly-misinterpreted patent cases (mainly Finjan, Berkheimer, and Aatrix)

  9. Patent Maximalists Keep Coming Up With New Terms and Buzzwords to Bypass the Practical Ban on Software Patents

    The fightback against Section 101 and the US Supreme Court (notably Alice) seems to concentrate on old and new buzzwords, such as "Software as a Medical Device" ("SaMD") or "Fourth Industrial Revolution" ("4IR"), which the EPO recently paid European media to spread and promote

  10. News About Patents is Often Just Advertisements Composed Directly or Indirectly by Companies That Sell Patents and Patent Services

    Infomercials are still dominant among news about patents, in effect drowning out the signal (real journalism) and instead pushing agenda that is detached from reality, pertinent facts, objective assessment, public interest and so on

  11. Blocks and Paywalls Won't Protect the Patent Trolls' Lobby From Scrutiny/Fact-Checking

    Joff Wild and Benoît Battistelli have much in common, including patent maximalism and chronic resistance to facts (or fact-checking)

  12. China Has Become Very Aggressive With Patents

    China now targets other Asian countries/firms -- more so than Western firms -- with patent lawsuits; we expect this to get worse in years to come

  13. UPC/Battistelli Booster IAM Blames Brexit Rather Than EPO Abuses

    While the EPO is collapsing due to mismanagement the boosters of Team Battistelli would rather deflect and speak about Brexit, which is itself partly motivated by such mismanagement

  14. European Commission Again Urged to Tackle Abuses at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Rina Ronja Kari is the latest MEP attempting to compel the Commission to actually do something about the EPO other than turning a blind eye

  15. Links 18/3/2018: Wine 3.4, Wine-Staging 3.4, KDE Connect 1.8 for Android

    Links for the day

  16. TXED Courts Are Causing Businesses to Leave the District, Notably For Fear That Having Any Operations Based There is a Legal Liability

    A discussion about the infamous abundance of patent cases in the Eastern District of Texas (TXED/EDTX) and what this will mean for businesses that have branches or any form of operations there (making them subjected to lawsuits in that district even after TC Heartland)

  17. PTAB Hatred is So Intense Among the Patent 'Industry' That Even Scammers Are Hailed as Champions If They Target PTAB

    The patent microcosm is so eager to stop the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that it's supporting sham deals (or "scams") and exploits/distorts the voice of the new USPTO Director to come up with PTAB-hostile catchphrases

  18. The Patent 'Industry' is Increasingly Mocking CAFC and Its Judges Because It Doesn't Like the Decisions

    Judgmental patent maximalists are still respecting high courts only when it suits them; whenever the outcome is not desirable they're willing to attack the legitimacy of the courts and the competence of judges, even resorting to racist ad hominem attacks if necessary

  19. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Carries on Enforcing § 101, Invalidating Software Patents and Upsetting the Patent 'Industry' in the Process

    A quick report on where PTAB stands at the moment, some time ahead of the Oil States decision (soon to come from the US Supreme Court)

  20. Luxembourg Can Become a Hub of Patent Trolls If the EPO Carries on With Its 'Reforms', Even Without the UPC

    With or without the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is the wet dream of patent trolls and their legal representatives, the EPO's terrible policies have landed a lot of low-quality patents on the hands of patent trolls (many of which operate through city-states that exist for tax evasion -- a fiscal environment ripe for shells)

  21. The Patent 'Printing Machine' of the EPO Will Spawn Many Lawsuits and Extortions (Threats of Lawsuits), in Effect Taxing Europe

    The money-obsessed, money-printing patent office, where the assembly line mentality has been adopted and patent-printing management is in charge, is devaluing or diluting the pool of European Patents, more so with restrictions (monetary barriers) to challenging bad patents

  22. Links 17/3/2018: Varnish 6, Wine 3.4

    Links for the day

  23. Deleted EPO Tweets and Promotion of Software Patents Amid Complaints About Abuse and Demise of Patent Quality

    Another ordinary day at the EPO with repressions of workforce, promotion of patents that aren't even allowed, and Team UPC failing to get its act together

  24. Guest Post: Suspected “Whitewashing” Operations by Željko Topić in Croatia

    Articles about EPO Vice-President Željko Topić are disappearing and sources indicate that it’s a result of yet more SLAPP from him

  25. Monumental Effort to Highlight Decline in Quality of European Patents (a Quarter of Examiners Sign Petition in Spite of Fear), Yet Barely Any Press Coverage

    he media in Europe continues to be largely apathetic towards the EPO crisis, instead relaying a bunch of press releases and doctored figures from the EPO; only blogs that closely follow EPO scandals bothered mentioning the new petition

  26. Careful Not to Conflate UPC Critics With AfD or Anti-EU Elements

    The tyrannical Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being spun as something that only fascists would oppose after the right-wing, anti-EU politicians in Germany express strong opposition to it

  27. Links 15/3/2018: Qt Creator 4.6 RC, Microsoft Openwashing

    Links for the day

  28. PTAB Continues to Increase Capacity Ahead of Oil States; Patent Maximalists Utterly Upset

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) sees the number of filings up to an almost all-time high and efforts to undermine PTAB are failing pretty badly -- a trend which will be further cemented quite soon when the US Supreme Court (quite likely) backs the processes of PTAB

  29. Patent Maximalists Are Still Trying to Create a Patent Bubble in India

    Litigation maximalists and patent zealots continue to taunt India, looking for an opportunity to sue over just about anything including abstract ideas because that's what they derive income from

  30. EPO Staff Has Just Warned the National Delegates That EPO's Decline (in Terms of Patent Quality and Staff Welfare) Would Be Beneficial to Patent Trolls

    The staff of the EPO increasingly recognises the grave dangers of low-quality patents -- an issue we've written about (also in relation to the EPO) for many years


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


Recent Posts