Feeds

Mozilla rages at MS, Apple and Google's 'trojan horse' tactics

Shove your plug-ins where the sun don't shine

Boost IT visibility and business value

A well-respected Mozilla man has attacked Apple, Google and Microsoft for installing plug-ins without first asking for a web surfer’s permission.

Open web advocate Asa Dotzler, who co-founded the Spread Firefox project for the open source browser outfit in 2004, slammed the three tech titans for making sneaky installs of plug-ins into the popular surfing tool.

He complained that Microsoft, Google and Apple were all guilty of adding stealth plug-ins to Firefox when he installed various bits of their software.

“When I installed iTunes, in order to manage my music collection and sync to my iPod, why did Apple think it was OK to add the iTunes Application Detector plug-in to my Firefox web browser without asking me?” he pondered on his blog yesterday.

“Why did Microsoft think it was OK to sneak their Windows Live Photo Gallery or Office Live Plug-in for Firefox into my browser (presumably) when I installed Microsoft Office? What makes Google think it's reasonable behavior for them to slip a Google Update plug-in into Firefox when I installed Google Earth or Google Chrome (not sure which one caused this) without asking me first?”

Dotzler then likened the behaviour of those vendors to setting off unauthorised malware on his computer.

“This is not OK behaviour… These additional pieces of software installed without my consent may not be malicious but the means by which they were installed was sneaky, underhanded, and wrong.”

The Mozilla man, who is the organisation's director of community development, also pinpointed new browser kid-on-the-block RockMelt as a stealth plug-in offender.

“Microsoft, stop being evil. Apple, stop being evil. Google, stop being evil. And you upstarts like RockMelt, don't follow in those evil footsteps. It's not worth it,” he said before signing off with: “It's really simple. ASK first!”

Nearly a year ago Dotzler encouraged Firefox users to switch their search engine from Google to Microsoft Bing in the wake of Eric Schmidt's now infamous words on net privacy. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.