Feeds

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

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.