Mozilla angered by government spyware posing as Firefox

2 May 2013

Clint Eastwood in Firefox
Firefox, this morning

Mozilla has sent a cease-and-desist to a company that sells spyware to governments which, allegedly, disguises itself as Firefox.

This motion follows a report which identifies 36 countries (including the USA) hosting command and control servers for FinFisher, a surveillance software. The software is used to spy on dissidents.

Mozilla said that they have sent the cease and desist letter to the UK-based company that make it - Gamma - and are "demanding that these illegal practices stop immediately," as Gamma's software is "designed to trick people into thinking it's Mozilla Firefox."

The spyware "uses our brand and trademarks to lie and mislead as one of its methods for avoiding detection and deletion" and is "used by Gamma’s customers to violate citizens’ human rights and online privacy," Mozilla said, adding: "We believe Gamma’s spyware tries to give users the false impression that, as a program installed on their computer or mobile device, it’s related to Mozilla and Firefox, and is thus trustworthy both technically and in its content."

It is claimed that there have been spyware attacks in Bahrain aimed at pro-democracy activists, as well as use of spyware to snoop on people during Malaysia’s upcoming General Elections. Other countries identified using the software are Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Ethiopia, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Qatar, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.

TOPICS:   Technology   Government   Privacy

1 comment

  • Raggedy
    Dont wanna be pedantic but that's a picture of Mitchell Gant, the pilot of the plane that was called Firefox.

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