Mozilla accuses governments of spying through its software

Mozilla, the makers of the popular online browser Firefox, recently accused the British company Gamma International of helping 36 governments around the world spy on citizens.

Mozilla, the makers of the popular online browser Firefox, recently accused the British company Gamma International of helping 36 governments around the world spy on citizens. How, you ask? A form of spyware disguised as an important Firefox software update.

Jonathan Zittrain at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society says Mozilla has two big concerns.

"It's worried both about classic tarnishment of its brand, and they also, I think, find it particularly gauling that what they stand for -- user empowerment -- would be subverted by software like this," Zittrain says.

There are big questions, Zittrain adds, about a company selling its products to countries like China, which have an entirely different approach to the rule of law than the U.S.

About the author

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.

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