back to article 'An issue of survival': Why Mozilla welcomes EU attempts to regulate the internet giants

Mozilla's head of EU public policy, Raegan MacDonald, reckons effective regulation to protect privacy and enable fair competition is an "issue of survival" for Mozilla and other independent companies. The browser developer approached us in order to comment on the EU's newly announced digital strategy. "We're at the beginning …

  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Twat, though there's a picture of a female human no-one gives a fuck what you think about their appearance. Please comment on the story or piss off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Trollface

        >>>Twat, though there's a picture of a female human no-one gives a fuck what you think about their appearance.

        Proof that hypothesis can now be safely discarded

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Twat, though there's a picture of a female human no-one gives a fuck what you think about their appearance.

        Strange you should focus upon gender, nobody else mentioned it. If it were Michael Dell in an equally unflattering pair of spectacles I'd still make the same observation.

        1. Halfmad

          Point they are probably making is that this is for discussing the topic, not the appearance of those in it.

          While I may or may not agree with you around her spectacles, it's not the right forum for that debate. Let's stick to the content of the article itself rather than go down the tabloid route?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            While I may or may not agree with you around her spectacles, it's not the right forum for that debate. Let's stick to the content of the article itself rather than go down the tabloid route?

            How many years have you been reading the Reg ? It's a red top tabloid for techies, deliberately set up in the style of by Mike Magee.

            1. Philip Lewis

              I hesitate to ask (given my own age). Where is Mike these days ?

              1. Tim99 Silver badge

                Fudzilla

                1. Tim99 Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Why the downvote? Mike is at fudzilla.com

        2. big_D Silver badge

          The register themselves were commenting on the clothes worn in the Autonomy trial.

        3. Cardinal

          @AC

          "nobody else mentioned it"

          But nobody else had commented on ANYTHING at that point!

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No one wanted to hear your opinion on her glasses or Michael Dell (if he was wearing the same). Its non of your business so fuck off, and when you get there - fuck off a bit more.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC - Show us a picture of you wearing something

          and I will be delighted to make heavily unflattering observations about you. Oh, and don't bother showing any proof of intelligence, culture or education, we'll stick to your appearance.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Those glasses

        Twat, though there's a picture of a female human no-one gives a fuck what you think about their appearance. Please comment on the story or piss off.

        She obviously cares about her appearance, so why shouldn't we? Those glasses are making a clear fashion statement, whether you like it or not. And when comentards call, e.g. Trump things like "the orange one", I don't see them getting flamed for negative comments about his appearance. Perhaps this outrage on someone else's behalf only applies in relation to women?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Those glasses

          Or maybe the lack of outrage about insults to Trump is because he insults people on a daily basis, and besides people have always made fun of US presidents about their appearance even when they act like a president should. How can you not make fun of a guy who wears clownish orange makeup all the time? Just like people made fun of Obama's suit colors (and worse, by those of a more racist bent) Bill Clinton's "McDonalds belly", Reagan's jet black hair even when he hit 70 years old, Nixon's jowl and so forth.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Those glasses

          Usually when Trump is called "the orange one" etc, it's on the way to the point. A precursor, if you will, that indicates that the author disapproves of whatever Trump is fucking right up this week. In this case the appearance was the total subject of the comment.

          The opening comment came off like classic negging, as well as being off topic (and nothing to do with IT), so there was a lot to downvote there.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The glasses are problematic, though.

    2. Thought About IT

      I suppose the ideal way to distract attention from the message would be a picture of a squirrel wearing glasses.

      1. Anonymous Coward
    3. Palpy

      On that vein...

      ...get a fokkin' haircut, Boris, you look a right unsexy twat and that lawnmower job on your albino locks will not get anybody to buy you a drink and offer to take you home. Not to mention your wobbly gut, you pallid walrus.

      Go ahead, let's criticize men for their looks for a change.

      But she's right, you know. The Internet is badly warped. Google, Chrome, Facebook, Amazon, et al, have enabled the warpage. They're sure not going to fix it.

      Firefox is my go-to precisely because I trust Mozilla much more than I trust Google-Chrome.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On that vein...

        For a change? Just do a search on Twitter for "George Osborne hair".

        Back in 2014, some women on the BBC's Politics Live programme were complaining, as their invariably do, about women being judged on their appearance. Later, at the end of the programme, they began discussing George Osborne's new haircut and David Cameron's bald spot, totally oblivious to their own hypocrisy. Jeremy Corbyn has also come in for a bit of criticism about the way he looks, too.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't know, I found them quite cute.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8wE6ALlo3o

  2. thosrtanner

    i've been to at least one site that says 'if you don't accept our cookies you can't use the site'. so I don't use it, but seriously? that's certainly contrary to the spirit of the GDPR

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Contrary to the spirit of GDPR? It is illegal under GDPR. You can't refuse access if the user doesn't opt-in.

      You can't collect or use information without an opt-in and you can't refuse access if they don't.

      Cookies are a sticky subject though. Essential first party cookies (which page you visited last, are you logged on etc.) don't necessarily need to be agreed to, but anything that collects PII as you move through the site does, as do all third party cookies.

      1. Tigra 07
        Trollface

        RE: big_D

        "Cookies are a sticky subject though"

        I keep mine in the fridge.

        1. Adair Silver badge

          Re: RE: big_D

          I eat my cookies, and my browser eats its cookies too.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: RE: big_D

            My browser vomits its cookies on close.

            I actually think that should be the default - why isn't it, Mozilla?

            1. Alumoi Silver badge

              Re: RE: big_D

              My browser kills them when closing the tab. Pwned!

              Why would Mozilla, by default, clear your cookies, history and such on closing the browser? Think of the great unwashed who will cry foul if their precious won't log them in automatically at the mere hoover over the link. Or remember what did they search for a month ago. Let's not forget the fun you can have when they ask you to see why their browser is so slow and you accidentally on purpose expose their dirty browsing habits.

              I know, I know, it's not PC to make fun of those technically challenged (did I get it right?), but boy...

              1. Cave-Homme

                Re: RE: big_D

                It’s not a matter of being technically challenged whatsoever, you are being condescending to many people.

                I specifically keep certain cookies for specific site preferences, which saves considerable time. I also keep certain specific third party cookies which some sites unfortunately require to function. I delete the rest. Firefox cookie and tracking management is very good these days.

                Even MS are doing a decent job in this respect with their new Chromium Edge. I still prefer FF though, not just because of its mission, but also especially since it’s much lighter on resources than Chromium / Chrome browsers I’ve tried.

                1. quartzz

                  Re: RE: big_D

                  I've asked this previously (and I have search-ed). but is there any decent cookie management for chrome? (like there is for Firefox). eg, sort by date last used/number of cookies/size)

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: RE: big_D

                Firefox Focus does exactly that, so it's not like they haven't considered the option.

    2. iron Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      > at least one

      Lol. You owe me a new keyboard.

      I think you meant to say "all sites."

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      If you're in the UK, you won't have to worry about GDPR for much longer!

      Google is already moving UK data to the USA thanks to Brexit.

      The recent Cloud Act in the US, however, is expected to make it easier for British authorities to obtain data from US companies. Britain and the US are also on track to negotiate a broader trade agreement.

      Beyond that, the US has among the weakest privacy protections of any major economy, with no broad law despite years of advocacy by consumer protection groups.

      Google has amassed one of the largest stores of information about people and uses the data to tailor services and sell advertising.

      Google could also have had British accounts answer to a British subsidiary, but has opted not to do so.

      More...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ROFL

        Any agreement with the USA will be so one sided that all the data will ONLY ever travel in one direction and that is to the Yanks.

        Oh, and we'll have to take all that lovely Chlorinated Chicken and Rubber Cheese as well just to add insult to injury.

        Yours Grumpy of Fratton Park.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: ROFL

          If we dont let them have out data our cowardly government will let them have our bodies without any problem.

        2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: ROFL

          Sigh.

          If you don't want to buy chlorinated chicken, then............... don't buy chlorinated chicken.

          1. Robert Grant Silver badge

            Re: ROFL

            Enforced vegetarianism it is, then!

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        @Jamie Jones

        "If you're in the UK, you won't have to worry about GDPR for much longer!

        Google is already moving UK data to the USA thanks to Brexit."

        Couldnt this be seen as a positive since the EU is gagging to have just one success story to compete with the yanks?

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: @Jamie Jones

          I don't understand your question!

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: @Jamie Jones

            @Jamie Jones

            It was kind of following on the train of thought that our data might be freed up from the EU regs by the move to the US. The US being pretty good at providing things that people want while the EU seems envious of such ability while continuing to apply more regulations.

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: @Jamie Jones

              Hmmm. What? EU rules don't restrict you using your data for what you want, they restrict what others can do with your data without your permission.

              I really hope you're not saying that "our data is better in the US because there, everyone else is free to do what the hell they like with it."

              There's that story only this week on US ISPs claiming that restricting their ability to sell your web searches is against their freedom of speech... You agree?

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @Jamie Jones

                @Jamie Jones

                "Hmmm. What? EU rules don't restrict you using your data for what you want, they restrict what others can do with your data without your permission."

                Yes. As I said the EU seem envious of US advancements but keeps applying more regulations to slow development.

                "I really hope you're not saying that "our data is better in the US because there, everyone else is free to do what the hell they like with it.""

                It is a view. Why do we have success stories like google, facebook and such in the world? Huge advances in AI, data retrieval, unique hashing algorithms, clusters, more efficient search algorithms, etc.

                "There's that story only this week on US ISPs claiming that restricting their ability to sell your web searches is against their freedom of speech... You agree?"

                To be honest I dont care. Recently the EU is wanting to stop development of AI for 5 years while it tries to find its arse with a map and both hands. I do care

                1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

                  Re: @Jamie Jones

                  Fair enough. At least you're up front in your opinion.

                  I don't agree that the EU is applying regulations to slow development. The same regulations apply to non-US companies too, and Facebook and Google would continue to be successful even if there was "global GDPR" - just as EU companies weren't dominant pre GDPR.

                  The main thing is that the EU is considering the citizen; the US the corporations. I suppose some may think that means the EU is unfair on corporations, but many of us would simply say the US is too lax on them.

                  To your example, if the EU was just trying to penalise America, then these AI "restrictions" would be a bit of an own goal, no?

                  Maybe, just maybe, they have been worried -- rightly or wrongly -- by the horror stories (again, relating to personal liberty and privacy)

                  And do you not care for the search history caching because of the following 3: a) You're not in the US, b) You're able to use a VPN if need be c) You don't regularly search for feet fetishes in your local area? (*) Would you feel the same way if 2 out of 3 of those weren't true?

                  (*) If you do actually search for foot-fetishes in your local area, apologies, it was just an example, I'm not judging you! :-)

                  1. BlueTemplar

                    Re: @Jamie Jones

                    Lol, "EU unfair to corporations" ?

                    If EU was *actually* fair to corporations (i.e. really treated them according to their good/bad behaviour), the GAFAM would have been kicked out of EU in the last few years, just like Huawei was in the USA...

                    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

                      Re: @Jamie Jones

                      As I said, "many of us think the US is too lax on them"

                    2. Robert Grant Silver badge

                      Re: @Jamie Jones

                      If EU was *actually* fair to corporations (i.e. really treated them according to their good/bad behaviour)

                      That's not "fair", that's "Santa". Fair is "subjected them to the same subsidies and penalties as all other corporations".

                  2. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: @Jamie Jones

                    @Jamie Jones

                    "I don't agree that the EU is applying regulations to slow development. The same regulations apply to non-US companies too, and Facebook and Google would continue to be successful even if there was "global GDPR" - just as EU companies weren't dominant pre GDPR."

                    We dont know if they would be so dominant. The regulations didnt exist then and a large part of FB and googles expansion has been through big data. If we pour tar on them now they must adapt (in the EU) but if they were already covered in tar would they have got as far as they have? The EU may not intend to slow development but that is the effect of regulations. The 5 year ban on AI being a good example, who else is going to do that?

                    "The main thing is that the EU is considering the citizen; the US the corporations. I suppose some may think that means the EU is unfair on corporations, but many of us would simply say the US is too lax on them."

                    From what I have read it does seem to be 2 different ways of looking at the same problem. From what I have seen the US people seem to view the public vs the private and the public imposes on the private. Over here we seem to have a different view that the gov is somehow on the side of the citizen against the businesses. Although that gets complicated when people complain about the gov being in cahoots with business. *I know its actually more complicated and a mix on both sides of the pond but roughly.

                    "To your example, if the EU was just trying to penalise America, then these AI "restrictions" would be a bit of an own goal, no?"

                    I dont think this is a move to penalise America and yes its an own goal. I actually think its a control freak mentality which should scare people that the EU wants a centrally planned economy.

                    "Maybe, just maybe, they have been worried -- rightly or wrongly -- by the horror stories (again, relating to personal liberty and privacy)"

                    Of course. This is the good governance vs bad where one considers the problem and the other reads the latest horror story and reacts. The expectation then growing that the gov will react to the latest overreaction and never do anything useful. Its an easy trap to fall into for any gov and ours has been guilty of it too.

                    "And do you not care for the search history caching because of the following 3: a) You're not in the US, b) You're able to use a VPN if need be c) You don't regularly search for feet fetishes in your local area? (*) Would you feel the same way if 2 out of 3 of those weren't true?"

                    You are right with a, b and c but even without that yes. The data (1) requires ISPs to secure ‘opt-in’ consent from their customers before using information that is not sensitive in nature or even personally identifying; and it is a targeted restriction-

                    All of this results in an “excessive burden” on ISPs, they claim, especially because not everyone else had to do the same. The new statute includes “no restrictions at all on the use, disclosure, or sale of customer personal information, whether sensitive or not, by the many other entities in the Internet ecosystem or traditional brick-and-mortar retailers,” the lawsuit complains.

                    *Note to anyone reading this and confused. Very sorry but this conversation is also discussing from another topic- https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/02/20/maine_isp_lawsuit/

                    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

                      Re: @Jamie Jones

                      We dont know if they would be so dominant. The regulations didnt exist then and a large part of FB and googles expansion has been through big data. If we pour tar on them now they must adapt (in the EU) but if they were already covered in tar would they have got as far as they have? The EU may not intend to slow development but that is the effect of regulations. The 5 year ban on AI being a good example, who else is going to do that?

                      Fair enough. But why should we be grateful they are so big? Especially when their growth is down to shady data dealings?

                      The vacuum would have been filled one way or another, the only possible consequence is that some billionaires might not be quite as rich from profitting off others data.

                      From what I have read it does seem to be 2 different ways of looking at the same problem. From what I have seen the US people seem to view the public vs the private and the public imposes on the private. Over here we seem to have a different view that the gov is somehow on the side of the citizen against the businesses. Although that gets complicated when people complain about the gov being in cahoots with business. *I know its actually more complicated and a mix on both sides of the pond but roughly.

                      I agree. Though I'd phrase it differently. Over here, people *expect* the governments to work for them, and whilst there are still some voters who expect that, some politicians will be like minded.

                      In America, (and becoming more so with the UK govenment) people are resigned to that fact that the politicians work for the corporations, and the lobbying has been able to take over.

                      Though, I do see America showing signs of getting better. Here, we seem to need things to get even shittier before we have our "let them eat cake" reaction.

                      I dont think this is a move to penalise America and yes its an own goal. I actually think its a control freak mentality which should scare people that the EU wants a centrally planned economy.

                      An 'own goal" from a purely captilist profiteering point of view, but to some people, it's a cautionary step (although admittedly it's pretty useless if the rest of the world doesn't agree to the same plans)

                      Still, if people are that concerned about that or any other EU actions, they can always vote them out, seeing it's a democratic institution after all!

                      Of course. This is the good governance vs bad where one considers the problem and the other reads the latest horror story and reacts. The expectation then growing that the gov will react to the latest overreaction and never do anything useful. Its an easy trap to fall into for any gov and ours has been guilty of it too.

                      So your issue with the AI restictions isn't that they decided to place them, but that in this case, the restrictions don't tally with any supposed issue?

                      Yeah, all governments tend to over-react to certain issues. Once an angry mob gets mobilised, governments will be seen to make some stupid unworkable laws that won't help anyway.. Politicians knowing this, you also get the situation where they purposely incite the mob so they can "appease" them by passing laws they wanted to pass in the first place. The number of times "think of the children" and "to catch terrorists" has been used as a smokescreen is witness to that.

                      However, the other side of the coin is that I don't want governments to *not* investigate/restrict something just because doing so will affect the profits of some mega-corp. That's where America is, and we are heading.

                      You are right with a, b and c but even without that yes. The data (1) requires ISPs to secure ‘opt-in’ consent from their customers before using information that is not sensitive in nature or even personally identifying; and it is a targeted restriction-

                      Well, assuming they are completely above board there, I'll admit it's not as bad as has been reported, but still, it's an automatic assumption of theirs that they own this data. You'd not expect the phone or postal companies to do similar.

                      And how can they truely guarantee information will be anonymised?

                      What about a URL http://www.somesite.com/search/does/jamie/jones/from/swansea/have/a/big/xxxx ?

                      All of this results in an “excessive burden” on ISPs, they claim, especially because not everyone else had to do the same. The new statute includes “no restrictions at all on the use, disclosure, or sale of customer personal information, whether sensitive or not, by the many other entities in the Internet ecosystem or traditional brick-and-mortar retailers,” the lawsuit complains.

                      Well, that's just silly of them. There is absolutely no burden on them to leave peoples data alone. In fact, the burden would be the one they claim to have put on themselves : anonymising the data they are collecting.

                      And if they were campaigning for the same rules to apply to all, then I'd be agreeing with them, though I think their comparisons are invaild - Let them set up a shop on their portal, and then let people know that "1,000 people ordered a barbeque set last month" - it's not the same thing as snooping on peoples data, whh is no different to having peoples phone conversations listened to and "anonymised".

                      The main difference is the selling of information that a customer has provided you, versus selling information between 2 separate parties that has nothing to do with you. That's a big diiffence!

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: @Jamie Jones

                        @Jamie Jones

                        "Fair enough. But why should we be grateful they are so big? Especially when their growth is down to shady data dealings?"

                        It isnt quite about being grateful they are so big, they are so big because people choose them. If they didnt then these businesses wouldnt exist for much longer.

                        "The vacuum would have been filled one way or another, the only possible consequence is that some billionaires might not be quite as rich from profitting off others data."

                        Maybe. And the various technologies and contributions made by these companies wouldnt exist either. Something would fill the void, but if it didnt generate as much in riches then that would be a reduction in wealth for us all.

                        "I agree. Though I'd phrase it differently. Over here, people *expect* the governments to work for them, and whilst there are still some voters who expect that, some politicians will be like minded."

                        Ok. But that is a delusional view surely? Throughout all of history the idea of governments working for anyone but themselves has yet to be shown. Success usually requiring the reduction of such meddlers as governments are a single point of contact to corrupt and attract the power hungry.

                        "Still, if people are that concerned about that or any other EU actions, they can always vote them out, seeing it's a democratic institution after all!"

                        Can we? The EU dictating the waiting period of 5 years isnt something we can change (UK). And precautionary steps can be justified for most advancement. And it would of course stop progress.

                        "So your issue with the AI restictions isn't that they decided to place them, but that in this case, the restrictions don't tally with any supposed issue?"

                        My issue with the restrictions is they are stupid. They provide no benefit but slow progress in the EU while the world continues without them. That it is a stupid overreaction is another strike against it.

                        "just because doing so will affect the profits of some mega-corp. That's where America is, and we are heading."

                        Profit is not a swear word. Salary, pension, payment, etc all require profit. Profit is a good thing of itself. That doesnt mean bad actions can be justified by profit but we are not discussing bad actions. We are talking about popular, successful and profitable.

                        "Well, assuming they are completely above board there, I'll admit it's not as bad as has been reported"

                        You hit the nail on the head there. I agree.

                        "And if they were campaigning for the same rules to apply to all, then I'd be agreeing with them"

                        I think the basis of the argument is that the rule isnt so applied. If it was applied to all then there wouldnt be an argument.

                        "The main difference is the selling of information that a customer has provided you, versus selling information between 2 separate parties that has nothing to do with you. That's a big diiffence!"

                        How does the information have nothing to do with them? (want to make sure I understand)

                2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. veti Silver badge

        But it still applies until at least 31 December.

        Which implies that whatever Google is doing now, it's not contrary to GDPR or any other EU rules at all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It still applies until the Data Protection Act in UK law is modified, even after Dec 31st. GDPR rules exist as part of UK legislation, not just EU rules (although it was down to EU rules)

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That’s only part of the story though...

        “...Ireland where Google and other US tech companies have their European headquarters, is staying in the EU...It is understood that Google decided to move its British users out of Irish jurisdiction because it is unclear whether Britain will follow GDPR or adopt other rules that could affect the handling of user data...”

        So it’s more about Brexit legal uncertainty than what you suggested.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        GDPR exists in UK law as the Data Protection Act. Without amendment or revocation GDPR rules will still apply despite the self harm the country has committed.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          And yet somehow Google thinks they can shift the data to the US. Now which data controller in the US would you need to speak to to assert your GDPR rights? And would they take any notice of you? And if they don't, which independent data protection public body would you speak to to get them enforced (do they even exist in the US)?

          1. Mike11111

            You would speak to the exact same person you spoke to to assert your rights if the data were stored in France or on the moon. The UK ICO. The Data Protection Act was always stronger than the requirements mandated by the EU; at present GDPR is written into UK law and continues to apply after Brexit - of course any 'punishment' handed down would be wholly inadequate but that can be assumed as it has been historically nothing to do with Brexit.

      6. P. Lee

        I'd suggest it makes sense not to use google on a day-to-day basis.

        However, I'm not sure what Mozilla does any more. How many people does it take to maintain a browser?

        It was my browser of choice and I still like it, but I can't say I've seen a lot of new features recently.

      7. P. Lee

        >Google could also have had British accounts answer to a British subsidiary, but has opted not to do so

        British people could also generally not to use google, but have opted not to do so.

        With the prevalence of big tech, privacy is non-trivial to keep, but you can do some basic things, like use a paid-for email service, use Brave or no-script. I really value privacy, but even just blocking the ads makes the internet a more pleasant place.

  3. big_D Silver badge

    That photo!

    My grandmother wants her specs back! She had a pair like that, back in the 70s! What is old is new.

    1. Tigra 07

      Re: That photo!

      Judging from those glasses this woman is clearly a librarian!

      1. DJV Silver badge

        Re: That photo!

        Ook? But she isn't orange and hairy!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That photo!

          Are you saying Donald Trump is a librarian?

          1. DJV Silver badge

            Re: That photo!

            If only!

        2. Teiwaz Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: That photo!

          Ook? But she isn't orange and hairy!

          At least where we can see....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That photo!

      Or Barry Humphries want his glasses back.

  4. P.B. Lecavalier
    Megaphone

    Optimization??

    How about you optimize Mozilla with its 1000+ employees and its 300+ million budget?

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Oh yes you can ..... and it's quite easy

    "Mozilla is not a company that owns an ecosystem; we do not own hardware; we cannot promote or create ourselves as the default in mobile, in iOS, in Android, or on a laptop or desktop." ..... Mozilla head of EU public policy Raegan MacDonald

    Of course we can, Ms MacDonald, by the simple adage of prime drivering information for browsers in all systems to access for Advanced IntelAIgent Programming.

    A little something extra especial to energise and exercise that great matter between the ears.

    And that's enough to keep anyone busy for more than just ever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh yes .... quite easy

      well, probably really yes! - and does one need to add in one's post that the target is already half set with the question of Ms MacDonald, but would that require some brand new method of crypting/decrypting wbstf right on-the-go, appearing right out-of-the-blue?

      aIright, nobody getting jealous, blue's just an example (-;

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Oh yes you can ..... and it's quite easy

      And that's what the establishment are terrified of for then have they lost command and control of the leading narratives ..... to SMARTR IntelAIgent Systems executing Almighty Beta Virtual Instructions.

      I Kid U Not.

      Do you realise those points in time and space are your current reality to deny if you can and want to?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But there's one sound

      ....That no one knows

      https://youtu.be/jofNR_WkoCE

  6. Ozan

    We really need Firefox alive

    Long time ago, the existance saved us from Proprietary MS only internet.

    Also, I only used Firefox all my life.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: We really need Firefox alive

      As a web developer I tend to use lots of different ones. But Firefox is still my main go to browser and has been since it was called Phoenix (and, for a very short time, Firebird).

      1. iron Silver badge

        Re: We really need Firefox alive

        I was the person who told them Firebird was already taken (by an Interbase database clone). They weren't too pleased having spent several weeks coming up with that name to replace Phoenix.

        When they suggested Firefox I laughed and said "you know there's a Clint Eastwood film..."

        1. DJV Silver badge

          Re: We really need Firefox alive

          That reminds me of when Norwich Union rebranded itself as Aviva, which they thought was a pretty unique/unused name. That is until until someone pointed out that on one of the main pedestrian areas in Norwich there was already a women's clothes shop* called Aviva...

          (* it's gone now)

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: We really need Firefox alive

            and a transport company called Arriva.

      2. Ozan

        Re: We really need Firefox alive

        Remember Phoenix days. We are lucky to have it at that time. We are lucky that we still have it around.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We really need Firefox alive

        I was sad to discover it's woeful support for CSS columns recently though. Had to make a franken-div to get sensible breaking in both Chrome and Firefox.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: We really need Firefox alive

          CSS is dead. It was created to fix the problem of browsers, ESPECIALLY IE, that were not WC3 standards compliant.

          It is now more of a problem and part of the bloat rather than a solution these days.

        2. 142

          Re: We really need Firefox alive

          On quite a few of these CSS3 issues, it's that Firefox adheres to the actual CSS spec, but the spec is an ass. Chrome and several others deviate from the spec with proprietary undocumented cludges, that give behaviour that's much more intuitive, and makes FF look "broken" in contrast. Certainly this is the case with a lot of Flexbox oddness, not as certain about grid.

          Worked on a site recently where I just relented that it will look different on FF and Chrome... I didn't have the energy to franken-div it.

    2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: We really need Firefox alive

      Long time ago, the existance saved us from Proprietary MS only internet.

      And I would have thought it deliciously ironic (and a much better choice for them and us) if Microsoft had based their Edge rewrite on Mozilla/Firefox rather than MSIE6-revisited (AKA Google Chrome).

    3. Updraft102

      Re: We really need Firefox alive

      I wish we had that same Firefox now. Back then, Mozilla's strategy was to unabashedly deliver a better browser than the corporate giant offered. The bit about not being part of the Microsoft hegemony was certainly part of it, but being a better browser was important too. It's doubtful people would have migrated just because of the dislike for what MS was doing to the web!

      Now the same outfit that aimed to unseat IE by making a better browser is doing its level best to lop off every feature that makes Firefox better than Chrome, in some kind of foolish hope that it can somehow out-Chrome the actual Chrome. What would have happened if Mozilla of the early 2000s removed Firefox's tabbed browsing feature, removed the toolbar customization, and restricted the addon APIs so that only IE BHOs (browser helper objects) could be used instead of the much more powerful XPCOM addons? Would it have had the impact it did if it tried to compete with IE on who can have the most IE-like feature set?

      Mozilla has been obsessed with trying to copy Chrome for more than a decade, and its market share has been in freefall for about the same time. I'm not suggesting causation... only that trying to out-Chrome the actual Chrome has not worked, and yet they still persist, as if there was some kind of critical mass of deleted features that will finally start the exodus away from Chrome.

      Chrome's UI is the worst I have ever seen on a desktop browser, and Firefox's used to be the best, until they dumped that to be more like Chrome. It's been a gradual process of dropping important features with each release, but extension authors repeatedly stepped up and provided the means to fix these blunders. Then, of course, Mozilla chopped off the extension API capable of making such changes, in favor of the Chrome extension API (of course). If not for userChrome.css, bringing a Firefox-like UI to Firefox would be impossible... and that's a feature Chrome doesn't have, so I'm terribly suspicious that its days are numbered too.

      Mozilla seems to be engaged in a decade-long suicide pact, and it shows no sign of changing direction.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: We really need Firefox alive

        Your experience is very outdated.

        1. Updraft102

          Re: We really need Firefox alive

          Current as of Firefox 73.

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: We really need Firefox alive

        @Updraft102

        "Chrome's UI is the worst I have ever seen on a desktop browser, and Firefox's used to be the best, until they dumped that to be more like Chrome."

        I am glad its not just me with that problem. I dont care that other people might prefer chromes look over FF but I preferred FF over chrome. That and the version number thing where they seem to be rushing to have the highest number yet for what I am using I see nothing different.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We really need Firefox alive

          www.palemoon.org

          Try it, you may like it

  7. IGotOut Silver badge

    If you want to see this in action.

    Use Chrome and do an image search in Google.

    Now use a different browser and perform the same.

    Notice how the Chrome version gives you a whole load more options to filter and refine?

    1. JimPoak

      Re: If you want to see this in action.

      Another damning thing that Google actively discourages use of other browses. How do I know this? The last month Google maps became unusable on Firefox but I have access to other browsers one of which Falkon was able to fool Google that it was Chrome. It promoted Google to sent out a message saying "Chrome needs to be on a new version". Nevertheless Google maps worked perfectly.

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: If you want to see this in action.

        Another damning thing that Google actively discourages use of other browses.

        It's definitely the case with the Google Play Store.

      2. Glenturret Single Malt

        Re: If you want to see this in action.

        "last month Google maps became unusable on Firefox"

        I do not understand the comment. I am using FF 73.0.1 and Google maps without any problems.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: If you want to see this in action.

          Same here. No issues.

  8. Blackjack Silver badge

    And before, the web was the land of Internet Explorer

    Remember that thing? Oh wait, Windows 10 still has it!

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: And before, the web was the land of Internet Explorer

      Sort-of.

      I am not a big Windows user, but IIRC, the Mosaic (via Spyglass Software, an amazingly prescient name) based Internet Explorer has been replaced by the Chromium based Edge browser. I'm pretty sure this "child of Chrome" is at least the default browser for Windows 10.

      But, yeah, you _can_ run IE on Win10, much as you _can_ swim in the SF Bay in January. That said, most employers will not require you to do that (the swimming bit, not the "use IE until we can fix some crucial company sites". That's still a thing)

      1. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: And before, the web was the land of Internet Explorer

        Microsoft still includes some support for IE (HECK IE 11 STILL GETS UPDATES!) because Enterprises for some reason still need it.

        And I was referring to the late 90s early 2000s when the Wed was literally made for Internet Explorer and if you tried another Web Browser the webpages didn't work right.

  9. Eeep !
    IT Angle

    El Reg less relevant to IT as ***** ** ****** * ***** ** *** commentards die off ?

    Age appropriate eye sight loss related to f*ckwittery about female attractiveness?

  10. RegGuy1 Silver badge

    FFS -- delete the cookies

    ok it probably doesn't solve much, but set your browser to delete ALL cookies when you exit the browser. And exit it at least once per day, preferably more often.

    It will make it a little more difficult for them to track you as you'll get a different cookie the next time you go to their site. Plus use an ad blocker to stop more cookies getting stored, which reduces the footprint of data they have on you from different sites. Then use No Script to stop unnecessary scripts from loading, often in the background. Don't think that's a problem? Then I recommend you put No Script on for a short time and just look at the number of websites that get loaded when you load a page -- try the 'free' news sites, as they seem to be the worst. Every time you go on one you will load sometimes twenty or so other sites; some are needed for the page to function, but many are just parasitic trying to get you to store cookies so they can build a picture of what you view.

    As I say none of this is foolproof, but it only adds a little more effort on your side, and will break some of their scripts so they have less complete data about you.

    If you think all the above is shit, then be my guest and do nowt. I may be just as exposed as you, but at least I don't see any of those annoying flashing adverts. They drive me mad. And if the website then breaks when you use these tools don't use it and go to a different website. Whose loss is that, yours or theirs?

    You have the power!! :-)

    Oh, and forget about those fucking glasses. They are not important.

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: FFS -- delete the cookies

      Nowadays they also track you by location and IP so deleting cookies barely does anything to improve your privacy.

      1. Updraft102

        Re: FFS -- delete the cookies

        Nowadays they also track you by location and IP so deleting cookies barely does anything to improve your privacy.

        My IP address changes every few days (or more often if I want it to), and it comes from a pool of IP addresses that cover an area that includes multiple millions of people in a radius of at least 50 miles. If they can track me with that without some other form of persistent ID (like a cookie), my hat is off to them!

  11. Lars Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Good EU, size matters.

    Using Vivaldi now however.

    1. The obvious

      Vivaldi the chromeskin. I use it too but it’s worth remembering as there lies the problem. Browser engine diversity protects standards and we as a community seems to have forgotten the browser wars.

  12. Tom Paine

    +1 Mozilla. Apparently "purity spirals" are a thing. If one happened in the realm of browser security, then I for one...

  13. Robinson

    There that word "harmful" again; the funnel through which a crackdown on free speech is going to happen.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Yeah well, it'll have to get in line.

      People have funny ideas about free speech. The awkward truth is that it's always, everywhere, been constrained in many ways - some actively enforced, but most merely assumed and accepted.

      The big difference now is that instead of offending random passers-by in the street or a handful of zealots at a public meeting, everything remotely controversial immediately gets broadcast to everyone in the world who is likely to be most upset by it. Because clicks.

  14. dank_army

    Boo hoo

    Sorry, this just sounds like sour grapes to me.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Before they worry about what kind of content is on the internet, perhaps they could fix the problem of Firefox taking a long time to start (their solution to this is to 'refresh' the browser, which means losing all your extensions and history). They could also fix the bug which freezes Firefox when they decide to open a new tab to load one of their splash screens advertising whatever the latest product they've thought up this week, forcing a re-start. Also, the runaway memory problem might be worth looking at (8 GB for a single tab) and the problem where live video streaming eventually stops working after 30 to 45 minutes.

    1. Andrew Newstead

      Hmmm, I’ve not seen any of that.

  16. ecofeco Silver badge

    The web is not optimized for anything

    Layers and layers of bloated code, advertising, tracking, cookies and piss poor bloated graphics.

    The web hasn't been optimized for almost a decade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The web is not optimized for anything

      Layers and layers of bloated code, advertising, tracking, cookies and piss poor bloated graphics.

      The web hasn't been optimized for almost a decade. .... ecofeco

      Is that what AI is now fixing, ecofeco ..... with AIMaster Pilot Plans to Follow Sublimely for NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive Self Actualisation in Novel Virgin Source Provisions/Programs/Projects ‽ .

      And is that a rhetorical question of Future Suppliers of Enlightened Entertainment with Enlightening Engagements?

      I'm sure many a Dominic Cummings type weirdo and misfit could relate to practically all of that and relish exercise of the beasts then so easily created and sated/tempted and destroyed.

      However, whenever such is just a default norm in Global Operating Devices just doing their Work in IT Thing, what would you have to fear? Would any like to stop it ...... and for what earthly reason, for one is missing around in some seriously sensitive and almightily explosive proprietary Intellectual property space, are always good questions best answered without fear or favour truthfully as recorded and accorded by the sum of one's personal knowledge, for others' truths may vary by a stupendous degree given the sum of their knowledge.

      :-) And you don't wonder why Earth is such a Crazy Place in Space with practically nothing known of virtually everyone met and/or interreacted with? Are you mad or into something even stranger on Planet Earth?

      Do you want some Just in Time Help/QCOSMIC Assistance?

      Methinks the web is pretty much well enough optimised for instant delivery of any and/or all of that, ecofeco.

  17. ScissorHands
    Facepalm

    First they came for...

    Every time I complained about sites not following standards and breaking Opera 12, all I heard, especially from the Firefox crowd was, "git gud, no-one cares about a browser with single digit market share". And when Opera complained about it to the EU, it was "sore losers, can't win in the market".

    The only thing preventing me from exploding in schadenfreude is that I don't want Firefox to be left for roadkill. Monocultures are bad, even when they're from "cool" Apple or "nerd" Google and not "evil" Microsoft.

  18. Lockwood

    I'm GAFAM's reckoning

    When GAFAM is ashes, you have my permission to die.

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