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Firefox faces backlash for auto-installing 'Mr. Robot' add-on


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#1 JohnC_21

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 02:46 PM

A curious add-on called "Looking Glass" started popping up on Firefox for a number of users this past week -- even if they didn't give the browser permission to install it. Due to its nebulous nature and creepy description that only said "MY REALITY IS JUST DIFFERENT FROM YOURS," people took to social networks to ask other users and air their concerns. Turns out Looking Glass isn't spamware, malware or any of the sort: it's a promotional campaign for Mr. Robota TV series about the life of a cybersecurity-engineer-slash-hacker.

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#2 NickAu

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 03:22 PM

Quote

 

"even if they didn't give the browser permission to install it

 

Turns out Looking Glass isn't spamware, malware or any of the sort:"

 

 

If I didn't give it permission to install and it did anyway, then its malware,



#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 03:33 PM

Quote

 

"even if they didn't give the browser permission to install it

 

Turns out Looking Glass isn't spamware, malware or any of the sort:"

 

 

If I didn't give it permission to install and it did anyway, then its malware,

Kinda like Windows 10 installing Candy Crush Soda Saga automatically:rolleyes:



#4 ranchhand_

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 03:41 PM

Wow, that is really disappointing. Seriously.


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#5 jerry6

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 09:40 PM

Liarfox , I use the ESR version , don't think that was included in the esr version



#6 quietman7

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 09:01 AM

Mozilla faces blowback after slipping Mr Robot plugin into Firefox

Looking Glass was part of Mr. Robot’s long-running alternative reality game, a trail of clues left by writers for fans to discover. According to Mozilla’s documentation, the plug-in was designed as a “shared experience to further your immersion into the Mr Robot universe,” developed as a collaboration between Mozilla and the Mr. Robot team at USA. The description of the app itself confirms that, listing both Mozilla developers and USA executives as authors of the plug-in.

Once enabled, the plugin seems to have made only minor changes to specific websites, likely leaving more clues for players of the Mr. Robot ARG.

 

Through the Looking Glass

How do I turn it off?

If you no longer wish to participate in this shared world experience, enter about:addons into your address bar and remove Looking Glass.

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#7 rp88

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 04:04 PM

What sort of idiocy is flowing through the minds at mozilla right now? There have been a huge number of absurd things done by them recently:
1.the "studies" principle and it's use for add-ons such as "cliqz"
2.rolling out firefox 57 quantum without giving add-on makers enough time to properly update add-ons to be compatible with it. The finalised API for 57 quantum came out only days before the new browser did, and mozilla decided it would be a good idea to remove support for old add-ons when the quantum engine was released rather than run the old and new types in parallel for a while to give add-on developers time to adapt.
3.now this add-on to advertise a TV series

When will mozilla stop trying to beat google chrome in numbers by copying most of chrome's features and downsides? When will they give up on these actions which clearly are aimed at them becoming a data harvesting company? When will they realise that if they produced a browser which put user control first, as it used to a year or two back, they could do a very good job of maintaining their place in browser popularity if if they can't risw to number one?

Speaking for myself I'm very glad to be on an ESR release, I've gone to ESR for a few months to keep NoScript 5.x.x running while the havoc of the change to the quantum engine for add-ons calms down, and have been spared this latest mess.

Edited by rp88, 20 December 2017 - 04:04 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

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#8 quietman7

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 04:12 PM

The Mozilla - Mr. Robot Connection

The Mr. Robot series centers around the theme of online privacy and security. One of the 10 guiding principles of Mozilla's mission is that individuals' security and privacy on the internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional. The more people know about what information they are sharing online, the more they can protect their privacy.

 

 

 

Pushing out Mr. Robot to unsuspecting users sounds more like a contradiction to their The Mozilla Manifesto.


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#9 Umbra

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:42 PM

All companies need money :  https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/14/mozilla-terminates-its-deal-with-yahoo-and-makes-google-the-default-in-firefox-again/

 

so i'm not surprised.


Edited by Umbra, 21 December 2017 - 02:12 AM.


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#10 quietman7

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:54 PM

Google manipulates search results and hurts users in the process
How Google Rigs Search And Hurts Consumers

So yes, it is all about the money.
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#11 britechguy

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 10:14 AM

Back to the original topic, this must not be happening to each and every Firefox user.   I've been monitoring my installation and I have not had any add-ons added that I did not put there myself if you ignore the plug-ins for OpenH64 Video Codec provided by Cisco Systems, Inc., and Widevine Content Decryption Module provided by Google Inc., which I do.


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#12 quietman7

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 10:40 AM

That is odd then.

I installed the full version of FF 57 (over 56.0.2) when it was first released on 11/14/17, followed by v57.0.2 on 12/07/17 and I did not notice the Looking Glass add-on until it was reported on 12/16/17 as appearing on 12/15/17. Automatic updates are turned off and the Mozilla Maintenance Service is set to Manual.

Anyway the engadget.com article posted by JohnC_21 includes this update at the bottom...

"Our goal with the custom experience we created with Mr. Robot was to engage our users in a fun and unique way. Real engagement also means listening to feedback. And so while the web extension/add-on that was sent out to Firefox users never collected any data, and had to be explicitly enabled by users playing the game before it would affect any web content, we heard from some of our users that the experience we created caused confusion.

As a result we will be moving the Looking Glass Add-on to our Add-On store within the next 24 hours so Mr. Robot fans can continue to solve the puzzle and the source can be viewed in a public repository."

 


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#13 britechguy

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 11:12 AM

Well, I can report that my web browsers, including Firefox, are all on automatic update mode for the latest stable releases.

 

I believe I got the latest version of Firefox on the first day of its release, as I use Firefox and Chrome constantly.   I am certain that this particular add-on has never been in my Firefox unless they added it and pulled it both without my knowing, which given the press seems highly unlikely.


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#14 quietman7

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 11:24 AM

Without a complete and full explanation by Mozilla as to how this occurred we may never know how some folks received the add-on and others did not.


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#15 britechguy

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 11:28 AM

Without a complete and full explanation by Mozilla as to how this occurred we may never know how some folks received the add-on and others did not.

 

I shan't be holding my breath, whether from Mozilla or any other software maker.

 

What I do count on, though, is their not repeating the same mistake twice.  This kind of behavior, and the ensuing bad press, is certainly not to their benefit and no one wants to get caught making the same mistake, particularly one that appears to be underhanded, twice.


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