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Topic: Chrome (and Chromium) installing Spyware (Read 1310 times) previous topic - next topic

Chrome (and Chromium) installing Spyware
https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=786909
So I guess Chrome and Chromium installs a binary blob that can listen using the microphone at any time. Even on Linux or FreeBSD. Even when you compile it yourself.

I have said before that Chromium isn't entirely free, that Firefox is the only modern browser that is 100% open and free. Chromium even has some obvious binary blobs for its plugin system and for media decoding. And just because it's open does not mean it can be trusted, any more than you can trust OS X because it's open.

This is not what I was speaking of, but it proves the point. If you are concerned with its connection to Google, Chromium is not a clean alternative to Chrome. It is still water from the same poisoned well.

  • Fat Cerberus
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Re: Chrome (and Chromium) installing Spyware
Reply #1
Presumably this is for the "OK Google" support.  Agreed it's kind of tacky though.

That said, I don't really trust Mozilla all that much anymore either:
http://www.computerworld.com/article/2847727/mozilla-plunks-ads-into-firefox.html

Serving ads based on your local browser history, essentially.  A very Google-esque thing to do.
miniSphere 5.0.1 - Cell compiler - SSj debugger - thread | on GitHub
For the sake of our continued health I very much hope that Fat Cerberus does not become skilled enough at whatever arcane art it would require to cause computers to spawn enourmous man eating pigs ~Rhuan

Re: Chrome (and Chromium) installing Spyware
Reply #2
I agree that's not great, but it's also really not the same as this. One is wiretapping your computer. The other is basically what DuckDuckGo does. A pretty fundamental difference to me is that it's right there, you can see it, and you know it happens. The other secretly downloads a binary blob that, unless you look for it, you will never know about. This code can hear everything from your microphone and phones home. That's a pretty big step up from using your recent browsing history to show you ads.
  • Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 04:52:12 pm by Flying Jester

  • Fat Cerberus
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Re: Chrome (and Chromium) installing Spyware
Reply #3
I would argue the point about not knowing about it.  Google makes a pretty big deal of that feature (OK Google) and from a practical standpoint, how else would you implement it /other than/ keeping the microphone open at all times to listen for the prompt?  And it's clearly a feature people want, speaking as someone who has an Amazon Echo sitting in the kitchen. :P

I just find it hard to put the tinfoil hat on is all.  People get up in arms about stuff like this without actually thinking about it critically.  I'll agree it shouldn't really be a black box either, but... Eh.  I live in the real world.  It is what it is.  It's not like Google is forcing people at gunpoint to use Chrome.  People have a choice.  So actually being evil isn't really in their best interests as a business.

And besides: http://xkcd.com/792/
miniSphere 5.0.1 - Cell compiler - SSj debugger - thread | on GitHub
For the sake of our continued health I very much hope that Fat Cerberus does not become skilled enough at whatever arcane art it would require to cause computers to spawn enourmous man eating pigs ~Rhuan

  • Radnen
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Re: Chrome (and Chromium) installing Spyware
Reply #4
I agree with Lord English on this one. There's a fully open source web browser, and then there's reality. Firefox is good, but they had to recently create two builds of Firefox because there was some closed source stuff that had to be in it (video DRM), which can serve as the basis for other tin-foil hatty things (that I doubt).

I'm someone who owns a smart TV and a Kinect, so I guess I'm screwed. :P
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