Mozilla is taking on one of the world's best known purveyors of surveillance software.
The Mozilla Foundation says that a recent report by Citizen Lab uncovered that commercial spyware produced by Gamma International is designed to trick people into thinking it's Mozilla Firefox. Mozilla has sent Gamma a cease and desist letter today demanding that these illegal practices stop immediately.
"We cannot abide a software company using our name to disguise online surveillance tools that can be - and in several cases actually have been - used by Gamma's customers to violate citizens' human rights and online privacy," Mozilla said.
It?s important to note that the spyware does not affect Firefox itself, either during the installation process or when it is operating covertly on a person's computer or mobile device. Gamma's software is entirely separate, and only uses the Mozilla brand and trademarks to mislead as one of its methods for avoiding detection and deletion.
Mozilla believes thaT 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.
For instance, when a user examines the installed spyware on his/her machine by viewing its properties, Gamma misrepresents its program as "Firefox.exe" and includes the properties associated with Firefox along with a version number and copyright and trademark claims attributed to "Firefox and Mozilla Developers."