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Advertisement in the official FF 1.0 de-DE! Officially? Why?

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Gott
 
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Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 6:08 am

It was posted in a German speaking part of another Community:

"Nun auch kleine "Spione" im deutschen Firefox?, Ebay-Searchplugin u. webtip.ch" @ board.iexbeta.com

And although I didn't notice this before (I don't search eBay very often) I can reproduce it on every single Firefox 1.0 de-DE version near me:

The eBay Search-Plugin does NOT use the plain eBay search feature (like the ones you can get here: http://mycroft.mozdev.org/quick/ebay.html ) but this link:

http://adfarm.mediaplex.com/ad/ck/707-1 ... search.dll?

To my knowledge, this is particular to the GERMAN version of Firefox and no "partner-links" like that produce revenue in the official en-US version of Firefox.

It's not an evilly modified de-DE Version of Firefox I'm talking about, but the one you get when you download it formm the official mozilla-website:

http://download.mozilla.org/?product=fi ... 001;=de-DE


My questions:

Why was this done?
That doesn't really make Firefox Freeware anymore, the correct term would be adware - at least for the de-DE version ...

Who benefits from this?
Who gets all the money earned by this "feature"? There most likely is already close to a million Germans using this version of Firefox ... that should generate a good amount of money, maybe even more than you get for a professional software-translation. And it's a steady income due to the growing number of German users every day.

One thing is for sure though: Its not the user who benefits. Every well configured Ad-Blocker renders the "official" German eBay plugin useless.
And I really hate the idea that mediaplex logs every single eBay search I do, especially since the last applicatuion that I would expect spying on me was Firefox ... well, until now.

Is this known?
Did the Mozilla Foundation know, that there is an ad-link like this in a version of Firefox thats hosted on their servers and distributed over their website?

Gott
 
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Joined: September 18th, 2004, 6:42 pm

Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 6:26 am

This is, how the content of the searchplugin currently looks like:

Code: Select all
<SEARCH
    version = "7.1"
name="eBay"
description="eBay.de - Online-Auktionen"
action="http://www.webtip.ch/cgi-bin/mozilla/tracker_qry_de.pl"
method="GET"
>


This is identical to the file you get form the official update-links:

http://www.mozilla-europe.org/de/produc ... x/eBay.src

Code: Select all
<BROWSER
   update="http://www.mozilla-europe.org/de/products/firefox/eBay.src"
   updateIcon="http://www.mozilla-europe.org/de/products/firefox/eBay.gif"
   updateCheckDays="3"
>



EDIT:

I did some research and could find a discussion about it here:

http://firefox.stw.uni-duisburg.de/foru ... 77&start=0

There even is some kind of statement by Abdulkadir Topal, the official translator of the de-DE version (sorry, German only):

Um ein paar grundsätzliche Fragen zu klären und diese erhitzte Diskussion zu beenden möchte ich auch noch einmal Stellung beziehen.

Mozilla.org kriegt keinerlei Daten zu sehen, die die Anwender in die Suchleiste angeben. Das kann auch jeder selbst überprüfen, wenn er die *.src-Dateien in seinem Searchplugins-Verzeichnis mit einem Texteditor öffnet.
Natürlich möchten die Betreiber der Seiten, also google.de, amazon.de, yahoo.de wissen, wie viele Anfragen über diese Leiste eingehen. Zu diesem Zweck, haben sie der Mozilla-Stiftung und mozilla-europe spezielle Adressen genannt, die nur für die Firefox-Suchleiste verwendet wird. Keiner gibt also mehr Informationen preis, als wenn er normal auf die Website (zum Beispiel amazon.de) gehen und dort seinen Suchbegriff eingeben würde, nur dass der Betreiber bei der Suche mit den Suchplugins weiß, dass da jemand aus der Suchleiste des Firefox heraus gesucht hat. Dies wird keinen überraschen und ist wohl verständlich.

Die Adresse, die mozilla-europe von ebay Deutschland erhalten hat, lautet: "http://www.webtip.ch/cgi-bin/mozilla/tracker_qry_de.pl". Anscheinend wundern sich einige über diese URL und fragen sich: Wer zum IE ist webtip.ch? Wink Die Antwort darauf ist auflösend wie banal einfach. Die Webtip Media GmbH ist -wie Axel Hecht bereits ausgeführt hat- unser Ansprechpartner bei eBay. Die URL hätte also auch "www.irgendwas.ebay.de/irgendwas" lauten können, aber Webtip Media hat sich entschieden, einen anderen Server zu verwenden. Für uns ist das Jacke wie Hose.

Dass diese Information nicht breit auf den Downloadseiten von mozilla-europe ausgeführt wird, dürfte wohl niemanden wundern. Es ist einfach eine technische Vorsichtsmaßnahme von eBay. Wie eBay das genau macht, kann uns ziemlich egal sein. Unser Fehler war es wohl, dass uns dieser Umstand bekannt war und wir nicht daran gedacht haben, wie das auf Anwender wirken muss, die nur eine fremde URL sehen und nicht wissen, was dahinter steckt. Dafür möchte ich mich auch entschuldigen. In Zukunft werden wir solche Sachen sensibler behandeln.

Um es also noch mal in aller Deutlichkeit festzustellen:
Mozilla.org oder mozilla-europe erhalten keinerlei Informationen über die Daten, die der Anwender in die Suchleiste eingibt (Das kann dank Open-Source jeder selbst überprüfen). Die Suchanfrage gibt der Firefox direkt an die Seitenbetreiber durch, mit dem einzigen zusätzlichen Hinweis, dass die Suche aus der Firefox-Suchleiste getätigt wurde (Bei Anbietern, die das gefordert haben).

Gruß
Abdulkadir Topal


This only calms me down a little ... it especially doesn't really explain the reroute over "adfarm.mediaplex.com" and why this is a de-DE version-only thing.


In my opinion this is still really really bad. Many people download Firefox 1.0 just to get away from Spy- and Adware ... and the first thing they see wehn they use an OFFICIAL search plugin is above ad-link. Especially for the 1.0 release this is just plain bad and should be changed asap.

Pike2
 
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Joined: May 9th, 2004, 10:28 am

Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 7:44 am

Can someone please close this thread?

This issue is discussed in the german FF forums, and there is no reason to split it.

The german thread has attention by both Mozilla Europe and the Foundation, represented by me and Mitchell Baker. Which is up to now ignored by the poster.

Axel Hecht

Mozilla Europe

Gott
 
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Joined: September 18th, 2004, 6:42 pm

Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 8:01 am

Pike2 wrote:Can someone please close this thread?

This issue is discussed in the german FF forums, and there is no reason to split it.


Why?

This is an issue that affects the whole Firefox community, not only the ones who speak German.
I don't want to "split" anything (and I really doubt that this English thread is able to split a German discussion on a German board) but I want to know what the international community thinks of the fact, that there is advertisment in at least one of the releases distributed on http://www.getfirefox.com !

This is a serious issue and I'm slowly getting the feeling that whoever is responsible for the advertisment/"partner-link" wants to keep the discussion about it as small and limited as possible ...

Gott
 
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Joined: September 18th, 2004, 6:42 pm

Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 9:04 am

Great :-(

The issue was now even reported on the heise newsticker, one of the most important German tech-sites there is:

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/53308

I still don't understand why only the de-DE release uses this kind of advertisement. And I still think this is really bad for Firefox' popularity.

khyrontm
 
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Joined: November 16th, 2004, 11:48 am

Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 12:04 pm

I am really disappointed. This spyware should be removed as soon as possible :(

sttroopers

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Location: Maine, USA, Earth

Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 12:11 pm

Uh oh.... =(
. . : : Y o p e r . c o m : : . .

Lost User 71965
 
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 5:00 pm

Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 12:15 pm

Gott wrote:This is an issue that affects the whole Firefox community, not only the ones who speak German.

How so...?

This is a serious issue and I'm slowly getting the feeling that whoever is responsible for the advertisment/"partner-link" wants to keep the discussion about it as small and limited as possible ...

Yes. It's a giant conspiracy.

All kidding aside, I can understand your concern, but I don't think it's something that warrants the paranoia you have. It could very well have been a fluke. Despite the intentions, I agree that it's an issue that needs to be fixed - by the Europe Firefox board. If anyone will get this fixed, it's them.

However, for the time being, you can always get a new eBay search plugin via the MyCroft page. http://mycroft.mozdev.org/

_hb_
 
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Joined: November 15th, 2004, 9:13 am

Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 12:18 pm

Pike2 wrote:Can someone please close this thread?

This issue is discussed in the german FF forums, and there is no reason to split it.

The german thread has attention by both Mozilla Europe and the Foundation, represented by me and Mitchell Baker. Which is up to now ignored by the poster.

Axel Hecht

Mozilla Europe


Mozilla Europe must have a lot of fear about such a discussion.

I think you don't know HOW MUCH you hurt the opensourcecommunity in Germany and reading the firefox forum in Germany I think you'll never be able to learn.


And now you try to CLOSE this thread ?????????

Who do you think YOU ARE ? You the BBMFIC or what ?

Kel-nage

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Location: Norfolk, UK

Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 12:22 pm

He's the respresentitive of Mozilla Europe, that's who he thinks he is. And I'm sure they're working right now to fix it. So no discussion is really needed, not that I can see anyway. They made a mistake and now it's being fixed, I trust.

Cyberevil
 
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Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 12:29 pm

Guys, you need to get this straight: The German Firefox reroutes searches made on ebay.de to a website in Switzerland that apparently mines the data. The people behind Firefox get money for this.

One thing is for sure: If IE did anything like this all hell would break lose.

You officials should be very much aware that this puts one giant dent into the trust that people put into OSS.

And calling this a "mistake" is quite an understatement. This was a planned action, mistakes aren't planned.

Cyber

Kel-nage

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Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 12:37 pm

So why haven't they done it for any of the other languages?

If it was really a conspiracy, then surely it'd happen on all languages. That's why I believe it to be a simple mistake.

_hb_
 
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Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 12:59 pm

Kel-nage wrote:He's the respresentitive of Mozilla Europe, that's who he thinks he is. And I'm sure they're working right now to fix it. So no discussion is really needed, not that I can see anyway. They made a mistake and now it's being fixed, I trust.


So, if you're able to read and understand the german language, read the official german firefox support forum, especially this thread

http://firefox.stw.uni-duisburg.de/foru ... &start=135

and see what hell brake lose. I don't think they even see what they've done. They don't understand that even the smallest piece of "spyware" is a "BAD BAD THING" in firefox.

Why not let the user decide on installation if he / she wants that ?

And btw. WHY not tell the english speaking community, that they've done that ? Why not discuss this here ?

Why try and close this thread ?

Boy oh boy ... good coders they are, but otherwise .. no idea about PR.

guest123

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Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 1:08 pm

Kel-nage wrote:So why haven't they done it for any of the other languages?

If it was really a conspiracy, then surely it'd happen on all languages. That's why I believe it to be a simple mistake.


Typing "a" instead of "b" can be a mistake. If an extension dosen't work, that might be a mistake. If there are few bugs in the final release, that is a mistake. We can understand all these things.

But typing "profit" instead of "b" is not a mistake, its intentional!!!
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.12) Gecko/20050915 Firefox/1.0.7

Kel-nage

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Post Posted November 16th, 2004, 1:18 pm

guest123 wrote:Typing "a" instead of "b" can be a mistake. If an extension dosen't work, that might be a mistake. If there are few bugs in the final release, that is a mistake. We can understand all these things.

But typing "profit" instead of "b" is not a mistake, its intentional!!!


Agreed. Okay, not so much a mistake in that context, more of a mistake of judgement by the person who did it. However, I am, for one, certain it will be rectified.

Oh, und kannst ich auf Deutsch sprachen und verstehen. However, that's not the point. I can't see what good would come out of people discussing the mistake (I'll keep on calling it that) of a translator. it will just become a massive hate thread. And as I've said, I'm sure they're going to fix it, so what good could come out of it?

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