handyfloss

Because FLOSS is handy, isn’t it?

Browsezilla: when freeware comes at a price

Posted by isilanes on June 26, 2006

Just a week after Stallman’s talk, I read at Kriptopolis (Spanish) about a (alleged) malware piece, hidden into some freeware by the name Browsezilla. This is a perfect example of something free of cost not being half as good as a free/libre thing. This Browsezilla might be zero-cost to the user (freeware), but a piece of shit all the same, which stresses the fact that it is the FREEDOM of the Free Software that makes it great, not the PRICE.

It seems that the computer security company Panda Software warned about the freeware internet browser Browsezilla “visiting” porn sites in the background, fact unknown to the unsuspecting user. Its aim would be to increase the number of hits for those pages (and thus have them obtain higher revenues from advertising).

The lame idiots at browsezilla.org seem to be defending themselves, in such a bad english that makes it hard to take them seriously.

Now, both sides can be flaming each other until the end of times. Maybe in this case the issue is clear. Panda is not expected to spread FUD for the sake of it, whereas Browsezilla’s credibility is thin at best. However, imagine a security company not being completely honest, a freeware producer being apparently serious, and a bug/malware being veeery subtle to spot… endless debate, never fully establishing the complete truth.

On the other hand, were this Browsezilla free software, inspection of the code would settle the matter within minutes.

Stuff malware, stuff freeware, and stuff all non-free software.

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