Firefox browser maker Mozilla is obstructing the United Arab Emirates’ government from serving as one of its internet security gate-keepers, citing Reuters reports on a United Arab Emirates cyber espionage program.
Mozilla mentioned in a statement on Tuesday it was rejecting the UAE’s bid to turn into a globally recognized internet security watch-dog, empowered to certify the safety of sites for Firefox users.
Mozilla mentioned it decided as a result of cyber-security firm DarkMatter would have administered the gate-keeper role and it had been connected by Reuters and other reports to a state-run hacking program.
Reuters reported in January that Abu Dhabi, based DarkMatter provided staff for a secret hacking operation, code-named Project Raven, on behalf of an Emirati intelligence company. The unit was largely comprised of former United States intelligence officials who conducted offensive cyber operations for the UAE government.
“This ownership structure doesn’t assure me that these companies can function independently, regardless of their names and legal construction,” mentioned Wayne Thayer, Mozilla’s certification authority program manager, in his announcement on Tuesday.
While every browser firm makes its own decisions about who it allows becoming a certifying authority, Mozilla has appeared as a leader in this area. Security specialists say, competitors, such as Google’s Chrome browser and Apple’s Safari browser, tend to follow its lead.
Thayer mentioned in his announcement that even without a smoking gun that showed DarkMatter had misused certificates, the dangers demonstrated by the reports have been too high.
“While there are arguments on both sides of this decision, it’s affordable to conclude that continuing to place trust in DarkMatter is a major risk to our customers,” he mentioned.