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Thread: Spyware in ubuntu?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Beans
    412

    Spyware in ubuntu?

    Hello,

    Have any of you guys read this : http://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/ubuntu-spyware-what-to-do ? It is an article by Richard Stallman about spyware in ubuntu. Does this affect just ubuntu 12.10? I use kubuntu 10.04 and ubuntu 12.04. Are these affected too? I was wondering if this problem will be there even if we enable the ufw firewall. If yes, does this mean that there is a hole in the firewall? Wouldn't that be a big security risk?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Beans
    669

    Re: Spyware in ubuntu?

    RMS isn't to be taken seriously.

    Ubuntu contains a feature within Dash, which is part of Unity (therefor distros that don't use Unity don't contain this).

    The feature sends what you type into the Dash to Canonical. Canonical then forwards this to Amazon, acting as a proxy. Amazon takes this, sends info back to Canonical, and Canonical provides you with results from Amazon.

    Essentially the idea is that your Dash is meant to be a conduit of information - you type something in, it provides you with as much relevant information as possible based on the input.

    It is easily disabled. Go to your Dash, type "Privacy", hit enter. Disable "include online results".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Beans
    1,491
    Distro
    Ubuntu 6.06

    Re: Spyware in ubuntu?

    It does a whole lot more than just provide you with as much relevant information as possible based on the input.

    Dash searches your online accounts, which are tied to your personal information, e.g. name, location, photos, cloud documents, etc.

    By default, the feature should be disabled and the user given the opportunity to enable it at first use. Or it should be removed all together.

    Canonical uses this marketing tool to offset costs, they get paid by Amazon for the collected data. There are better ways to offset costs of maintaining Ubuntu.

    Also, without Stallman, there would be no Ubuntu. Don't take all of what he says seriously, but the majority of what he has said should be respected.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The New Forest
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu Development Release

    Re: Spyware in ubuntu?

    Only affects Ubuntu.

    There are threads on this elsewhere - post in them.

    Closed.

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