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Re: [clipboard] Semi-Trusted Events Alternative

From: Brian Matthews (brmatthe) <brmatthe@cisco.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:36:39 +0000
To: "Hallvord R. M. Steen" <hsteen@mozilla.com>
CC: Ben Peters <Ben.Peters@microsoft.com>, "James M. Greene" <james.m.greene@gmail.com>, Perry Smith <pedzsan@gmail.com>, "public-webapps@w3.org" <public-webapps@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D03CCCDB.8178%brmatthe@cisco.com>
On 9/15/14, 2:15 PM, "Hallvord R. M. Steen" <hsteen@mozilla.com> wrote:

>> * copy/cut: we allow writing to the clipboard when copy/cut events are
>> triggered from trusted UI, and when document.execCommand('copy') and
>> document.execCommand('cut') are called from any JS thread that would be
>> allowed to open a popup (i.e. generally in response to user interaction)

> So does this mean that any page that can pop up a window today will be
> able to put stuff on my system clipboard?

> Yes. That's the plan.

> I know there is a nuisance concern

I consider it more than a nuisance. I put stuff on the clipboard for a
reason, I don’t want it replaced with the URL of a porn site, a malware
site, an anti-government site (for places where that’s a bad thing), etc.
I also use a clipboard history program, so now a page can wipe out my
entire clipboard history if I move my mouse over it.

> but in theory, that would more or less regulate itself because sites
>that abuse this to, say, paste advertisments to your clipboard would be
>detested by users, and would loose market share as a result of their
>shenanigans.

That’s a good theory, but assumes there’s always an alternative site to go
to. And worse, it assumes that all users know this can happen. What
happens when a naďve user copies a URL, slides their mouse across a page
that replaces it with a URL to a malware distribution site, and then
pastes that URL into their browser, expecting it to be the same as the one
they just copied?

> Much like popup advertising: the popup blockers are, as you say, not
>*very* effective. They can easily be circumvented by making the user
>click something - anything - inside a page. But how many high-profile
>sites use popup ads today? Very few.

This is true (although one of my banks uses popups. While they’re not one
of the “too big to fail” banks, they are a large, legitimate financial
institution. Also, my company’s internal ticketing system *requires*
popups, although it sucks in numerous other ways too. :-) ), and one would
assume high-profile sites won’t misuse the clipboard API, but it seems we
shouldn’t be concerned with just high-profile sites. Users do visit porn
sites, download sites, etc.

Also, I’d argue that “clipboard stuffing” is worse than popups. At least
popups are noticeable, even if one is pushed to the back and made smaller
than the main window, it’s at least in the Windows menu. The contents of
the clipboard normally aren’t visible until you do something with it, and
that may be hours after it’s been replaced.

> The limitations popup blockers put in place - and the competitive
>pressure that brought popup blocking to all browsers - was a sufficiently
>strong indication that popups were a detestable nuisance, and they
>largely disappeared. I sometimes even surf the web with the popup blocker
>disabled, out of interest.. Popups are very few indeed :)

> I really donąt want a browser putting anything on my clipboard unless I
> explicitly tell it to, and moving the mouse on a page or clicking
>anywhere
> on a page (both things Iąve seen trigger popups) isnąt me being explicit.

> Some users will certainly feel that way, and pretty much every modern
>browser makes it trivial to override this functionality from an extension
>for those who want to do so.

Do mobile device browsers generally support extensions? And again what
about the naďve user that doesn’t even know what an extension is or read
somewhere that they’re “bad”, or will even understand what happened when
their wife/husband/parent/child finds http://<insert unsavory domain of
your choice> in their clipboard or browser history?

Brian
Received on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 00:37:08 UTC

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