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Re: Amazon Silk

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 13:55:51 -0500
To: <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1992ede694bdd8897be0ee9708471e3f@mail.mxes.net>
I think it's of the same ilk as Opera Mini; i.e., everything goes 
through a proxy over a (for the time being, in Silk's case) proprietary 
protocol, which does SSL termination.

Of course, we trust browsers that we use not to share our private data 
(at least intentionally!), nor our behaviours. The concerning part here 
is that Amazon (just as Opera did before with Mini) has become an 
intermediary in EVERYTHING you do on the Web, and can use the 
information and insights that gives it for whatever purposes it chooses 
to weasel into its terms of use, whether you're surfing to wikipedia or 
your bank. Doesn't mean they are, but it means they CAN.

None of this is genuinely new; technically, it was just as possible for 
an ISP to interpose a transparent proxy and mine the data flows 15 years 
ago. Except for the SSL bit (unless they can get you to click through 
and install a CA or ignore an alert).

If I were to be of a political bent, I'd notice that in the "developed" 
world, corporations are taking on the role that we frown upon so much in 
"less developed/free/enlightened" governments.

I will reiterate (for the nth time) that it would be valuable for the 
W3C to specify what a "browser" is, in the sense of what protocols, 
formats and standards it supports and uses when you feed it a URL. Then 
it could point a finger at Amazon and say "that's not a browser, and 
it's bad because..."


On Wed, 28 Sep 2011 18:17:09 +0100, Jeni Tennison wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm thinking that we should use Amazon Silk as an example in the
> 'Publishing and Linking on the Web' document; I guess we might
> classify it as a kind of extreme proxy.
>   http://amazonsilk.wordpress.com/
> Jeni

Mark Nottingham
Received on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 18:56:14 UTC

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