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IPFS News Link • Social Networking/Social Media

Youtube Ditches Flash, and it Hardly Matters: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss


Once upon a time, this would have been cause for celebration: after all, Flash is a proprietary technology owned by one company, a frequent source of critical vulnerabilities that expose hundreds of millions of Internet users to attacks on their computers and all that they protect, and Flash objects can only be reliably accessed via closed software, and not from free/open code that anyone can inspect.

A year ago, the largest video site on the net ditching Flash would have been a blow for Internet freedom. Today, it's a bitter reminder of how the three big commercial browser vendors—Apple, Microsoft and Google—Netflix, the BBC, and the World Wide Web Consortium sold the whole Internet out.

In spring 2013, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) abandoned its long-term role as the guardian of the open Web, and threw its support at the highest level behind EME, an attempt to standardize Flash-style locks on browsers. They did this after the big three commercial browser companies revealed that they had engaged in closed-door meetings with Netflix to create back-doors in their browsers to lock users out of their own computers while streaming video. The W3C agreed to work to standardize browsers that treat their owners as untrusted adversaries and take steps to countermand user-actions (like saving videos).