Internet certification debacle in China continues to unfold. Mozilla Corp, the owner of famous Firefox Web browser, announced that it is joining Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in rejecting new certificates issued by a Chinese Internet authority. The Web browser providers are objecting to a move by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the Chinese agency that issues Internet trust certificates, to delegate some of its roles to an Egyptian company.
Two wrongs refuse to make a right: Mozilla and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) are angered by two developments. One, CNNIC delegated the role of issuing Internet trust certificates to MCS Holdings of Egypt in violation of certain policies. The other issue is that MCS Holdings went ahead to make what it has termed as human error by automatically generating certification even to domains owned by other organizations.
According to CNNIC, Google’s move to reject new trust certificates issued after April 1 is not acceptable. The agency told Google to consider the interest of its Chinese users before it take the action that will obviously impact them. Google said that its Chrome browser will not honor the new certificate trust, and Mozilla is following suit.
However, Mozilla’s Firefox will continue to trust certificates issued before April 1.
How MCS Holdings messed: Things went awry when in a test installation, MCS Holdings made mistakes that resulted in a firewall device automatically churning out certificates event for domains that Google and some other nonaffiliated parties own. MCS Holdings blamed the unfortunate development on human error but Google and Mozilla would hear none of that. To them, the issue of having MCS Holdings in the trust certificate issuance is itself wrong in the first place.
The action by Mozilla to follow Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in rejecting new CNNIC certificates means that Chinese users will be able to receive warnings when they try to access sites that were certified after April 1.
Browser market share: Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Chrome Web browser is used on PCs and mobile devices and controls about 50% of the browser market share. Mozilla is also a popular Web browser that controls 16.9% of the market behind Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Internet Explorer that controls 18% of the browser market.