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Opera Sold

  • Thanks for reminding me... yes, I do. A nice tribute to him here:

    http://www.opera.com/blogs/news/2016/07/in-memory-opera-pioneer-per-hedbor/

  • And it's the "disagreements" that I continue to wonder about

    Probably disagreements on (the) changes.

    This was an entire team that walked so it has to give you pause to wonder - why?

    Maybe some restructuring? Acquisitions usually lead to that.

  • I think I'm asking the impossible of you, Leo. It's not up to you to have to convince me of anything and yet it seems to me that this is precisely what I'm doing (i.e. convince me that the new ownership will not allow spyware to be inserted into the coding). There is no way you can give me this assurance nor is it even fair of me to ask it of you. I've probably spent too much time on this issue and wasted yours when you could be helping others. I've made a decision to remain on the sidelines and watch from a distance. We'll see how things iron out before I decide to give up completely or jump in with both feet. Thanks for the discussion.

  • I don't get it how Opera could become a spyware? Anyone can see, what is being sent over network from his/her computer, so someone would certainly notice if Opera collected any bank details or whatever you are afraid of.

  • I don't get it how Opera could become a spyware? Anyone can see, what is being sent over network from his/her computer, so someone would certainly notice if Opera collected any bank details or whatever you are afraid of.

    I would think the greater privacy risk is what might be exploited from the data sent over Opera's Sync or VPN servers, especially the latter since VPNs are often used specifically to avoid surveillance or censorship. Moreover, in a world where computers are under potential attack from nation-state hackers, the integrity of those making 'ordinary' software that's being downloaded and auto-updated on user systems can be critically important because the user trusts each iteration of the software to be free of deliberately-planted spying exploits.

    I note this not to reinforce doubts about Opera under its new owners, but to highlight where user concerns may be 'coming from'. At this point, I'm still counting on the integrity of Opera developers and others 'in the know' to raise red flags in whatever venue should the day ever come when/if user trust in the Opera browser should be reconsidered.

  • Blackbird

    Have you speculated on why all of these Opera developers left in November?

  • btw: I've downloaded and installed Vivaldi just to see what all the fuss is about. I go back quite a ways with Opera (late 90's when I paid for the browser but can't remember the version now). Vivaldi has some real promise and its development team is a collection of the former Opera employees. If you haven't looked at it, you might give it a try. It's peppy and highly configurable. We'll see how things go over the next week.

  • I would think the greater privacy risk is what might be exploited from the data sent over Opera's Sync or VPN servers, especially the latter since VPNs are often used specifically to avoid surveillance or censorship

    If I am not mistaken, the other Opera would need to agree with that for this to happen since Surfeasy belongs to them.

  • I would think the greater privacy risk is what might be exploited from the data sent over Opera's Sync or VPN servers, especially the latter since VPNs are often used specifically to avoid surveillance or censorship

    If I am not mistaken, the other Opera would need to agree with that for this to happen since Surfeasy belongs to them.

    A good point... and compromise within that organization would be extremely unlikely.

  • Blackbird
    Have you speculated on why all of these Opera developers left in November?

    I'm probably able to speculate as well as the next person, but I choose to keep my speculations to myself on something like this, since speculations are often just that: uninformed or partially-informed guesswork mixed with a measure of preconception and packaged in the smart-sounding term: "speculation". If the developers left over a concern about user privacy, I strongly believe that reason would have already been 'leaked' in public venues. Most of the time, staff changes unfolding in this way involve employee perceptions regarding job terms/conditions, compensation mechanisms, and potential for growth/advancement under new ownership.

  • Indeed. Good points to keep in mind. Thanks for the input.

  • I just found out that opera sold a portion of its product to qihoo 360 search and security. For me this is a little concerning given qihoo 360's shady business. What does this mean for opera? Will opera users security and privacy now be at risk?

  • It might be worth your while to go back and read through the thread. The bottom line seems to be: we don't know. To date there is no indication that our security is at risk but there are many (like myself) who are waiting on the sidelines for things to develop. I refuse to use Opera as my default browser (i.e. meaning financial transactions) until I have more evidence that things are secure. As I've been discussing with Leo and others, there is no way to determine this other than to take them at their word at this juncture. It's really too early in the game to make a definitive decision. I'm currently using Vivaldi for all of my needs and actually finding it reminiscent of the older Opera. Time will tell.

  • I just found out that opera sold a portion of its product to qihoo 360 search and security.

    Not exactly. The part of Opera that makes the browser was acquired by a fund/consortium in which Qihoo partcipates.

    What does this mean for opera? Will opera users security and privacy now be at risk?

    This have been discussed since the beginning of this thread, maybe you should read it from the start if you haven't done yet.

    Like was said, it's would be very difficult - not to say impossible - for Opera or any browser to include some kind of spying code without being noticed. However there isn't any (easy) way to prove it so it would depend on you to believe on it or not.

    I personally believe that it may be more easy to put a back-door in some hardware to spy on people.

  • You know, Leo, you just got me thinking. I have a Lenovo Carbon X1 ThinkPad made in... uh... China! LOL

    And here I am worried that Opera may be spying on me when in fact it would be easier to insert the code into the hardware I'm using. It seems a little ironic, doesn't it.

  • And here I am worried that Opera may be spying on me when in fact it would be easier to insert the code into the hardware

    And they don't even need to do it with a hardware in our computer or in our home, they can just do it with a hardaware used by our ISP like a router and capture everyone's traffic.

  • For all of us, it comes down to trust: who do we trust and why? The level of trust we extend and under what conditions are usually driven by what we're trying to protect - or protect against. For most users, the practical importance of software-suite code integrity/tightness against criminal hacking attacks far outweighs the real-world risks of nation-state planting of snooping code modules within a commercial program on their system. Criminal hackers can make profitable use of personal data from nearly anyone in the world whose data they can successfully access; nation-states typically have far more selective needs and purposes for acquiring personal data.

    In other words, I'm much more concerned with the security of my software code against criminal hacking exploits than I am worried about nation-state penetrations of my system. Were I engaged in criminal actions, a member of an oppressed national people-group, or involved in national-security work, my perspective obviously might differ somewhat. But as has been pointed out, there are other much more productive mechanisms for nation-states to exploit for the data they seek rather than tapping into the general public's commercial software: embedded hardware, ISPs, Internet backbones/trunks, microwave links, etc, etc.

  • Blackbird, this makes sense. My own particular concern is more related to Qihoo given its past actions. I'm not as bothered by the nation of China itself but rather the consortium that now owns Opera. And yes, it does seem to boil down to trust. With whom do you place your trust? Some argue that placing their trust in Kaspersky is fool-hearty.

    Leo demonstrates his trust by using Opera for financial transactions. Do you? I'm just curious mind you.

  • For all of us, it comes down to trust: who do we trust and why?

    That's it. Like I said a few times before, usually we use/buy something because we like it, it fits our needs and we trust it.
    And all the things are, above all, personal.

  • Leo, on a personal note, do you use any other browsers or is Opera your sole browser? I know you've been extremely active in helping with Opera support for many years now. Were you an Opera user back in its Presto days?

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