firefox and bad ssl certificates

Milan Bouchet-Valat nalimilan at
Sat May 10 14:08:53 UTC 2008

Le vendredi 09 mai 2008 à 17:02 -0400, Phillip Susi a écrit :
> Martin Pitt wrote:
> > I don't consider it a new feature, but a better UI. Firefox has always
> > complained about invalid certificates, but until version 2 it was just
> > the well-known 'SSL yadayada cannot be verified mumblemumble click
> > here to shut me up' popup dialog, and really everyone just clicked
> > this away, right? Security click-through dialogs should be abolished,
> > since they achieve nothing and are really just an excuse for the
> > software provider: "I know it is unsafe, and cannot give you something
> > better. Of course you can't know either, but at least I can make it
> > your problem now."
> > 
> > Now you get at least a proper error message page. I don't doubt that
> > the text can be improved, and make more concise/clear, etc., but the
> > UI is much better IMHO.
> I could not disagree with this more strongly.  You can't go around 
> applying nerf padding to everything to protect against the possibility 
> of someone running head first into the wall.  When you try to protect 
> people from themselves, and that protection has a negative impact on 
> them, you aren't doing them any favors.  I don't like the fact that my 
> car won't let me ( or my passenger ) choose to fiddle with the gps while 
>   the wheels are turning, and I don't like this change to firefox.
> An invalid cert is something that MIGHT be cause for concern, but often 
> is not, so a notification is quite sufficient to let the user decide if 
> it is ok to proceed or not.  Making them jump through hoops of fire to 
> be SURE they want to proceed is a bad idea.
Notifications are never read, especially by users that are not
passionate by computers - they're exactly like there was no message at
all, only they annoy users: "click OK and then see if there's a problem"
is what OS have used people to for many years. And after that the lock
in the adress bar still seems to confirm you're on a secure website.

> Now improving the existing message to be more informative and educate 
> the user as to what is going on is something I'm all for, but you should 
> not assume the user has no clue and must be locked up to protect him 
> from himself.
IMHO it's not mainly about educating the user, but to force servers to
use correct certificates. When will understand every
person that goes to their bugtracker gets to the new Firefox warning, I
guess they will change their certificate. ;-) (just an example)

To continue your metaphor, it's primarily intended to force GPS vendors
to provide hands-free models so that then you can drive without this
kind of concern.

More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list