Internet security and online advertising are fundamentally incompatible. Full stop.

Another week, another major security topic dominating the headlines. This time top PC manufacturer Lenovo was outed pre-installing heinously insecure software onto laptops. More specifically, software that intercepted web traffic and manipulated the results in order to show relevant ads. The term for this kind of software is Adware. But let’s call it what it is. Software that is pre-installed on laptops and then set free to demolish the Internet’s security model without user consent is called Malware.

Software that is pre-installed on laptops and then set free to demolish the Internet’s security model without user consent is called Malware.

The whole industry spent the week talking about why it was so bad, and how it eroded and undermined the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security model — the one with the lock icon technology companies have told their users they can trust and to look for in their browsers. …


How we decided to eliminate a revenue-generating part of our service by turning off the ads.

TL;DR: We’ve always tried to put user experience first, even when that gets in the way of making more money. Browsers have changed, we’ve become a security company, and we’ve shifted our business to rely on paying security customers, so we’re turning off the ads in our free DNS service to make that service even better. See the countdown clock.

I started OpenDNS to create a DNS service that was better than what was available. The year was 2005 and when it came to DNS, ISPs were pretty much your only option. And ISP-provided DNS was far from good. It was a cost center for them, relegated to the old servers gathering dust in the corner. They had no incentive to invest in this critical piece of infrastructure, despite it influencing so much of your Internet connection’s performance. …

About

David Ulevitch

SVP / GM of Cisco Security Business. CEO and Founder of OpenDNS. I play the long game.

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