Chinese Internet Agency ‘No Longer Trusted,’ According to Google and Mozilla

Google and Mozilla have announced that they are no longer going to recognize new certificates of trust issued by CNNIC. (Image: Graphicstock)
Google and Mozilla have announced that they are no longer going to recognize new certificates of trust issued by CNNIC. (Image: Graphicstock)

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) is not happy with Google and Mozilla after they announced that they will no longer recognize new certificates of trust issued by the CNNIC.

CNNIC issued a statement calling Google’s move “unacceptable and unintelligible,” and has asked the web giant to consider its users.

Internet authorities around the world issue certificates of trust to websites, as this then verifies their authenticity when visited by a web browser.

Hackers can impersonate unverified websites and intercept data.

A video on what certificates of trust are:

Mozilla and Google have both objected to CNNIC delegating its authority to issue certificates to an Egyptian company called MCS Holdings.

CNNIC, which calls itself a “constructor, operator and administrator of infrastructure in Chinese information society,” responded in the statement on its website that Google should consider user rights and interests.

Google said on its official security blog that it would no longer recognize the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) certificate authorities, following an investigation into a potential security lapse. MCS Holdings attributed a security lapse that took place on a test network to human error.

Google   (Image: bfishadow via Compfight cc)

Google
(Image: bfishadow via Compfight cc)

The move by Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox may disrupt users in from accessing a broad range of Chinese websites.

As a result of Mozilla’s step, users of Firefox may get a warning when attempting to visit sites certified after April 1 by the CNNIC, said Reuters.

“For the users that CNNIC has already issued the certificates to, we guarantee that your lawful rights and interests will not be affected,” the agency announced.

Google and Mozilla have said they would allow CNNIC to reapply so its certificates could be recognized again.

It will be interesting to see how this all works out; China is not known for backing down, but it may be forced to under these circumstances.

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