back to article Ad man: Mozilla 'radicals' and 'extremists' want to wreck internet economy

Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of industry group the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), thinks the Mozilla Foundation's policy on third-party cookies is way out of line, and he's taken to the web with a 4,000-word screed essay to make his case. It was in February that Mozilla first said that a future version of its …

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  1. LaeMing Silver badge

    And by dammit!

    We have a god-given right to a profit, irrespective of what the end user wants or needs!

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: And by dammit!

      Not only a god-given right to a profit, but a god-given right to annoy others. Besides, his "anti-business value system" concept is completely wrong. If a company hasn't annoyed me, I'm more likely to buy their product if I decide I have a use for it. Ad blocking actually does some companies a favour.

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: And by dammit!

      You mean there are people using Firefox without the Ghostery, BetteryPrivacy, NoScript and Flashblock plugins, plus settings adjusted to delete all cookies, history & cache upon exit?

      1. teebie

        Re: And by dammit!

        "Ghostery, BetteryPrivacy, NoScript and Flashblock [...] delete all cookies, history & cache upon exit"

        I think it's fair to say that for some users that will sound like a lot of effort.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And by dammit!

      There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.

      Robert A. Heinlein, Life-Line (1939)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And by dammit!

        Lovely quotation, David! Did that guy Heinlein ever have a way of getting into the future and taking a look around! (Although Life-Line was his very first published story). If he hadn't thought so deeply and so well, his books might have sold even more widely than they did.

  2. PunkTiger
    Meh

    No Cookies Please, We're British

    A bit strong on the rhetoric, there. Blocking third party cookies will lead to an Internet Apocalypse? Small businesses will perish? Who cares if there's a whitelist? Blocking third-party cookies is BAD! DON'T DO IT!

    *checks to make sure ABP and Ghostery are up-to-date*

    You're wasting my oxygen, Mr. Rothenberg.

    1. Don Jefe
      Happy

      Re: No Cookies Please, We're British

      Stop being anti-commerce. Hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on it!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Cookies Please, We're British, aka hundreds of 1000s of jobs

        your irony was lost, I see. Have a click to improve your ratings! ;)

        1. Don Jefe
          Unhappy

          Re: No Cookies Please, We're British, aka hundreds of 1000s of jobs

          Yeah, nobody seems to have gotten it.

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: No Cookies Please, We're British, aka hundreds of 1000s of jobs

            I did!

    2. Triggerfish

      Re: No Cookies Please, We're British

      Apart from the third party cookies you may need for your shopping cart. I would have thought the blocking of tracking cookies does a favour for the small business. These sort of things strike me as the realm of the companies that can afford big marketing departments and talk of things like metrics. Not some little online shop.

      Nice one Mozilla your helping the small business stay competitive.

      1. gloucester

        Re: No Cookies Please, We're British

        First thing I do with a new browser is unset acceptance of third-party cookies. I've never had that stop me ordering anything on line. (NoScript has when the site calls in things that aren't actually on the calling page for card validation, but that is different; annoying, but different.)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Cookies Please, We're British

      "You're wasting my oxygen, Mr. Rothenberg."

      And doubly so when you speak.

  3. John Bailey

    Ahh.. theh cry of the self entitled..

    Poor little sausage. All those nasty non advertising people not wanting crap shoved at them from ever corner.. The monsters..

    And no.. The internet would not does tomorrow if ad revenue went away. There was an internet pre OCD tacking of everything. And there will be one after.

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Rukario
      Thumb Up

      Re: Privacy vs. commerce? No brainer there

      Equally worded, "Commerce vs. privacy? No brains there."

      I was going to respond similarly, though not as restrained as yourself. I was going to add, in true "Kelly" style, "...with something hard and sandpapery", followed by a suggestion that the best public service he could perform is choking on some form of advertising material. But then, he really isn't into performing acts of public service now, is he?

    2. LaeMing Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Go fuck yourseff

      Please don't encourage him. He might produce offspring that way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Go fuck yourseff

        Unless he can reproduce asexually, fucking himself is unlikely to produce offspring.

        But then again, many lower life forms, especially parasites, do reproduce asexually, so....

    3. Arthur 1

      Re: Privacy vs. commerce? No brainer there

      It's more than a little messed up that this guy experiences his life on a planet where he thinks this rhetoric should resonate with someone.

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Business friendly solution

    Mozilla should charge him the same rate for his ads appearing in their internets as Fox charge for advertising on their network.

    1. Big-nosed Pengie
      Thumb Up

      Re: Business friendly solution

      "Users should charge him the same rate for his ads appearing in their internets as Fox charge for advertising on their network."

      I fixed that for you.

  6. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    So exactly how does Mr. Rothenberg define liberty and freedom? Certainly if he is free to cast his cookies about then someone else if equally free to burn them. Perhaps he welcomes the tons of junk mail that comes to his door and maybe he would appreciate little gps trackers in every piece of junk mail he must love to carry around. Personally, I keep a shredding bin right next to the inbox and it probably digests a good 95% of all snail mail. Now all I need is a device that can automatically sort and shred. I'd just skip the sorting altogether if it weren't for those occasional but still pesky jury duty notices.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      Happy

      Efficiency

      I have a 'no junk mail' sticker on my mailbox.

      I also made a 'Junk mail please' sign for my recycle bin that lives next to it.

      The leaflet delivery person gets paid, I never see the stuff. Everyone wins! Well ... everyone that matters.

      1. Nuke
        Holmes

        @LaeMing - Re: Efficiency

        Wrote :- "I also made a 'Junk mail please' sign for my recycle bin that lives next to it.

        The leaflet delivery person gets paid, I never see the stuff."

        Actually, they don't necessarily. People who distribute unaddressed mail get paid to deliver x number. If they miss out a house because of such a sign, they must go to a further house to post it. Of course they could bin it (or the whole lot) but the agencies who handle this stuff do spot checks. My wife once delivered Yellow Pages (but people rarely object to receiving that) and that's how it worked. I don't know how it works with the Post Office though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      "Personally, I keep a shredding bin right next to the inbox and it probably digests a good 95% of all snail mail. "

      Never shred addressed junk mail! The marketing b@stards assume if it isn't returned that it has been successfully delivered, meanwhile you're paying for the shredder and the electricity to dispose of it. If you return it with "not known at this address" written on it, then (a) they have to pay the return postage, and (b) they knock you off most mailing lists because they don't have a name or any segmentation information for the next advertised campaign. And because the less scrupulous will sell on lists of presumed-to-be-valid addresses, you want your name knocked off the list as soon as possible. If you're already on a lot of junk mail address lists, then investing a few quid in having a stamp made up that says "Return to sender, not known at this address" could simplify the fight back, as well as being deeply satisfying to apply.

      I've yet to come across a junk mail sender who uses or updates the real customer address file (junk mail almost always comes from third party mailing fulfilment businesses, or in house captive junk mailers, who use an externally compiled mailing list), so telling the marketing droids that you don't live there has no consequences for any service that you actually want.

      1. Paul Shirley

        Royal Mail optout

        Here in the UK, 1st sign up to the Mail Preference Service @ http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/ to stop the majority of mail. It actually seems to work.

        To nail most of the remaining stuff read http://www.royalmail.com/personal/help-and-support/how-do-I-stop-receiving-any-leaflets-or-unaddressed-promotional-material, has been claimed it's a sacking offence for you're postie to tell you about the opt-out!

        1. David Hicklin

          Re: Royal Mail optout

          Sadly that still does not stop the junk mail addressed to "the occupier".

          Yes Virgin - that's you. Straight into the recyling bin

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Royal Mail optout

            Virgin's advertising is vitiated by the fact that so many people have tried being their customers - for a while. After that experience, whenever you see a sales offer from Virgin you just smile grimly and walk on by/recycle it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I used to send the return envelopes back with newspaper clippings and other things I thought might be of interest. Even though I was only able to get about 4 ounces of material into the envelope I'm sure AT&T and the credit card companies thoroughly enjoyed what I sent since it wasn't long before they stopped asking for more.

  7. Seamless
    Devil

    Yeah, how dare they? Let's apply the logic--

    How insensitive to the needs of capitalists: Mozilla, parents and others are being simply evil. Just think for a moment about all that cash waiting to be scooped up by advertisers, and the more refined purveyers of all sorts of rather lucrative enterprises. Since commerce is to be more highly valued, we should stop discouraging Internet commerce in children, slaves, sex workers, and illegal substances.

    Just think about all those children...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[Third-party cookies] have been part of the way Internet advertising has been delivered, measured, analyzed, optimized, and compensated for more than 15 years," he railed. "Were they to be embargoed tomorrow, billions of dollars in Internet advertising ... would disappear."

    Cry me a river you perkeleen vittupää.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one who thinks this is all just a massive distraction?

    It seems to me that all this moaning about with respect to Third Party Cookies is nothing but a colossal distraction to keep everyone's attention away from the countless other methods which can be employed to track a given user.

    If I recall correctly there has been ways to track through plugins, for instance. Adobe Flash comes to mind though Adobe "might" have "addressed" it by now.

    Also, read up on EFF's Panopticlick. It's a worthwhile site to check out if you haven't already. I found it quite interesting at least and wouldn't be all too surprised if similar methods are already (at least partially) employed in order increase tracking efficiency.

    Also, doesn't Safari already block Third Party Cookies?

    While I was fiddling around with a temporary OS X installation I decided to check Safari out and realized that Third Party Cookies were disabled by default in its preferences. This was a clean installation too. I might be wrong here but I'm quite confident that this is the case.

    Now of course one might argue that Safari's "market share" isn't exactly up there (not on desktops at least) and even the most die-hard Apple fans I've come across outright refuse to use it for any purpose other than to download another browser but it still has to account for *something*.

    1. Mr. Peterson
      Happy

      Re: Am I the only one who thinks this is all just a massive distraction?

      luv listening to the clueless rail against wars already lost

    2. E Haines

      Re: Am I the only one who thinks this is all just a massive distraction?

      Yes, Safari does indeed block third-party cookies; you're not wrong. It's a perfectly adequate web browser, by the way, and judging from browser market share stats, a large majority of Mac users don't bother with anything else, so yeah I'd say it accounts for something. Namely, it accounts for evil Mac users destroying the web economy! Woo!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I the only one who thinks this is all just a massive distraction?

      "While I was fiddling around with a temporary OS X installation I decided to check Safari out and realized that Third Party Cookies were disabled by default in its preferences."

      Does that include Apples ad network cookies, it's Apples browser running on Apples computer, that would make the cookies theirs not third party.

  10. Eric Olson

    I for one am glad to contribue to the downfall of man...

    Err... I mean the advertising useless crap that I don't care about. If I'm at Newegg and they want to target me with ads about something that's related to other stuff I've browsed there, thank you. Same with any other site. It's bad enough to see the crapvertising that's based on my IP address, telling me that Obama commands me to get new car insurance, or I should contribute to some turd's reelection campaign in the armpit of my state. If I want to block third-party cookies, that's my choice.

    Now if only there was a way to modify those third-party cookies into something malformed that made their database drop a huge load all over the floor....

    1. S4qFBxkFFg
      Thumb Up

      Re: I for one am glad to contribue to the downfall of man...

      You could try just manually inserting some random unclosed SQL to third party cookies - although just to be safe that would probably best be done over Tor with no personal info in whichever profile you use.

  11. streaky Silver badge

    How is the only answer to this not "shut up you clown" rather than engagement.. Make it so as Jean-Luc would say.

  12. Captain DaFt
    Holmes

    For your edification; I turn to the classics.

    And to take a quote out of context:

    For it must be greatly inconvenient to thieves and cut-throats, who have engaged in this way of life, and run great risks in acquiring skill in their employment, to be obliged all at once to withdraw their hands, and lay aside picking locks, and apply themselves to industry in other ways, for a livelihood.

    Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Modern Chivalry.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Clueless

    To Rothenberg, however, the idea of a browser that knows how to block cookies from selective sources is not only abhorrent, but it could mean the destruction of an entire segment of the global economy.

    There's already at least one browser that knows how to block cookies from selective sources. It's called Mozilla Firefox. It's not a default state and the user has to select this option manually but the option is there.

    1. Matt Korth

      Re: Clueless

      "There's already at least one browser that knows how to block cookies from selective sources. It's called Mozilla Firefox. It's not a default state and the user has to select this option manually but the option is there."

      For now.

      At one point, Mozilla made changes to how that particular feature worked. The changes were incredibly annoying, and provoked a bug report/change request. In the Bugzilla discussion, the Mozilla devs made their distaste for that feature plain. I strongly suspect that if they start blocking 3rd-party cookies by default, that feature will go away.

  14. Dick Pountain
    Devil

    You right, we want wreck it all an we COMING TO GET YOU NOW!

  15. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

    We don't want your ads.

    We set our browsers to block everything but the originating cookies ("First Party"), and even those we have it set to prompt us if we want to allow it be set.

    We use HOSTS files to block your ad servers straight to >Dev>Null and thus render your attempts fruitless.

    We use extensions & plug in's to block, scramble, thwart, and f4 up any data you *might* manage to get, so suddenly I appear as a 98 year old Retired Woman whom makes $10BUSD per year, on Social Security, homeless with a $92MUSD home & 54 mortgages, no car but just having purchased a $200KUSD Lexus Hybrid SUV (that doesn't exist), and I live in the area code "90210", but list my address as in Washington DC...

    In other words, you won't get any data out of me, I refuse to let you data mine me, I refuse to view your advertisements, and you can just go f4 a pig.

    I don't read SnailMail spam, ink stamping it "REFUSED" and dropping it back in the box for the carrier to grab the next day.

    (Thus *costing you more money*.)

    I don't watch advertisements on tv, because as soon as they begin, I hit MUTE & leave the room.

    (Bathroom break, refill the drink, get munchies, etc.)

    I don't read email Spam, and bounce it to the original domain, plus the upstream providers, marked as Unsolicited Commercial Email. Then I add the domain to the Auto-Perma-Bounce-&-Delete rules list, so I never deal with it again.

    In short, you don't get to advertise to me.

    You speak of freedom & liberty.

    Well, your freedom to market does *NOT* mean a freedom to violate MY freedom to tell you to go F4 yourself & Die.

    Don't try to blow smoke up my a3 claiming my refuseal of viewing your ads is going to lead to the downfall of the internet.

    I was part of the 'net before it became commercialized with all the ad crap, and I'll still be on it long after your ilk have been stood up against the wall & executed like the social s4 stains that you are.

    So Shut The F4 Up, Get The F4 Out, F4 Off And Die, & Have A Nice Death.

    -Signed,

    The Internet.

    1. Martin 71 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

      Standing Ovation of several minutes! I may have to quote you

    2. adnim Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

      Nice to know I am not alone in my abhorrence of unsolicited advertising. And that someone else goes to the same lengths as myself to avoid ever seeing it.

      Have a thumbs up and an up vote.

    3. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

      "Well, your freedom to market does *NOT* mean a freedom to violate MY freedom to tell you to go F4 yourself & Die."

      Wonder how this chap would react to chuggers as found on UK high streets?

    4. Wokstation

      Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

      " I don't watch advertisements on tv, because as soon as they begin, I hit MUTE & leave the room."

      Totally agree, except this bit. I record it and skip the adverts altogether. Makes films on TV a lot shorter, too!

      1. Nuke
        Holmes

        @ Wokstation - Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

        Wrote :- "I don't watch advertisements on tv, because as soon as they begin, I hit MUTE & leave the room."

        Totally agree, except this bit. I record it and skip the adverts altogether. "

        OK to record films, but not always practicable otherwise. Things like sports coverage I want to see in real time. I mute the adverts and read a book that I keep to hand. It is suprising how much reading you get through / lifetime the adverts would have wasted.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear anti-Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

      because you're 0.0000001% of the population. And the 99.9999999 don't give a flying monkey fuck that we spy on them in all possible, and some impossible ways. In fact, they haven't even got to the stage of not giving a flying monkey fuck, they're FIRMLY stuck at the stage of "Oh? I didn't know it's possible?".

      but hey, that statement we issued and the media are reproducing? Surely got us noticed, ha!

    6. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

      STFU! GTFO! FOAD! and er .. .F4?

      Is that Alt+F4 or Ctrl+F4? F4 yourself right up the A3. And it's not your A3, it's a road for anyone that wants to drive between London and Plymouth pal.

      1. LinkOfHyrule
        Happy

        Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

        The A3 goes between London and my beloved Portsmouth actually!

        I love Pompey, its my favourite of all the run down inner cities!

        1. LinkOfHyrule
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

          Oh and P.S.

          I prefer Party Rings to Third Party Cookies so eff you adverscum!

        2. Tom 38 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

          There should only be one big naval base on the south coast beginning with 'P' - I bloody knew it went to Portsmouth, dunno why I wrote Plymouth :/

          1. LinkOfHyrule

            Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

            I think its done deliberately to confuse American tourists - a bit like how you can get a train from Norwich to both Liverpool Street station and Liverpool Lime Street!

            Its quite clever when you think about it - all those unnecessary train journeys by foreigners add quite a bit to our economy once you add them all up! British inventiveness at its best!

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

      Cut out all the euphemisms, will you. What do you REALLY think?

      1. Rukario
        Devil

        Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

        And I thought "go fuck yourself with something hard and sandpapery then do the human race an IQ-raising favour and jump off a billboard and die" was taking it too far!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    But people...

    ..without 3rd party cookies, they won't be able to custom-tailor our advertising experiences to our needs. Instead they'll be reduced to icky general ads for Viagra, diploma mills and money making 'opportunities.'

    Would you ENJOY that?!

  17. Neoc

    Bottom line:

    The Internet Advertising industry brought in on themselves. While there are sites I accept advertising from, I will *not* allow J Random Site to beam possible malware-infested advertising at me. But the industry has rejected any sort of attempt at minimising the impact of their rogue elements. Result? *Everyone* in the industry gets the finger.

  18. John Savard Silver badge

    My computer is my computer, so it should do exactly what I tell it to, and only what I tell it to. By default, a browser should behave like an early version of Mosaic: no cookies, no JavaScript, nothing but rendering the contents of web pages.

    Controls should of course be accessible to selectively turn on the more advanced features needed to gain access to some sites.

  19. Ace Rimmer
    Facepalm

    It makes money and provides jobs, therefore it MUST be good!

    "[Third-party cookies] have been part of the way Internet advertising has been delivered, measured, analyzed, optimized, and compensated for more than 15 years," he railed. "Were they to be embargoed tomorrow, billions of dollars in Internet advertising and hundreds of thousands of jobs dependent on it would disappear."

    In the same way heroin has provided countless employment opportunities and been a part of the human ecosystem for many years. Were it to become embargoed tomorrow billions of dollars in drug manufacture and distribution and hundreds of thousands of dependent dealers would disappear.

    Just because it makes money that alone doesn't make ethical, right or desirable. Three words that will never appear next to Mr Rothenberg's name unless it's under the heading "What is Mr Rothenberg not?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It makes money and provides jobs, therefore it MUST be good!

      In fairness to Heroin, it has medical applications that are very handy indeed...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anti-business Extremists or Sociopathetic Advertisers?

    Funny I thought it was the sociopathetic spying and data mining advertisers that were responsible for ruining the internet and making me unplug more often...This same type of guy was responsible for the Net 2.0 advertising model, with treasures like Flash Cookies… ETAGs… and hidden Cached Sessions.... see ‘Hulu’ tracking scandal etc….

  21. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    The horror! The horror!

    Rothenberg had an Apocalypse Cow.

  22. Killraven

    Return to Old Times

    "[Third-party cookies] have been part of the way Internet advertising has been delivered, measured, analyzed, optimized, and compensated for more than 15 years,"

    And customers have been maddened by their existence, invasion of privacy, and consumption of computer resources since their inception.

    Blind, mass market advertising was the way of the marketing world for decades. If precedent is what he wishes to go on, then he should support a complete ban on internet advertising.

  23. Joseph Lord
    Holmes

    Of course Apple, Microsoft and Google are members...

    ...they all operate advertising platforms. Apple has iAd on iOS devices. Microsoft acquired at least one platform (Atlas??? name escapes me right now). And Google, well need I say mor?

  24. Turtle

    If Only...

    "Rothenberg said the problem boils down to Mozilla's 'anti-business value system.'"

    I'd be more sympathetic to Mr Rotherberg's complaint about Mozilla's "anti-business value system" if only it wasn't in defense of such a shitty business.

    1. Nigel 11
      Flame

      Re: If Only...

      ""anti-business value system". I rather think he means open-source. If Adblock-plus didn't exist, I'd have to write it. If Mozilla didn't support plug-ins, I'd have to fork it.

      If someone pasted adverts on your garden wall, you'd be right to be annoyed and the fly-poster would be breaking the law. Why is pasting adverts all over my screen any different? (Apart from some of them being malware-insertion attempts ... akin to pasting with toxin-laced glue? )

      Once, someone wrote an app to sign up a spammer's home address to every source of physical junk snail-mail the algorithm could find. About a hundredweight per day! Not sure about the legalities, but burying the bastard in his own effluent is a lovely thought.

  25. TeeCee Gold badge

    Ok holier-than-thou smartarses.

    Given that the current situation is that the vast majority of the internet is ad-funded, exactly what is "Plan B"?

    You'll need to have one, unless your sole aim is to tear it all down and leave it in bits on the floor.

    Anyone got any constructive ideas, or is "Ads is business, business is bad, ugh, hit with rock" the sum total of the argument on the other side of the fence here?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ok holier-than-thou smartarses.

      As far as businesses are concerned - they need the Plan B. How they fund their on-line operations is their own affair.

      As far as us sheep are concerned, I guess it's valid to ask what our Plan B is for the situation where free, useful/entertaining sites vanish because they can no longer be funded. I guess we do something less frivolous with our time.

      You have asked a fair question, though. I don't think the death of advertising would tear down the internet, but it would certainly change it significantly, in particular leading to a steep rise in subscription-only sites and cooperative ventures (vs solo self-interest ones). On the plus side, it might get rid of a lot of the crap sites out there which exist solely on advertising income derived from scraping others, which would be a bonus.

    2. Wokstation
      FAIL

      Re: Ok holier-than-thou smartarses.

      You talk as if it's all-or-nothing, when there's many shades to choose from. Non-intrusive adverts that don't phone home, run scripts, risk my network security and/or follow me? I'm not going to mind that any more than I mind a poster on a bus shelter.

      If advertisers didn't take liberties, we'd not want to take them back.

    3. Nigel 11
      Flame

      Re: Ok holier-than-thou smartarses.

      Plan B. Stop all intrusive advertizing. Work with Google so if I want to find out about your product, I can. Work on your product, so happy customers will recommend you to their friends. In particular, make sure that your post-sales sustomer support is A1. Nothing makes me more likely to buy than hearing from a trusted third party that when something went wrong, it was put right with an absolute minimum of hassle!

      My philosophy is always to be a buyer, never to be a sellee. Any attempt to pressurize me into buying just annoys me. Charities that employ chuggers get written out of my will, if they were ever mentioned. Spam of any sort gets your organisation added to my buy-last list. And so on. You ought to be happy I can use Adblock-plus. If I had to mentally filter those adverts, a lot more of you would be on my mental do-not-touch-with-a-bargepole list!

      I can think of an organisation that espouses most if not all of the above. It's called John Lewis. It's rather successful.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ok holier-than-thou smartarses.

      'Given that the current situation is that the vast majority of the internet is ad-funded, exactly what is "Plan B"?'

      Simple. Let the corporate morons simply hand over to "the vast majority of the Internet" the money they now spend on advertising. It won't make any difference to anyone who matters.

      Incidentally, I question your premise. As far as I know, most Internet sites are funded either by the corporations or the individuals who own them. It costs little enough to run a modest Web site, and if you want a bigger one there are plenty of ways of making it pay for itself without advert-whoring.

    5. teebie

      Re: Ok holier-than-thou smartarses.

      "constructive ideas"

      Non-annoying, privacy-respecting, adverts that are screened for malware before delivery.

      With no fucking audio unless I ask for it

      If advertisers stuck to that I wouldn't bother to block them.

  26. jake Silver badge

    Cookies? Advertising? In my browser? Ain't gonna happen.

    My machine, my computer, my disk, my paid-for connection, my electricity, my rules.

    I pay for my end of the link, you pay for your end of the link. I do NOT pay for your end of the link any more than you pay for MY end of the link.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cookies? Advertising? In my browser? Ain't gonna happen.

      HERE HERE. And their Lamborghini's and Ferraris and there heated swimming pools....blah blah blah.

      1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

        HERE HERE

        Where, where?

        1. jake Silver badge

          @gaz (was: Re: HERE HERE)

          C'mon, man ... that was beneath you.

          1. Captain DaFt
            WTF?

            Re: @gaz (was: HERE HERE)

            "C'mon, man ... that was beneath you"

            A bad, snarky pun... beneath a Reg writer?

            Uhm, you *have* been reading the articles, right?

    2. pvandck

      Re: Cookies? Advertising? In my browser? Ain't gonna happen.

      My telephone too when it comes to telesales, and my time. I live in Italy and, although I understand and speak Italian just fine, I always speak to Italian telesales callers in English. And I always have to explain that it's my phone and they are calling me, on my time, to sell me something, and that I have no obligation to respond to them in a language of their choice. At least I get to have some fun while they are interrupting my day.

      If I still lived in the UK I'd probably respond to telesales calls in Italian. A foreign language has many uses.

  27. Andy Towler
    Mushroom

    Thankyou

    This article has inspired me to wipe my cookies, disable third party cookies and install Ghostery.

  28. David Pollard

    Call for Dave Cameron

    Shouldn't there be user protection against cookie trackers which is turned on by default?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It clearly doesn't enter his head that this will only be a success because people will adopt it because they don't WANT to be "advertised at".

    MY household, like many others, pay extra to one of the major TV players or another mainly for the ability to schedule our own viewing and, bar sports/live events, SKIP THE ADVERTS.

    If we enjoyed, or desired adverts this would not be the case.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      It is possible that he is afraid that all those people that don't know about ad-blocking will get "on by default" blocking and suddenly realise how nice the internet is without it!

    2. Colin Millar
      Pirate

      Wait a minute

      You pay advertisers not to advertise to you?

      The old business models are the best - that's how street entertainers evolved.

  30. Potemkine Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Finnish become popular these days

    Randall Rothenberg, the guy you will love to hate...

    There was a time, when the Internet was to exchange knowledge, to share ideas, to communicate. It was so long ago it sounds now like legendary times.

    Thanks to people like Mr. Rothenberg, The internet became a giant marketplace where snake oil vendors try to force their sh*t through our throat and sell us, sell us and sell us again their junk ad nauseam.

    If I want to buy something I will go in a store. I have no need to live into one 24 hours a day surrounded by ads trying to convince me I'm the best and I deserve to get the next Iphone 12.

    To put it nicely, Haista vittu.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Finnish become popular these days

      "The internet became a giant marketplace where snake oil vendors try to force their sh*t through our throat and sell us, sell us and sell us again their junk ad nauseam."

      That reminds me of a remarkably similar comment I remembering reading about - from 90 years ago. It was uttered by H.G. Wells, and he was talking about how wireless would soon descend into the depths of commercial pollution. How right he was!

  31. Dunstan Vavasour

    "Cocoon spun by techno-libertarians...

    'Mozilla, Rothenberg wrote, exists "inside a cocoon spun by techno-libertarians and academic elites who believe in liberty and freedom for all, as long as they get to decide the definitions of liberty and freedom."'

    If you don't like our cocoon, stay out of it and advertise elsewhere.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Cocoon spun by techno-libertarians...

      I don't know if the Web is a "cocoon" - is there an RFC for cocoons? - but it was spun by some techno-libertarians whom I respect immensely - and to whom I am very grateful.

      I do know that TBL, for instance, does believe in "liberty and freedom" [sic] for all, and that he DOESN'T want to decide the definitions. Actually, any honest person understands what freedom means.

      The Web was designed to make it easy for all people, everywhere, to communicate about whatever they wish. One thing it was NOT designed for was to give freeloading parasites who contributed nothing to it a chance to enrich themselves without effort.

  32. g e
    Holmes

    Or, alternatively

    You could accept, with grateful humility, your good fortune to have sold this much snake oil already and give the yacht a polish.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    anti-business value system

    what's wrong with that, punk? :D

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Selfish and highly inconsiderate.

    OK 2 scenarios, your on a limited data usage! lets say 500mb a month and the pointless adverts that flood your way cost you up to 100mb a month who pays for that! Scenario 2! your bidding on eBay on a moderately slow internet connection and the ad's as ever begin to load first. Your outbid as it took too long to load due to advertising. What about the small high street shop that was driven out of business by internet advertising. Online advertising is in no doubt part of the world recession due to people buying cheap goods from China. Banks then mishandling investments just tipped the balance. Google, Amazon all feed on greed. I use no script to block ad frames...they simply don't appear on my screen.Advertising is money for nothing.....who benefits to ad's that have absolutely nothing to do with you regardless of targeted cookies...not bloody you matey that's for sure. I have never in 20 years of internet ever once been influenced by an ad on the screen. In fact I find nearly all ad's very much American and heavily biased towards Americans (like the majority of the internet is) . Cookies are crapoware you wouldn't install a virus WOULD YOU....why have third party cookies.

  35. Jim Carter

    Awww, diddums

    This bloke doesn't half remind me of Jack Lewis. For more info:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2007/aug/19/adblockingis

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Awww, diddums

      "Guardian" and "technology" on the same line!

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  36. Fihart

    Stick your cookies !

    And the adman thinks that commerce invented the internet ?

    While much of the development of the net has been down to porn and other greed merchants, part of what makes using the net so irritating (waiting for slow ad pages to load before you can see editorial) is the very commerce which claims to support it.

    Personally, I'd categorise cookie tracking and pester advertising on web pages as essentially in the same category as phishing, spam, ransomware and stalking.

    Basically, commerce has hijacked the internet and anyone who helps resist that is to be commended.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Mr Rothenberg

    I have two pertinent quotes I would like to share with you:

    "Kill yourself, seriously." - Bill Hicks

    "F*** you, I won't do what you tell me." - Rage Against the Machine

    P.S. Can I have a list of your clients so I can tell them I won't be buying any more of their products as long as they do business with you?

  38. mhoulden
    FAIL

    Where does Randall Rothenberg think advertising revenue comes from in the first place? It isn't magicked out of thin air or donated by benevolent companies from some secret store of cash. The money ultimately comes from end customers, and part of the purchase cost goes on trying to get them to spend more money. The advertising industry has a strange sense of entitlement: "we want your attention so we can try to sell you things", but as a consumer I reserve the right to invite them to go forth and multiply if it's something I know I don't want and certainly don't want to pay for.

  39. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Adverts versus shovelling shit

    I would happily put up with a degree of simple advertising on some sites, as long as it doesn't get in the way of what I'm doing.

    I don't object to street posters advertising stuff at me. I *would* object if they started putting barriers across the pavement that I had to read before I could carry on walking.

    Same principle.

    I started using ad blockers when web pages started pushing stupid flashing banners, pop ups and other equally intrusive crap in front of me that stopped me getting on with what I needed to do.

    I don't mind paying for goods and services if I know the price and agree it.

    I dodge cookies because they are a form of undisclosed charge. In effect they are taking payment for whatever they provide, good or bad, by picking our digital pockets and taking our personal data.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Anti-business values"?

    Isn't that rather like "anti-Satan values"? Or perhaps "pro-human being values"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Anti-business values"?

      Business is not a bad thing in and of itself. You'd probably find life quite uncomfortable without it, seeing as you would lack little perks like electricity, communication, running water, medical care, and so forth; additionally you would probably spend the vast majority of your time trying to grow enough food to stay alive. (Buying food from someone else, of course, is right out, because that would be supporting an evil satanic anti-people business!)

      I get what you're saying here, but it's unfair to tar *business* with the brush meant for *marketers*. They're different things.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Anti-business values"?

        David W, I think your reply is a little disingenuous. Nowhere did I say that "business" itself is a bad thing - although the word has certain creepiness about it. It connotes people who will do anything for money. But nowadays, it has to stand duty for all the useful activities you listed.

        What I object to is the phrase "business values". It's a good rule of thumb that people who talk about values don't have any, and often don't know what the word means. That phrase mostly comes from people who con and screw their customers, their suppliers, their employees, and for all I know their families.

  41. Frogmelon

    "No profit!? No profit!?"

    I guess he'll have to sell his mother for some gold-pressed latinum.

  42. Irongut

    I've blocked 3rd party cookies in every browser I've used for about 15 years. I think the first was Netscape Navigator 4. And that includes browsers from his friends at Microsoft.

    These days I use Ghostery as well and not only stop their insidious tracking and profiling attempts to reduce the human race to a book of numbers but rarely even see their adverts. If they hadn't stooped to such depths I wouldn't have been forced to respond in kind and they would have made more money.

  43. pvandck

    All I can detect from Randall Rothenberg's spleen venting is the whiff of mendacity. His interest in the Internet extends solely to its use as a vehicle or platform from which advertisers can profit. All the rest is mendacious drivel. The entire raison d'être of the IAB, which Rothenberg represents, is the exploitation of the Internet to maximise profits for businesses who advertise there.

    It's not dissimilar to advertising sponsored tv, which really does exist as a service to advertisers, not as a service to viewers. The reality is that Rothenberg and his ilk are against the concept of consumer choice, except in the limited sense that the choice should be foisted on you by the likes of him and that you don't have the choice to ignore him. In other spheres of human activity we call those kind of people tyrants and dictators. You have to imagine Rothberg's diatribe above being delivered from a balcony in Rome by a fat, dull-witted Mussolini-like figure to get the right effect.

    The man is so pointless that he couldn't even serve as a replacement body part for the excretion of bodily fluid or solid waste.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We didn't mind a few banner adverts, but the ad-people took it a bit far once they started tracking people.

    Obviously an advert that is successful is one that is shown to the person who is most likely to be interested in buying the item. But that's no excuse for doing what they have done. You can use the actual site someone is on as a basis for what they are interested in.

  45. Nasty Nick
    Coat

    "And now, the end is near, and so I face, the final curtain..dah..dahh" etc

    It's just the attitude you expect from the dodgier advertisers, but the serious points are about how and why people / businesses turn a buck on-line. For some it's the only way to make their bread, for others it's a useful extra revenue stream.

    The real issue is about the contract the Randal Rothenbergs (isn't that the name of slimy reptile off Monsters Inc?) of this world think we should all be forced to agree to, regardless of what we, the users prefer to do with our online activity information.

    If you run an information website that is mostly supported by advertising, I reckon it's fair enough for those websites to say

    "hey, if you want to read our site, you have to let us set cookies, and then mine and sell on your viewing habits while you're here - that's how we make the dough to provide our information you like so much.".

    Now if you like the website info a lot, and could trust the website / their advertising "partners" to use your cookie information responsibly maybe you wouldn't mind.

    But what with the humungous numbers of third party domains trying to set cookies and run scripts, even on supposedly trustworthy sites like the banks and big online retailers, most of us don't have time to work out who all these different outfits are and whether they can be trusted - even tech savvy El Reg readers. My mum still struggles to fire up her PC, so asking her and teh hordes of other non-techies that make up 90% of the users to make that kind of judgement is unfair and unreasonable.

    If the advertisers / website owners could be trusted to do the right thing, maybe we could have a independant, workable advert/cookie preference service like the UK's Telephone and Mail Preference . services.

    But they can't so we can't. Switch them all off by default and nuke'em all from space - it's the only safe thing to do!

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    As a small businessman, I can say for my part that this dude like, totally does not speak for me.

    Somehow I've managed to build my business without using banner advertising, without using any cookies at all, and without requesting any information from any potential customers.

    THE DICKENS YOU SAY!

    BUT HOW!?

    Well, I was really sneaky! I made a neat product that people are interested in. I put some videos of it up and because people think they're neat, they share them. Eventually, people who may want to purchase my product hear about it, and then they visit my web site and send me email asking to buy things!

    Inexplicably, all of this happens without anything whatsoever being "delivered, measured, analyzed, optimized, and compensated"!

    Remarkable, isn't it?

  47. Aebleskiver

    Thanks Ad Suits...

    ...I didn't know about this upcoming feature before, but now I do, I'll be sure to enable it.

  48. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    It's the complete and utter arrogance of this guy that I actually find quite amusing. They should put him in a cage so we can all watch him foam at the mouth when we poke him with sharp sticks.

    1. Captain DaFt

      "They should put him in a cage so we can all watch him foam at the mouth when we poke him with sharp sticks."

      I wouldn't, might get some of the froth on me. Who knows, his inanity might be contaigous.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "anti-business radicals"

    add me to the list pls.

  50. Dagg

    Lies

    Damn Lies

    Statistics

    Advertising

    ...

  51. chiller

    Privacy - F**k you

    Rothenberg, Zuckerberg - beware the berg - BEWARE.

    Applicable to large unsinkable ships.

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