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September 22, 2023

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Mozilla Sued for Discrimination by CEO-To-Be

The Story this lawsuit tells is a Game of Thrones style power struggle. Absolutely wild.

The full Lunduke Journal article:
https://lunduke.locals.com/post/5765292/mozilla-sued-for-discrimination-by-former-ceo-to-be

00:28:49
Internet Archive: The Largest Software Piracy Website

Archive.org's massive collection of pirated material (game roms, computer software, & more) puts the entire service in legal jeopardy.

The Internet Archive's digital lending puts the entire service at risk:
https://lunduke.locals.com/post/5016077/the-internet-archives-digital-lending-puts-the-entire-service-at-risk

The Internet Archive's last-ditch effort to save itself:
https://lunduke.locals.com/post/5556650/the-internet-archives-last-ditch-effort-to-save-itself

00:25:04
Mozilla Caves to Criticism, Unblocks Firefox Extensions in Russia

Two days after blocking anti-Censorship, pro-Privacy Firefox Extensions in Russia, Mozilla has reversed course.

The full article:
https://lunduke.locals.com/post/5738970/mozilla-firefox-blocks-anti-censorship-and-pro-privacy-extensions-in-russia

00:06:28
November 22, 2023
The futility of Ad-Blockers

Ads are filling the entirety of the Web -- websites, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc. -- at an increasing rate. Prices for those ad placements are plummeting. Consumers are desperate to use ad-blockers to make the web palatable. Google (and others) are desperate to break and block ad-blockers. All of which results in... more ads and lower pay for creators.

It's a fascinatingly annoying cycle. And there's only one viable way out of it.

Looking for the Podcast RSS feed or other links? Check here:
https://lunduke.locals.com/post/4619051/lunduke-journal-link-central-tm

Give the gift of The Lunduke Journal:
https://lunduke.locals.com/post/4898317/give-the-gift-of-the-lunduke-journal

The futility of Ad-Blockers
November 21, 2023
openSUSE says "No Lunduke allowed!"

Those in power with openSUSE make it clear they will not allow me anywhere near anything related to the openSUSE project. Ever. For any reason.

Well, that settles that, then! Guess I won't be contributing to openSUSE! 🤣

Looking for the Podcast RSS feed or other links?
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https://lunduke.locals.com/post/4898317/give-the-gift-of-the-lunduke-journal

openSUSE says "No Lunduke allowed!"
September 13, 2023
"Andreas Kling creator of Serenity OS & Ladybird Web Browser" - Lunduke’s Big Tech Show - September 13th, 2023 - Ep 044

This episode is free for all to enjoy and share.

Be sure to subscribe here at Lunduke.Locals.com to get all shows & articles (including interviews with other amazing nerds).

"Andreas Kling creator of Serenity OS & Ladybird Web Browser" - Lunduke’s Big Tech Show - September 13th, 2023 - Ep 044

Ouch

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What the hell?? I can think of the one employee they should have fired....

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ChatGPT Is Bu!!$#!+!

The Official Academic Paper: 🤣🤣🤣 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10676-024-09775-5

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Mozilla Sued for Discrimination by Former CEO-To-Be
The story this lawsuit tells is a Game of Thrones style power struggle.

The Lunduke Journal has obtained the legal documents regarding a new lawsuit which has been filed against Mozilla, makers of Firefox, by a former C-Level executive.

And parts of it read like a Game of Thrones style power struggle within the browser maker.

  • The Mozilla Chief Product Officer was being groomed to take over as the new CEO.
  • That CEO-to-be took some medical leave to treat cancer.
  • In the days (literally) before the CEO-to-be returns from medical leave... the then-serving CEO of Mozilla, Mitchell Baker was fired -- by the Mozilla Board -- abruptly.  No warning.
  • The Mozilla Board of Directors then installed one of their own Board Members, Laura Chambers, as the new CEO.
  • All before that "CEO-to-be" could return to work, from his medical leave, and take over the CEO position.

There is a lot here -- including a tale of discrimination and abuse inside the Mozilla Corporation.

Below are screenshots of large portions of this lawsuit -- the items of particular interest to tell this story -- with each screenshot followed by a brief description and some additional details.  (If you're short on time, just read the descriptions between each screenshot... that will give you a high level overview of this story.)

 

Lawsuit: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

The lawsuit was filed by Steve Teixeria (the former Chief Product Officer of Mozilla), against Mozilla Corporation, in King County, Washington (Seattle), on June 12th, 2024.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Teixeira, the new Chief Product Officer (CPO) of Mozilla was brought on board in 2022 and was being groomed to become the new CEO (to replace Mitchell Baker).  This appeared to be the plan from Baker and at least one Mozilla Board Member.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

As CPO, Teixeira led roughly 75% of the employees of Mozilla, and oversaw the "entire commercial product portfolio".

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Firefox is reaffirmed to be roughly 90% of Mozilla's revenue.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

As CPO, Teixeira, was given high performance reviews.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Mozilla opened an entire office branch -- in Seattle, WA -- to accommodate Teixeira.  Which would make sense if the plan was to make Teixeira the new CEO.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Through September of 2023, the plan remained to transition Teixeira to become the CEO of Mozilla.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Teixeira was diagnosed with cancer (ocular melanoma) in October of 2023.  He then took leave (under the Family Medical Leave Act) until February of 2024.  Mitchell Baker remained CEO during that time... until the days before Teixeira returned to work.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Mozilla publicly announced their new CEO, Laura Chambers, on February 8th, 2024.

According to this legal filing, that decision was made (by the Mozilla Board), internally, roughly a week prior.  This would be "shortly before Mr. Teixeira" returned from leave on February 1st, 2024.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

This legal filing appears to say that Mitchell Baker was fired, by the Mozilla Board of Directors -- from her role as the CEO of Mozilla due to her "declining performance".

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

The timing here is interesting.

According to the legal filing, the firing of Mitchell Baker as Mozilla CEO was "so abrupt that they did not conduct a search for a successor".

Meaning: They were in a hurry.  For whatever reason, the Mozilla Board needed to act right then.

And the Mozilla Board -- which included Laura Chambers -- voted to install Laura Chambers as the new CEO.

All of this happened the very moment the person who was being groomed to take over as CEO, Teixeira, returned from his medical leave -- and was set to resume overseeing roughly 75% of Mozilla.

Was this the motivation for moving so quickly to install a new CEO?  To do so prior to Teixeira returning and taking over?

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

The first day back as CPO, Teixeira was instructed to lay off 50 (already selected) employees.  He had questions about who had been selected to be laid off.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Teixeira's employees were "explicitly forbidden", by the "Chief People Officer" of Mozilla (Dani Chehak), from briefing and assisting Teixeira as he returned from leave.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Teixeira expressed concerns, with Human Resources at Mozilla, that these layoffs would "disproportionately impact" "female leaders" and "persons of color".

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Teixeira was threatened, by the Chief People Officer (Chehak) to be forcibly placed "back on medical leave" if he "did not execute the layoffs as instructed".

Do what we say, fire these exact people, and don't talk to anyone about it.  Or get out.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

The new CEO, Laura Chambers, and the Chief People Officer, Chehak, insisted that Teixeira not only announce the layoffs... but falsely take responsibility for the layoff decision-making.

According to this document, Laura Chambers was throwing the person that was being groomed to be the CEO under the bus.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Teixeira was "permitted only to speak with the CEO and her direct reports".  His staff -- roughly 75% of Mozilla - was delayed being moved back under his leadership.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

There was an "outside audit" done of Mozilla's performance in "providing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace culture" by Tiangay Kemokai Law, P.C..

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

According to that outside report, Mozilla's leadership provides an "inadequate response to the needs of a diverse culture" and is "incongruent with [Mozilla's] stated values and goals."

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Teixeira's former direct reports expressed, to him, "deep concerns" about leadership in his absence.  Specifically regarding "abrupt changes to strategy" and "inappropriate or abusive interactions" from the Senior VP of Strategy Operations (Suba Vasudevan) and the Chief Marketing Officer (Lindsey O'Brien).

This included complaints made to Human Resources regarding the Chief Marketing Officer.

What those complaints were, we do not know.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

The new CEO, Laura Chambers, hired a consultant to assume Teixeira's core responsibilities after Teixeira returned from medical leave.

Teixeira then received, from the newly installed CEO, his first negative performance review.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Teixeira -- once groomed to be the new CEO -- now was being forced to move into a new role. Which he did not want or ask for.

At this time he was able to work full time and did not request time off for medical care.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Teixeira's family believed that Mozilla was gathering his publicly available medical information, to be used against him in his employment.  His family then begins to remove public information regarding his medical status.

Teixeira disclosed to the new CEO (Laura Chambers) that liver cancer had been detected.

That information was then shared -- according to other statements within the lawsuit, by Laura Chambers -- with all of her direct reports.  

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Mozilla then makes it clear they wished to demote Teixeira (from a C-level executive down to a Vice President role).

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Teixeira declined the demotion (which would come with a 40% pay cut and the job would end, entirely, at the end of the year).

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Mozilla's CEO, Laura Chambers, then disclosed significant, private details of Teixeira's medical conditions to other Mozilla employees.  Without Teixeira's consent.

Chambers also told other Mozilla employees that Teixeira would be demoted (the demotion that he had just rejected).

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

A key note here: Teixeira had "not requested additional flexibility related to his disability."

On April 25th, Teixeira made a complaint, in writing, that he had been discriminated against because of his cancer.  Two days later, on April 27th, the CEO (Laura Chambers), "retaliated against Mr. Teixeira" by telling him, in a nutshell, to "take the demotion or you're fired."

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Mozilla, over the next couple days, began panicking -- instructing Teixeira not to discuss anything related to his employment with Mozilla... with anyone.  Even going so far as to draft up a new "non-disparagement and non-disclosure" document with new restrictions.

By the next week Teixeir was placed on "administrative leave".  His direct reports all reassigned to other executives.  His chief of staff fired.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Mozilla refused to provide a reason for these actions.

Mozilla then cut off Teixeira's access to all Mozilla systems (including email and messaging) -- and instructed Mozilla employees to "not communicate with Mr. Teixeira."

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

A few weeks later an "investigation" was launched into Teixeira's discrimination allegations.  However Teixeira was never contacted to participate in the investigation.  Which is strange, to say the least.

Normally an "investigation" involves all parties involved.

It would be very interesting to see the full results of that "investigation".

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Mozilla continued to falsely state that Teixeira was on "medical leave", and provided Teixeira's medical details to other employees without his consent.

Which, if true, means Mozilla is likely going to be anxious to settle this lawsuit out of court.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

This resulted in multiple Mozilla employees being led to believe that Teixeira "would pass away imminently" -- which, obviously, would be pretty distressing for both the remaining Mozilla employees and Teixeira and his family.

 

Source: Steve Teixeira vs Mozilla Corporation (et al), June 12th, 2024

 

Based on the details of this lawsuit -- should the details all prove accurate -- it certainly doesn't paint Mozilla in a good light.

  • A CEO ousted -- abruptly -- in the moments before a "New CEO-To-Be" returned to work and could take over?
  • The Mozilla Board acting with lightning speed to install one of their own into the CEO position?
  • Silencing.  Scapegoating.  Discrimination.  Abuse.

Raises many, many questions about what has been going on within Mozilla... and how specific individuals rose to power within the organization.

This document, of course, is merely one side of the story.

Should this case move to trial, we would hear Mozilla's side of the story.  That, however, seems unlikely... as these sorts of cases -- especially when they appear this strong -- tend to be settled pre-trial.

The Lunduke Journal has reached out to to both Mozilla and Teixeira for comment.  As this is an ongoing lawsuit -- and Mozilla has a strong track record of silence and secrecy -- no response is expected.

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Last week at The Lunduke Journal (June 9 - June 15, 2024)
Firefox! Russia! WWDC! Open Source A.I.!

My-oh-my.  Another wild week at The Lunduke Journal!  It all kicked off with a live video commentary of Apple's WWDC keynote (which was banned by YouTube, but still available at the links below), then quickly moves to Mozilla and Open Source AI.

The Videos

The Articles

Previous Few Weeks

Reminder: Check out The Lunduke Journal Link Central page for all the handy URLS.  Podcast RSS feeds, contact info, direct links to some of the big shows and articles and a bunch of other goodies.  And be sure to subscribe to The Lunduke Journal to help support the work... and make sure you don't miss out on anything.

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The CIA, NSA, and Pokémon Go

Back in July of 2016, I wrote a short article for Network World entitled “The CIA, NSA, and Pokémon Go."

While the title was certainly viewed as a bit “over the top” and “conspiracy theorist-y”, it was really just a collection of (in my opinion, rather bizarre) facts that – even without any sinister connection – were worth documenting. I am republishing it here, with some additional (increasingly odd) details added at the end (including radio and TV appearances related to this article).

Some of the details relating to the exact permissions and capabilities of the Pokémon application have changed over the last few years… but everything else remains correct, factual, and up to date.

 


 

The CIA, NSA, and Pokémon Go

With Pokémon Go currently enjoying, what I would call, a wee-bit-o-success, now seems like a good time to talk about a few things people may not know about the world's favorite new smartphone game.

This is not an opinion piece. I am not going to tell you Pokémon Go is bad or that it invades your privacy. I’m merely presenting verifiable facts about the biggest, most talked about game out there.

Let’s start with a little history

Way back in 2001, Keyhole, Inc. was founded by John Hanke (who previously worked in a “foreign affairs” position within the U.S. government). The company was named after the old “eye-in-the-sky” military satellites. One of the key, early backers of Keyhole was a firm called In-Q-Tel.

In-Q-Tel is the venture capital firm of the CIA. Yes, the Central Intelligence Agency. Much of the funding purportedly came from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The NGA handles combat support for the U.S. Department of Defense and provides intelligence to the NSA and CIA, among others.

Keyhole’s noteworthy public product was “Earth.” Renamed to “Google Earth” after Google acquired Keyhole in 2004.

In 2010, Niantic Labs was founded (inside Google) by Keyhole’s founder, John Hanke.

Over the next few years, Niantic created two location-based apps/games. The first was Field Trip, a smartphone application where users walk around and find things. The second was Ingress, a sci-fi-themed game where players walk around and between locations in the real world.

In 2015, Niantic was spun off from Google and became its own company. Then Pokémon Go was developed and launched by Niantic. It’s a game where you walk around in the real world (between locations suggested by the service) while holding your smartphone.

Data the game can access

Let’s move on to what information Pokémon Go has access to, bearing the history of the company in mind as we do.

When you install Pokémon Go on an Android phone, you grant it the following access (not including the ability to make in-app purchases):

Identity

  • Find accounts on the device

Contacts

  • Find accounts on the device

Location

  • Precise location (GPS and network-based)

  • Approximate location (network-based)

Photos/Media/Files

  • Modify or delete the contents of your USB storage

  • Read the contents of your USB storage

Storage

  • Modify or delete the contents of your USB storage

  • Read the contents of your USB storage

Camera

  • Take pictures and videos

Other

  • Receive data from the internet

  • Control vibration

  • Pair with Bluetooth devices

  • Access Bluetooth settings

  • Full network access

  • Use accounts on the device

  • View network connections

  • Prevent the device from sleeping

Based on the access to your device (and your information), coupled with the design of Pokémon Go, the game should have no problem discerning and storing the following information (just for a start):

  • Where you are

  • Where you were

  • What route you took between those locations

  • When you were at each location

  • How long it took you to get between them

  • What you are looking at right now

  • What you were looking at in the past

  • What you look like

  • What files you have on your device and the entire contents of those files

I’m not going to tell people what they should think of all this.

I’m merely presenting the information. I recommend looking over the list of what data the game has access to, then going back to the beginning of this article and re-reading the history of the company.

Update: April 14th, 2020

In March of 2017, a little less than a year after this article was originally published, WikiLeaks released what they called “Vault 7." A series of documents that was purported to be a large leak of CIA related documents focused heavily on hacking and electronic surveillance.

Among those documents was a list of code names, descriptions, and various details around Android specific exploits.

Of the code names listed… almost a third of them were Pokémon names. Between that and the CIA investment (via In-Q-Tel) in Niantic (the company behind Pokémon Go)… I mean, that's just a heck of a lot more Pokémon than one would expect from the CIA.

One other little tidbit:

The original CEO of In-Q-Tel was a man named Gilman Louie. Louie received multiple awards for his work with In-Q-Tel - including CIA Agency Seal Medallions, Director's Award by the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Director of National Intelligence Medallion – which included investing in Keyhole.

Louie now sits on the board of directors of Niantic.

In 2019 alone, Pokémon Go earned $1.4 Billion (USD). As of February 2019, the game had been downloaded over One Billion times.

Update: June 15th, 2024

After this article was originally published, back in 2016, I made a few radio guest appearances to talk about it -- my favorites being for Coast to Coast AM and Fade to Black.  Both of which remain available online.

This was followed by an episode of a TV show, for The History Channel, called "Breaking Mysterious".  That show only received a limited run in the USA, but it remains available via streaming in many other countries in case you want to look it up.

Here's a few snapshots from that episode (Season 1, Episode 1 - "The Watchers") just for good measure.

The show was originally titled "The Unexplained".  But the name was changed to "Breaking Mysterious"... and, later, "The Unexplained" title was used for an entirely different show, hosted by William Shatner.

 

Yup.  The video editors for the History Channel spelled my name wrong.  (It's with a Y!  A Y, I say!)

 

Sitting in a park.  Dropping truth bombs about surveillance on the show host, Jimmy Church.

 

Giving the show's host "The Look".
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