Due to security concerns, Mozilla is taking Facebook's lead and automatically blocking Adobe Flash in Firefox browsers by default.
At one time, Adobe Flash used to be cutting edge, letting content creators display videos and game content in anyone's browser. It quickly proliferated across the internet and directly supported the growth of web portals like Newgrounds, but today? Flash is a security nightmare, filled with holes which enterprising hackers can exploit to access your system. For that reason, Facebook's head of security, Alex Stamos, is calling on Adobe to kill Flash for good. Meanwhile, Mozilla's Mark Schmidt is going a step further by blocking all versions of Flash in Firefox - at least until Adobe gives it an overhaul.
"It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash and to ask the browsers to set killbits on the same day," Stamos wrote via Twitter.
The popular Flash plugin was a precursor to modern video delivery systems, making it possible to view content without downloading massive files. We now have a huge array of alternatives, but Flash is so prevalent on the internet that many websites haven't bothered to make the leap. Stamos and Schmidt are basically saying that if Adobe won't make Flash more secure, other companies need to pressure the internet to embrace other solutions.
"To be clear, Flash is only blocked until Adobe releases a version which isn't being actively exploited by publicly known vulnerabilities," Schmidt clarified on his own Twitter account.
While I'm all for internet security, I have to admit it's incredibly bizarre to read these statements. Flash once had a unbeatable presence across multiple tech fields, to the point that Adult Swim television shows were produced with it. Flash also launched the careers of several indie developers, leading to the creation of games like Super Meat Boy. In other words, Flash enabled a great deal of what we love about the internet and modern media, a detail many critics don't always acknowledge.
At the same time, Adobe doesn't have the best track record for addressing security flaws or keeping up with the competition. We might finally be at the point where brand-name recognition isn't enough to protect Flash anymore - but whether that leads to Adobe updating Flash or putting it out of its misery remains to be seen.