Monday, April 21, 2008

PayPal Denies Plans To Block Safari

PayPal Inc., has denied that it plans to tag Apple's Safari as "unsafe" and block it from accessing the site.

"We have absolutely no intention of blocking current versions of any browsers, including Apple's Safari, from our Web site," a company spokeswoman said in an e-mail late Friday.

PayPal was reacting to recent reports that they would ban browsers that lacked a way to block known or suspected phishing sites and didn't support Extended Validation (EV) certificates.

Although PayPal only called out Microsoft Corp.'s 1996 browser, Internet Explorer 3, and 1997's IE4, Michael Barrett, the firm's chief information security officer, defined "unsafe browsers" as those "which do not have support for blocking phishing sites or for Extended Validation certificates." This would also include Safari as it does not have an antifraud blocker and does not support EVs.

On Friday, the company made a major backtrack of that statement. "PayPal is developing features to block customers from logging into PayPal when using obsolete browsers on outdated or unsupported operating systems," the company's spokeswoman specified. "An example of such a browser/OS combination might be, for example, Internet Explorer 4 running on Windows 98."

According to PayPal's revised criteria of "obsolete browsers on outdated or unsupported operating systems," it would not block IE5 until 2010 and would not bar Safari 2.0 on Tiger until Apple ships the successor to Mac OS X 10.5, a.k.a. "Leopard."

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