A fresh new Firefox is here

Mystique

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
344
I don't disagree with the fact they can still get aggregated data on you at all.

But if you don't fight, they get MUCH MUCH MUCH more.

Stay off big tech's API sharing clusterfuck by not using accounts there, and using duckduckgo when you can, etc.

Stuff like pihole+unbound without a VPN can obscure a lot of the crap. Add the VPN and make it airtight with non-escaping docker containers, and you can limit your exposure. You could do something like docker firefox on a VPN container network with non-standard DNS resolution over HTTPS.

You still have stuff that is a matter of public record though. Your goal is to make it not all link together like a spider web.

And most of us have Windows 10, and Microsoft sucks ass for privacy. Like you said, uphill battle.
 
Last edited:

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,607
I don't disagree with the fact they can still get aggregated data on you at all.

But if you don't fight, they get MUCH MUCH MUCH more.

Stay off big tech's API sharing clusterfuck by not using accounts there, and using duckduckgo when you can, etc.

Stuff like pihole+unbound without a VPN can obscure a lot of the crap. Add the VPN and make it airtight with non-escaping docker containers, and you can limit your exposure. You could do something like docker firefox on a VPN container network with non-standard DNS resolution over HTTPS.

You still have stuff that is a matter of public record though. Your goal is to make it not all link together like a spider web.

And most of us have Windows 10, and Microsoft sucks ass for privacy. Like you said, uphill battle.

I agree to a point, and I understand the value of these things.

I use a reasonably trusted VPN (though who knows really these days) globally on my router, sending all of my traffic through it, make sure I don't have any leaks, and try to minimize the number of tracking cookies I pick up. I also minimize my Windows use essentially to only running the occasional game, and when I do so have local only user accounts.

I also try to keep my mobile applications on my phone to a minimum, and reject IOT whenever possible, and whenever not run them on dedicated isolated VLAN's.

I have not yet played with unbound (though setting it up should be fairly easy since I use pfSense as my router) as I haven't spent time researching it yet, and I have read it causes some significant delays on low traffic (home) installs, as the DNS cache will be smaller. I also figure my VPN provider already picks this stuff up in its entirety, so there likely is no added benefit to not using their provided DNS server.

I still have a pretty large footprint via social media though, because I am unwilling to isolate myself from the people I care about online. Many more distant family members and old friends would be nearly impossible to keep up with without it.

And that's where I think some form of political action is necessary to outright ban the collection and monetization of user data, and to force anyone making internet technologies or internet connected devices or software to use no-trust style encryption technologies wherever possible.

There are alot of strongly vested interests that oppose this though, and it's going to take quite an effort to overcome them. I'm continually disappointed the EFF does not have more support than it does.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,607
Something just noticed are these "Sponsored" frequent website tiles on the home page...

1625203428304.png


You can disable them in settnings, but still, that's pretty obnoxious...
 

blandead

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
300
For those who may not like the changes, you can sort of revert things-

In a new tab, go to about:config and search for the text "proton" and turn off a few things:
  • browser.proton.enabled
  • browser.proton.contextmenus.enabled
  • browser.proton.doorhangers.enabled
  • browser.proton.modals.enabled
You rule
 

ghostwich

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
1,996
Glad it helped - just be aware it's not going to work forever as the development team has stated those options will go away sometime in the future (unspecified time frame). For some users the ESR version (Enterprise) might work better since it's several major releases behind but maintains all security patches. I switched a few of my systems to ESR already (always backup the user's profile first).
 

Coldblackice

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
Messages
1,145
The day "Tree Style Tabs" -- a more or less Firefox-exclusive addon -- stops working is the day I never ride another fox of fire again. "Container tabs" has been pretty handy, as well, no longer having to juggle multiple browsers/incognitos to get separate cookie sessions.


As for the privacy madness, I used to be on the front line of fighting the good fight, years of combing hidden and undocumented privacy settings, third-party replacement services, fake accounts, battling the kludgey and invasive hell that is Windows 10, dodging and weaving Google's endless digital mortars, all the bend-over-backward tweaks and modding to dodge the information overreach.

Until I realized, ...it's all for naught. At the end of the day, does it really make a difference? Am I sleeping better and living happier knowing that after all the toil, that Google didn't get the precious few ad/tracking morsels off me via my email/Youtube/Maps/searching ...instead they had to get it indirectly from somebody else living with me.

Even then, any peace-of-mind is merely hypothetical, hoping these measures actually make a difference. In reality, there's zilch oversight, meaning these companies can cherry-pick whatever the hell data they want, when they want, and even coordinate together. Even privacy-darlings like DuckDuck and Brave -- it will not surprise me in the least a year from now to hear that "Oops! DDG/Brave have been selling user browsing data...but "anonymized"! We promise!"

This is aside from a whole other subject -- the h4x -- how companies today have zero repercussions for getting hacked (I have enough "free" credit monitoring now to last me beyond the heat death of the universe) and our data stolen right out of their grimy hands, and thus, they have no incentive to do so. Hell, it's almost a badge of honor at this point, a company able to join all the other companies in the "We're actually important enough to get hacked" club. Free marketing!

And just like that, a digital thief in the night absconds with massive troves of data, undoing years of all your privacy-protecting toiling.



Bottom line, the only real way to "win" is to not play the game at all. And I mean at all: no email, period, no accounts anywhere, no home automation, no mobile phones, no Google Maps, no internet, and so on. Everything is siphoning data in some form whether we like it -- or know it -- or not. Taking a stand against one but not another just means it'll be gotten roundabout from another party.

It's not even merely about your own personal decisions/actions, either. Guess how many suckers in your contact list have no doubt voluntarily allowed your private contact information to fly up into the "cloud" like a free bird? But hey, if it gets them a free month of TrueCaller Pro, I suppose it was worth it. /s

At the end of the day, privacy isn't just about what you, yourself, do anymore. Even DNA. I think they nailed the Golden State killer by some distant 4th cousin or something that took a DNA test, deducing it back to him. They probably never even knew each other existed.

tl;dr

Privacy is a thing of the past. Resistance is futile. The way of the world now is a data smorgasbord free-for-all. The only true way to fight now is not by hiding it, but by poisoning the dataset :sneaky:
 

sharknice

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
2,594
If you guys used a speed dial plugin you could set those to specific sites and have them in a consistent position, then you could remove your bookmark bar if you use one because it would be redundant and wasting space that could be used by the actual web page content you're trying to view. It was something opera invented 15 years ago, chrome half-copied it with most viewed sites and then firefox copied that. Using an actual speed dial is just better.

speeddial.jpg
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,607
That's not new, btw.
Well, I never had them on mine before.

The explanatory link does say that they are testing them on a limited basis, so maybe the system just opted me in for the first time.

Either way I hate them.

Firefox claims it is "Free and Open Source". A "Free and Open Source" project has no business serving me ads in any way shape or form. They should have no expectation of generating any revenue from a FoSS project.
 

cybereality

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
8,098
Is that really true, though?

FOSS AFAIK doesn't mean commercial revenue can't be made. Even GPL code can be used with commercial projects (assuming you follow the license, release changes and include the notice).

For example, large parts of both Android and iOS are based on GPL libraries, and Google and Apple make a ton of money off them.
 

serpretetsky

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 24, 2008
Messages
1,867
Firefox claims it is "Free and Open Source". A "Free and Open Source" project has no business serving me ads in any way shape or form. They should have no expectation of generating any revenue from a FoSS project.
I think it should be the opposite. Companies should be encouraged to make as much revenue as possible from FoSS projects, so that this encourages more companies to make their projects FoSS.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,607
I think it should be the opposite. Companies should be encouraged to make as much revenue as possible from FoSS projects, so that this encourages more companies to make their projects FoSS.

Call me old fashioned, but I think that it taints the independence of Open Source projects when they have financial interests. That's one of the big benefits of Open Source, that they are designed without a profit incentive, and thus don't compromise design in ways that consider revenue. That, and if they are raising revenue, is the term "Free" really appropriate?

I don't even like the Ubuntu / pfSense and others model, where a project is technically open source, but the majority developer runs a main business providing support and training to enterprise users (and others who can pay for it).

The ideal of Open Source is that is completely free of any commercial influence what so ever. Anything that compromises that, compromises the project, IMHO.
 

ThreeDee

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Messages
11,276
Call me old fashioned, but I think that it taints the independence of Open Source projects when they have financial interests. That's one of the big benefits of Open Source, that they are designed without a profit incentive, and thus don't compromise design in ways that consider revenue. That, and if they are raising revenue, is the term "Free" really appropriate?

I don't even like the Ubuntu / pfSense and others model, where a project is technically open source, but the majority developer runs a main business providing support and training to enterprise users (and others who can pay for it).

The ideal of Open Source is that is completely free of any commercial influence what so ever. Anything that compromises that, compromises the project, IMHO.
they gotta do something to keep the lights on though ... Table Dancing just isn't cutting it like it used to Pre-COVID
 

1_rick

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
1,935
I don't even like the Ubuntu / pfSense and others model, where a project is technically open source, but the majority developer runs a main business providing support and training to enterprise users (and others who can pay for it).

The ideal of Open Source is that is completely free of any commercial influence what so ever. Anything that compromises that, compromises the project, IMHO.
People like RMS, regardless of what you think of him other than as a progenitor of Free Software, have always suggested paid support as a method of funding the development of free software. ESR probably does, too. People gotta eat.
 

DanNeely

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
4,069
Call me old fashioned, but I think that it taints the independence of Open Source projects when they have financial interests. That's one of the big benefits of Open Source, that they are designed without a profit incentive, and thus don't compromise design in ways that consider revenue. That, and if they are raising revenue, is the term "Free" really appropriate?

I don't even like the Ubuntu / pfSense and others model, where a project is technically open source, but the majority developer runs a main business providing support and training to enterprise users (and others who can pay for it).

The ideal of Open Source is that is completely free of any commercial influence what so ever. Anything that compromises that, compromises the project, IMHO.
It's free as in free speech not free as in free beer.

And if you think money being involved taints it, you probably haven't been paying much attention over the last 20 some odd years. The overwhelming majority of FOSS development is done by people working for companies that make money off of the software they're writing.
 

D-EJ915

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
1,466
There are still other browser projects based on the code you can use if you are upset about firefox itself from mozilla directly.
 

cybereality

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
8,098
I think it's important to support Firefox. It really is our last hope in the browser space.

Yes, they have made some odd decisions, but overall it works and it would be really bad if everything ended up using the same Chrome engine.

So I don't mind if they try to make some money to keep the project alive.
 

OutOfPhase

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
4,133
I think it's important to support Firefox. It really is our last hope in the browser space.

Yes, they have made some odd decisions, but overall it works and it would be really bad if everything ended up using the same Chrome engine.

So I don't mind if they try to make some money to keep the project alive.
And also - I'd favor explicit advertisements over silent mass data harvesting every day of the week.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,607
The day "Tree Style Tabs" -- a more or less Firefox-exclusive addon -- stops working is the day I never ride another fox of fire again. "Container tabs" has been pretty handy, as well, no longer having to juggle multiple browsers/incognitos to get separate cookie sessions.

Damn, that looks nice (link)

...but damn does it need a lot of sensitive permissions to work:
  • Display notifications to you
  • Access recently closed tabs
  • Access browser tabs
  • Read and modify bookmarks
  • Hide and show browser tabs
  • Access your data for all websites
I did some poking around. At no point does the developer address privacy, so I guess my assumption is he runs a side business selling users data, and this is how he collects it.
 

blandead

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
300
Glad it helped - just be aware it's not going to work forever as the development team has stated those options will go away sometime in the future (unspecified time frame). For some users the ESR version (Enterprise) might work better since it's several major releases behind but maintains all security patches. I switched a few of my systems to ESR already (always backup the user's profile first).
I figured, I was more annoyed that my space theme stopped working tbh. Been using it since the early Firefox days :(
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,607
Well some of those would been necessary for the extension to work.

Agreed. That is certainly the case, but in the absence of any discussion about data, you just have to assume it is being used.

Even when there is a discussion about data, it is often still being used, and it comes down to trust.
 

cybereality

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
8,098
Yeah, I understand. Sometimes I download games on my Android phone and then it asks to like make phone calls and read my contacts. Why would a game need that? Instant uninstall.
 

OutOfPhase

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
4,133
A lot of apps are very dodgy. I want to make my own which does nothing other than to trigger specific warnings.

This application may:
Find and post pictures of you and your ex, with a fun new headline. "Having fun in Cancun!". Imagine the ensuing excitement
Change the text of any pictures of children to "I am slightly less disappointed in my child right now!"
Reprogram your roomba to awaken at 2am, and aggressively attack the cat.
Make all streaming music play nothing but The Wiggles.

I have many other fun ideas. PM for recipe ideas.
 

1_rick

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
1,935
At no point does the developer address privacy, so I guess my assumption is he runs a side business selling users data, and this is how he collects it.
That could certainly be, but you need some of those permissions to do the things that extension does. Can't display the tab's title if you can't access the title, for example.
 

Grebuloner

Gawd
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
1,010
Yeah, I understand. Sometimes I download games on my Android phone and then it asks to like make phone calls and read my contacts. Why would a game need that? Instant uninstall.
The mobile app for our HR/timecard software (Paylocity) asked for full access to just about everything on the device, especially contacts, calls, microphone(!), messages and location, and wouldn't run if you said no to any of them. Sorry, boss, I'll stick to logging in on desktop.
 

cybereality

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
8,098
Yep, at one of my past companies they asked us to install an app called AirWatch (and they said "don't worry about the name, we aren't spying"). LOL.
 

1_rick

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
1,935
The mobile app for our HR/timecard software (Paylocity) asked for full access to just about everything on the device, especially contacts, calls, microphone(!), messages and location, and wouldn't run if you said no to any of them. Sorry, boss, I'll stick to logging in on desktop.
Heh. Bluestacks, or a cheapo $25 Android phone with a throwaway account and no SIM card, just the work wi-fi.

Some crappy apps are written with crappy frameworks that ask for all the permissions, and the devs are too lazy to prune them.
 

Epos7

Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2015
Messages
841
I like the Mozilla Foundation and support transparency in advertising and targeted content. I'm glad Mozilla exists. Internet is a bit of a cesspool so anyone who works toward improving it is good in my book.

I usually switch browsers fairly often. Might have to give FF a try again for the next few weeks.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,607
I like the Mozilla Foundation and support transparency in advertising and targeted content. I'm glad Mozilla exists. Internet is a bit of a cesspool so anyone who works toward improving it is good in my book.

I usually switch browsers fairly often. Might have to give FF a try again for the next few weeks.

I see Firefox as more of a "lesser of the evils" at this point.

Out of the box it isn't particularly privacy oriented, but with a series of configuration (some in the GUI others in about:config) you can greatly improve it.
 

Armenius

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
27,629
I see Firefox as more of a "lesser of the evils" at this point.

Out of the box it isn't particularly privacy oriented, but with a series of configuration (some in the GUI others in about:config) you can greatly improve it.
Give Waterfox a try. Waterfox Classic is basically an updated version of Firefox 56 that still supports old WebExtenstions and plugins. Plus you still get the classic UI. If you don't like the new UI in Firefox then check this one out.

https://www.waterfox.net
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,607
Give Waterfox a try. Waterfox Classic is basically an updated version of Firefox 56 that still supports old WebExtenstions and plugins. Plus you still get the classic UI. If you don't like the new UI in Firefox then check this one out.

https://www.waterfox.net

I hate to break this to you but...

Waterfox was sold to System1, a huge data analytics and ad company over a year ago...
 
Top