[cryptome] Re: Your web browser is not your friend

  • From: "Douglas Rankine" <douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 21 May 2015 10:26:17 +0100

Tx for that info about browser. I checked my Firefox and was surprised to see
that it allowed 3rd party cookies. I have stopped that. I have also changed
over to ublock.
-----Original Message-----
From: cryptome-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:cryptome-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of In Harms Way
Sent: 20 May 2015 10:24
To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [cryptome] Your web browser is not your friend

Essential browser extensions

Your web browser is not your friend: it allows your behavior to be tracked as
you browse the web, often leaks personal information, and is a festering sore
of endless security problems.

This is not by accident, but by design. Despite their marketing, the browser
companies care more about making advertisers happy than your privacy or

For example, there was a huge debate in the 1990s [1] about the privacy
implications of third-party cookies, which is why the official cookie technical
specification required [2] that these type of "surveillance"
cookies be disabled by default. Guess what? Nearly all browsers ignored this
requirement under pressure from ad companies [3]. Fast-forward to
2010: after a Mozilla engineer disabled third-party cookies by default,
advertisers became rabid and "coincidentally" Mozilla executives ordered the
change reversed immediately [4]. After that, the browser companies quietly
issued a new cookie standard which allowed third-party cookies to be enabled by

The cookie debacle is just one example. If any of the browser companies gave
two shits about your security or privacy, then they would kill off foreign
http-referers, Flash, Java applets, and third-party cookies (among many other
obvious changes). Google has a very good browser security team, but their hands
are tied by policy decisions that keep advertisers happy.

So, basically, we are fucked. Despite that, you can make your web browser
experience a little bit better and more secure by following Riseup's handy
guide to essential web browser extensions:


[1] Shah, R. C., & Kesan, J. P. (2009). Recipes for cookies: how institutions
shape communication technologies.

[2] https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2109

[3] Bruner, R. E. (1997, May). Advertisers win one in debate over
“cookies”: Netscape move may settle sites concern over controversial targeting
tool http://adage.com/article/news/advertisers-win-debate-cookies/405/

[4] Soghoian, C. (2010). Thoughts on Mozilla and Privacy.

We have nothing to hide, but something to protect:
- and the people, whose human rights these are.

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2015.0.5941 / Virus Database: 4347/9817 - Release Date: 05/19/15

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