Firefox Privacy Concerns

I was searching about anyone complaining about Firefox to know if there’s any dirty story about Firefox’s privacy, and I found a website that expose some facts with sources, with the following text(it’s just a bit of what’s there):

There is a long history of anti-user decisions with this one - it’s so big I’ve wrote a massive article about it and other Mozilla’s sins. Briefly, they include removing configuration options, having anti-privacy default search engines, lying about being privacy-based, removing addon compatibility, disrespecting contributors, shoving you targeted advertisements, enforcing usage of certain other software, and many, many others (read the article!). Add to that the slow speed and shitty UI and you have a browser you’re never going to want to use.

I see so many people saying good things about Firefox, but just few people talk about the bad side of Firefox, so I got a bit confused in what to do about it. What’s your opinion about it?

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Yeah don’t worry about that website. It is full of conspiratorial stuff that is hugely out of date. Some of it is inaccurate too (and not just about Firefox). Every now and again someone asks about it, and we say don’t bother worrying about it.

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Thank you, I appreciate you taking some time to help me! :smile:

Mozilla is a corporation. Often times corporations do silly things, stupid things for sure. Mozilla is no exception. We just have to nudge them the right way from time to time. I will still entrust them to carry the One Ring into Mordor unto the fires of Mount Doom. Opera had a chance, but it Boromir-ed itself along the way.

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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

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You should analyze them yourself. Firefox had default search to Google for the longest time. I think thats just the extent of Google’s involvement with FF. They pay to be the default search.

You should probably set up Wireshark to analyze traffic yourself rather than reading what other people say. Right now I dont have the time to study Wireshark. I shiuld definitely put it in my to do list.

Its a bit unfair to call out mods and admins fascist. Also I do think you are misusing the word. If posts are irrelevant they should be pruned. Its just how a discourse forum is supposed to work. There is a flag for offtopic stuff and should be used accordingly when topics are offtopic.

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An important questions is: Why are some findings important for users, or why are they considered to be “anti-user decisions”?

For instance, the author claims that “removing configuration options” is an anti-user decision. In the post, it is claimed that “There is no way to disable auto-updates since version 63! The option has even been removed from the dumpster known as about:config.”

However, there is “app.update.auto” in about:config (FF 76), so this statement is obvioulsy outdated. And why is the check for updates considered a “privacy issue” without looking at data that is transmitted? Of course, software that sends a list of all software packages on your computer to a random party can be considered a “privacy issue,” but is it a privacy issue when software downloads information about the latest version of itself?

From the security perspective, automatic updates are the best choice for non-tech-savvy users, because they often forget to update their software, especially on operating systems like Windows. Is it hard to see an “anti-user decision.”

Btw: On other operating systems like Linux distributions, this option might be turned off by default since Firefox is updated via your operating system’s repository. The behavior of Firefox actually differs. For instance, the default installation comes with telemetry enabled, but only for some countries. Then, there is VPN integration or DNS over HTTPS only enabled for US users. The configuration might also differ, depending on your OS and the origin of the package (e.g., installed from their website vs. installed from the repository of your OS). All of this can lead to different behavior, even if two people use the same version of Firefox.

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did you saw this part ?

After following the mitigation guide, this software is Not Spyware.

Most of my issue with Firefox is a performance issue. Free Software is kind of a moot point, if the browser freezes every time I try to use it.

But right now it’s looking like the only viable browser, sense Beaker keeps freezing on me. Most of my issues come from to many tabs open, which the one I use now nips in the bud.

Anti-mozilla attitude is perhaps overly strong with them, though mitigation advice from a related website including new profile creation with no-remote option and installing the ghacks user.js is solid, if you can work with some inconveniences of using a hardened browser.

They just suspended me for 4 days because they don’t like what i have to say. That’s censorship if not fascism.

Screenshot_20200518-154807_1

I understand the argument, but, we shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel every single time. At some point we accept the research done by others.

Remain on topic and it won’t be a problem.

This isn’t a democracy so yeah. If you don’t like the rules, too bad.

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Please delete my account, sick of this totalitarian bullshit

With this pandemic and 5G, one should realize that not all research are done in a proper way. That’s what critical analysis and peer evaluation is for.

So no, we cannot accept research done by other if the underlying scientific method is bad.

I understand why the folks over at FF banned you now.

@nimizy

You could try Pale Moon as mentioned in your link.
Pale Moon is a fork of Firefox https://www.palemoon.org/
I use both browsers.

I wouldn’t use Palemoon, the development of that lags hugely behind Firefox. Also their developers are a bit weird. There is a fairly lengthy argument about the security issues with Palemoon.

Pale Moon has diverted alot from Firefox.
Their lead developer ‘Moonchild’ aka Mr. M.C. Straver has a blog on the Pale Moon forum for common concerns people have about the browser https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=22399
I mainly use Firefox now.

I think it’s reasonable that people have privacy concerns about Firefox, after all there have been a number cases where privacy and user trust has been breached. But at the same time I think these concerns have been reviewed a number of times and addressed, in the browser recommendations and other privacy guides.

But I’m glad you asked when you read about Firefox from that site, which I too think is not very reliable.

So there is no truth whatsoever to any of the investigatory claims made? You just dismiss everything mentioned on that site??? Firefox doesn’t use Google Analytics? Or Firefox “Safe Browsing” doesn’t phone home to Google?

Even a broken clock can be right twice a day. Just because something said in there happens to be true doesn’t grant credibility to the rest of the claims made. The site is incredibly biased and contradicts itself many times, although I see it has been “recently” updated so maybe this is no longer the case. I won’t go through the trouble of reading it again however.

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Bringing facts to people is conspiratorial because privacytoolsio doesn’t like it. Remember nimizy, “conspiratorial” stuff and “misinformation” is just facts that the elites don’t want you to know (not saying it’s all true, some of it is false, but we should fight censorship not alleged “fake news”).

Pale Moon is the only browser that is independent from large corporations. LibreWolf is up-to-date, has no spyware, and supports addons, but it’s dependent on Mozilla and their decisions, so if they removed userchrome.css, LibreWolf would have to maintain it themselves or remove it. The project also died for a long time until it was recently brought back to life (although it may have died again since the last time I checked).

Freedom does not mean “forever supporting legacy extensions which will forever bring a security risk to the user”. In this case, freedom means giving users control over their browser, not forcing protection, and not being owned by big corpos. Pale Moon does all of this while Firefox does not, and Pale Moon is more secure than Firefox because it doesn’t contain DRM, WebRTC, or a PDF reader. In 2018, Firefox had 300+ vulnerabilities and Pale Moon had only 1.

https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=20563&p=154063#p153635

Firefox actually used to be a good browser. Then it did the unforgivable. They partnered with George Soros to fight alleged “fake news” and then removed XUL addons.

Here are some facts about Pale Moon they don’t want you to know:
https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=22399&p=169753&
https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=22270&p=168679&

Then there’s this fork of Pale Moon which the PM devs called “Gross”.

But Mozilla is a non-profit organization, i dont think it is harmful that they are a corporation. It gives legitimacy to donations, rather donating to a random joe schmoe. It gives them accountability to their received donations.


Edit: Humanity should probably not politicize truth. I am not US based so I have no concerns with party squabbles. Censorship is bad but spreading lies is also equally bad.