Tor privacy settings adoption on Firefox

firefoxRegular readers of TuxDiary might remember Panopticlick, an EFF effort to identify a browser uniquely using fingerprints. as we discussed earlier, Tor takes privacy to a higher level and makes it more difficult to track a browser. The good news is, Mozilla is working actively to bring Tor privacy settings to regular Firefox, sans additional plugins.

You can check out the detailed activity in the Tor Uplift project tracking page. In brief, three options are available in Firefox 50 nightly:

  • Block enumeration of plugin and mime types. Plugins, though very very handy, are the weakest points of any browser.
  • Block enumeration of screen orientation
  • Remove open with option in the dialog box.

To set these in Firefox 50, visit about:config page:

  • create a new Boolean privacy.resistFingerprinting and set it to True.
  • search for browser.download.forbid_open_with and set it to True.

An API to reset all persistent (keep-alive) network connections to clear the browser state is also implemented. This will cater to topology changes.

This is a commendable initiative for Mozilla and will definitely be welcomed by privacy advocates and privacy-aware Firefox users.

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