your opinion of "Blur" and "PrivDog"

ddg.ps01 ddg.ps01
Created: 3 years and 1 month ago • Updated: 3 years and 1 month ago
What is your opinion of the extension Blur and Priv Dog for Chrome?

My PrivDog version is 2.2.0.17, is that extension dangerous for my privacy?

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Tirifto
Neither can be trusted, nor is it a good practice to use them. That is simply because neither of them is free software. Basically, it means that the code cannot be studied, so they cannot be trusted, and they restrict the user's freedom, so they are not very ethical, either.

First of all, let me say that Chrome is also non-free software, and it is known to spy on it's users (Which is not surprising, seeing as it belongs to Google). The only popular free browser is Mozilla Firefox, so you might want to use that. If not, you can try others, like Midori. And, of course, for about the best privacy you can get, use Tor Browser. But Firefox with some add-ons should do for ordinary browsing.

If you need a password manager, you can try KeePass.

If you want to browse safely, you should check out Disconnect, Privacy Badger, HTTPS Everywhere and uBlock.

I got the info about add-ons from Prism Break. It's a website listing many good alternatives to non-free and dangerous software. It's not perfect, but you can find some nice things there.

I hope my comment was able to help you.
Stay free, stay safe.
posted by Tirifto 3 years and 1 month ago Link
buckeye
you said: First of all, let me say that Chrome is also non-free software, and it is known to spy on it's users (Which is not surprising, seeing as it belongs to Google). The only popular free browser is Mozilla Firefox, so you might want to use that. If not, you can try others, like Midori. And, of course, for about the best privacy you can get, use Tor Browser. But Firefox with some add-ons should do for ordinary browsing.

while it is true that chrome is part of the giant privacy abusing and data sucking empire that is google, chrome is actually free because it doesn't cost anything (free) and is open source so that anyone can download and modify then compile the code as they see fit (free)

there are several recompiles of chrome that have the tracking junk removed, srware iron comes to mind, probably others as well
posted by buckeye 3 years and 1 month ago Link
Tirifto
Google Chrome is freeware, not free softfware. It can be used for free, but it does not respect your freedom and is NOT open source, either.

Chrome is mostly based on a project called "Chromium". Chromium is libre software, but Chrome is not.

SRWare Iron is a browser based on Chromium, claiming to fix the privacy and security issues. In reality, however, SRWare Iron is non-libre software. That means it can't be trusted, AND, in my personal opinion, it is also suspicious.
(If you take a free and open code and remove privacy-violating parts of it, why would you keep the code from public?)

Finally, it doesn't really matter what the software is based on. What matters is if it's libre (free as in freedom) and if you trust it.

Oh and by the way, "open source" does not mean anyone can download and modify the code (legally). Here's an article on the difference between "free" and "open source".
posted by Tirifto 3 years and 1 month ago Link
buckeye
you are correct re Chromium- i shouldnt type responses when i am rushed

SRWare used to post their source and still have the links on their web site but they seem to be incorrectly linked - hard to know if that is intentional or not

The source that you provided re: open source is a biased source and their opinion is not the final word and in general open source is a program in which the source code is available for download for use and/or modification from its original design

Also its impossible to completely use free software by whatever definition you choose - i do agree that it is important to trust the software that you use but that does not mean that it has to be free
posted by buckeye 3 years and 1 month ago Link
Tirifto
I also remember Iron being open source, but now Wikipedia and others list is as "Proprietary". If it's not intentional, then I hope they fix it soon. Feature-wise, Chromium is a decent browser :)

About the "free vs open-source" thing, that was a bad definition from me. You are right that the terms are not standardized and people interpret them differently. It's true that "open source" is usually used for software that respects your freedom.

For people, they usually have the same meaning and you can use whichever you wish. But it's also true that "open source" stresses the fact that the code is open, while "free" stresses the fact that the program respects your freedom. Even if they have are interpreted the same way now, they leave a different impression. Basically, 'alll libre software has open code, but not all open code is libre'. I think that freedom is very important and we should stress that, so it's better to use the terms "free" or "libre".

(I addressed using completely free software in my other reply in this thread, but basically: It should be free whenever it can be.)
posted by Tirifto 3 years and 1 month ago Link
JSmith123963
Is 'epic browser' a good alternative browser to 'Google Chrome'?
posted by JSmith123963 3 years and 1 month ago Link
Tirifto
It's a proprietary browser based on Chromium. That means it's probably going to be similar to Chrome, but with some additional features.

So no, I don't think it's a good alternative. At least if your primary concern is privacy. Perhaps you can have a look at QupZilla? Despite it's name, it is NOT based on Mozilla Firefox. It uses WebKit, so it's actually closer to Chromium. I don't think it offers a lot of pro-privacy features, but it's probably more private than Chrome & co.
posted by Tirifto 3 years and 1 month ago Link
ddg.ps01
Is "Comodo Dragon" also a bad alternative?
posted by ddg.ps01 3 years and 1 month ago Link
jrswab
Priv Dog seems a lot like what I have been using to block trackers; Ghostery.
It's available for both Firefox and Chrome. Works like a charm and even gives you the option to block ads.
posted by jrswab 3 years and 1 month ago Link
tagawa
Ghostery is good. Another recommendation is Privacy Badger which I find a bit easier to manage. It's made by the EFF and they have a good description of how it works and how it compares to other extensions.
posted by tagawa Staff3 years and 1 month ago Link
jrswab
I did not even know the EFF had a service like this! I use HTTPS Everywhere and love that addon. Thanks for the heads up!
posted by jrswab 3 years and 1 month ago Link
ddg.ps01
Aber Ghostery stellt seine Datenbanken der Werbewirtschaft zur Verfügung.
posted by ddg.ps01 3 years and 1 month ago Link
Tirifto
I'd advise against using Ghostery. As far as I know, Ghostery is non-libre software.
posted by Tirifto 3 years and 1 month ago Link
buckeye
which does not inherently make it bad or evil

its best not to fixate on a single issue and attempt to apply it to all circumstances

you are aware i assume that duckduckgo's search algorythms (core code) does not meet your definition of free software - right? ddg's ia's are open source (which i guess is evil) but the core code is proprietary and closed sourse so you may need to switch to a libre search engine
posted by buckeye 3 years and 1 month ago Link
Tirifto
It does make it bad. Proprietary software raises issues such as inability to verify the code, great limits on user's control over the program, building a non-free software dependency net and a vendor lock-in, among the others. Of course, not all proprietary software creates these issues, but it very well just could, which is the problem here.

I am indeed aware that DDG has proprietary components. And I do think that it's bad and it should be completely liberated. But my opinion is that everyone should use free software whenever it's possible and not too inconvenient for them. Very loose example:
A person who uses Skype to talk to her grandmother because it's the only way to contact her and they are not tech-savvy to set up something libre is okay. Sure it's bad, but you can't blame someone for choosing family over software purity.
On the other hand, a group of tech-savvy developers who use Skype for text chat, while they could easily use XMPP or something, should use XMPP or something, because it's a small feat and not a sacrifice for them.

I found other engines I tried to be quite subpar in quality. That means they are not very usable. However, I need to use search engines often. So out of the available options for me, DuckDuckGo is the best, because it's at least partly libre, it at least claims to protect my privacy and it has got a duck. (I like ducks.)

You may think that freedom is not the only thing that matters, and I agree with that! Software has many important factors, aside of freedom. Freedom is definitely the only thing we should look at when looking at software, but it is something we should always consider.
posted by Tirifto 3 years and 1 month ago Link
buckeye
what bothers me is that your conjecture and conclusions seem to indicate that you see yourself as the sole arbitrator as to the software the rest of us should use and i find dictatorship to be the antithesis of freedom

posted by buckeye 3 years and 1 month ago Link
Tirifto
Sorry if it seems that way. I do not see myself as the ultimate dictator everyone should follow. I do, however, say that all people should do some things which I think are necessary for our society.

If the way I present my opinion and information bothers you, I apologize. Since I'm a flawed speaker, please try to focus more on the content rather than the form. But if you have any suggestions for me, I will be glad to hear them.

It may also seem that way because I witnessed some bad effects proprietary software has had on the world, therefore I am strongly oppossed to it and I try to warn people of it's many dangers.
posted by Tirifto 3 years and 1 month ago Link
Emmanuelg
Great extension, im using it right now...
posted by Emmanuelg 3 years and 1 month ago Link
tagawa
Just found a mention of PrivDog in this follow-up to the Lenovo/Superfish/Komodia scandal:
https://www.eff.org/es/deeplinks/2015/02...

From the article:

"Like Komodia’s software, PrivDog installs a root certificate when it’s installed, which it then uses to sign the certificates it intercepts. However, a bug in certain versions of PrivDog cause it to sign all certificates, whether they’re valid or not. Simply put, this means that any certificate your browser sees while PrivDog is installed could be the result of a man-in-the-middle attack, and you’d have no way of knowing."

I don't know if version 2.2.0.17 is vulnerable or not but personally I'd avoid it.
posted by tagawa Staff3 years and 1 month ago Link