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Re: The Spirit of Free Software, or The Reality

On Jul 15 2015, Jakub Wilk <jwilk@debian.org> wrote:
> So I made this experiment with Iceweasel. These are the requests it
> makes with a fresh profile, before you even type an URL: 
> POST https://location.services.mozilla.com/v1/country?key=no-mozilla-api-key
> GET http://www.ebay.com/favicon.ico
> GET http://en.wikipedia.org/favicon.ico
> GET http://www.yahoo.com/favicon.ico
> GET http://www.google.com/favicon.ico
> GET http://www.amazon.com/favicon.ico
> GET http://www.yahoo.com/favicon.ico
> GET https://tiles.services.mozilla.com/v2/links/fetch/en-US
> GET http://www.yahoo.com/favicon.ico
> GET https://en.wikipedia.org/favicon.ico
> GET https://en.wikipedia.org/favicon.ico
> GET https://www.yahoo.com/favicon.ico
> GET https://tiles.cdn.mozilla.net/desktop/PL/en-US.dd461b9cdf65d101f61b5dddac1ce4996e8d91ca.json
> GET https://en.wikipedia.org/favicon.ico
> https://safebrowsing.google.com/safebrowsing/downloads?client=Iceweasel&appver=38.1.0&pver=2.2&key=no-google-api-key
> + a few dozens of GET requests to https://safebrowsing.google.com/
> So nothing serious here. It's just casually violating your privacy.

I'm not sure if that's really as serious as you make it sound. Let me
ask you this:

1. Were you surprised by this? I was certainly not, this is about what I
   would have guessed. If a program does what I expect it to do, I'm not
   sure if me starting it is "violating my privacy".

   Accessing various webpages is necessary for the functions that
   Firefox provides. So complaining about this is a little like
   complaining that my car needs fuel - unfortunate, but difficult to
   avoid if I want to have a car. If you don't want the functions that
   Firefox provides, don't use it.

2. Would it be ok if Firefox did all this at the time you visited the
   first webpage, rather than at the time of startup?

   If not, then what about all the tracking pages that Firefox is going
   to load because they're referenced in the page you asked for?
   Shouldn't you be much more worried about those?


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