1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Mozilla could be planning to roll out a 'Super Private Browsing' mode for Firefox

By Polycount · 22 replies
May 10, 2019
Post New Reply
  1. To address this, Firefox may be planning to roll out a "Super Private Browsing" (SPB) mode that could provide users with true anonymity; or at least as close to true anonymity as you can get with a normal browser.

    This news comes via PC Gamer, which spotted an interesting piece of information within Mozilla's 2019H1 Research Grant program. In this program, Mozilla is looking to offer funding to those who can answer one (or more) of 12 questions related to the future of Firefox and web browsing as a whole.

    The 12th main question (RQ12), which covers "Privacy & Security for Firefox," is where Mozilla first mentions its interest in providing an SPB mode to its users. This mode, according to Mozilla, would integrate Tor into Firefox to block "mass surveillance, tracking, and fingerprinting." However, the organization recognizes that doing so wouldn't be easy.

    "...enabling a large number of additional users to make use of the Tor network requires solving for inefficiencies currently present in Tor so as to make the protocol optimal to deploy at scale," Mozilla states. That's where you -- or, more specifically, any privacy researchers who may happen to be reading this -- come in.

    If Mozilla can answer the following questions, there's a good chance SPB could become a reality:

    • What alternative protocol architectures and route selection protocols would offer acceptable gains in Tor performance?
    • And would they preserve Tor properties?
    • Is it truly possible to deploy Tor at scale?
    • And what would the full integration of Tor and Firefox look like?

    If you feel equipped to tackle these issues and help Mozilla create a better private browsing mode for its users, you can apply for research funding right here.

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,526   +3,085

    As far as feature naming goes, this one is as stupid as it gets. They might as well fix all the bugs, and release a new Super-Bug-Free version.
    H3llion, kombu and Polycount like this.
  3. bluetooth fairy

    bluetooth fairy TS Booster Posts: 94   +67

    As a software engineer, you should know that there's no bug-free software.
    ckm88, TheBigT42, Vito05 and 4 others like this.
  4. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,827   +402

    There's an idea!
  5. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 818   +324

    I thought TOR to be a Honeypot. The promise of anonymity when it's services are being watched like a hawk by the.authorities.
  6. J spot

    J spot TS Maniac Posts: 228   +147

    Tor is very effective. The only ways criminals get caught is due to human error. For example one guy logged on to a specific website using his normal browser by mistake, caught. And other such things such as a criminal giving information that narrow themselves down. That being my favorite. Another example was a hosting company that illegally hosted bad websites messed up (again human error), the FBI caught them, and exploited an old Firefox bug by injecting their own code to track certain users down who never updated.

    It's fascinating the different ways people get caught due to being human and not being able to keep track of all possibilities. Known and unknown.
    Danny101 likes this.
  7. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,610   +595

    I have no need for it, but if I wanted to remain truly anom, I would buy something at a garage sale. Hook it up to a open wifi(or "hack" someones wifi which I don't know how to do), hide it at a business, like some dude did in the ceiling of a fast food restroom. Have it power on randomly to give the look of a customer. Connect to it by blue tooth with another garage sale offline device when I needed access. You could even just open up a electrical outlet and have a smart phone hanging there in the wall. Then you could go even further and put a bunch of them all around the city.

    I have no idea how to hack anything. But I bet the NSA can pretty much see anything you do on tor.
    Danny101 likes this.
  8. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 818   +324

    The more you try to hide, the more you'll be seen.
  9. MattS

    MattS TS Evangelist Posts: 571   +146

    You may think youre invisible but nowadays so many tools exist to track your movment that it is nearly impossible. Mainly it comes to user knowledge and how he surfs the net no great tool will help him more than that.
  10. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,998   +1,535

    Can't argue with that next level logic.
  11. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,702   +440

    Updated software with TOR, throaway accounts and VPN tunnelling and gl NSA :) If you really wanna be anal do it inside a virtual windows/linux container and change HWIDs...
    TheBigT42 likes this.
  12. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 553   +435

    Exactly. The more you try and hide the bigger target you put on your own back. The authorities will just put more effort into finding you.

    My thoughts on the subject is that it's best to just blend in with the rest of the background noise of the Internet with everyone else than it stick out like a sore thumb while trying to hold onto scraps of your privacy. You actually make yourself look more guilty if you try and hide, the authorities will begin to wonder "What does this guy have to hide? We need to look more into him." Face it, if they want to find you they will find you; no amount of hiding will help you.
    hk2000 likes this.
  13. Morris Minor

    Morris Minor TS Addict Posts: 112   +55

    Or just go to an internet café with a copy of tales OS on a memory stick, and run tor of that. tales runs of the ram so all info is wiped on shutdown
  14. SolarisGuru

    SolarisGuru TS Booster Posts: 26   +34

    Nor is there a "Super Private Browser"...
    VitalyT likes this.
  15. bluetooth fairy

    bluetooth fairy TS Booster Posts: 94   +67

    There's a feature named "private browsing" in Firefox. In terms of anonimity embedding Tor would make it extremely more private compared to the generic "private browsing". The word "super" reflects exactly this meaning. Even though not everyone likes its broad usage. The SPB feature name makes sense at least for existing Firefox users. But actually it's unclear whether they will leave this name when it will go public; it was probably used internally only until now.

    Contrary, bug-free software is nonexistence. Moreover, you can't call it a feature for a widely used software, especially when it is present on a market for a long time (as Firefox is).

    "Private browsing" is the name of existing Firefox feature. "SPB" is internal name of a possible feature, which is intended to put "privacy browsing" feature to extreme level.

    "Bug-free" is non-sense while "super-bug-free" is just a joke I didn't like :)
  16. SolarisGuru

    SolarisGuru TS Booster Posts: 26   +34

    I don’t trust Tor at all. I think anyone using it is painting a big red target on their own back.
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  17. Kashim

    Kashim TS Addict Posts: 117   +105

    Mozilla needs to just give up. It's problem after problem after problem. They keep breaking things sometimes on purpose, sometimes through incompetence. I've been a loyal Firefox user since Firefox 3 and this latest debacle of breaking all add-ons was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. Enough is enough. I'm done with that trash software and I'm never coming back.
  18. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,509   +1,973

    You have other problems and they're not related to a few niche addons that refused to update or firefox. The majority updated with no issues. You shouldn't be using outdated abandoned addons anyway. Nobody gets this angry over absolutely nothing. Share with us the real reason you are this triggered.
    J spot likes this.
  19. hk2000

    hk2000 TS Booster Posts: 72   +30

    If everything you do is legit, there is really no need for this and there is nothing to worry about, otherwise, don't blame the browser if you get caught because its mostly your fault.
  20. hk2000

    hk2000 TS Booster Posts: 72   +30

    Exactly. Just like a cop would pull over the guy who slowed down more than everybody else?
  21. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 818   +324

    If everyone was put on Tor by default, including VPNs, then it might be helpful. But the issue there is that if you're trying to do anything in finances, banks will often block those type of connections. Largely trying to protect themselves from the optics of the dark economy.
  22. roberthi

    roberthi TS Addict Posts: 412   +127

    Yeah, but when will we get "Super Mega Booster Mongo Private Browsing?" Talk to me then...for now...just meh.
    cliffordcooley and Danny101 like this.
  23. PedroB

    PedroB TS Rookie

    Chrome variant Brave already has two Incognito modes, one with Tor. I doubt there'd be much difference between the two if and when Firefox does eventually implement Tor, so I'll use Brave. There is a minor pause in browsing speed before pages open almost normally. Considering the privacy provided it is reasonably good.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...