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Help EFF Test a New Tool To Stop Creepy Online Tracking

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  • by crow (16139) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @07:41PM (#46915677) Homepage Journal

    This monitors the behavior of web sites, not the function. So if there's a non-advertising site that just puts out tracking bugs, it will get blocked. If there's an advertising site that doesn't send tracking cookies, it won't be blocked. There's no blacklist--it's all based on observed behavior.

  • Re:Ghostery (Score:5, Informative)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Sunday May 04, 2014 @07:43PM (#46915691) Homepage

    Ghostery is under a proprietary license and Evidon, the company that owns it, is involved in the online advertising industry. I trust the EFF a lot more.

    FWIW, though, you can get many of the same benefits of Ghostery without installing that plugin by simply processing its lists through a Privoxy filter (the conversion is fairly easy to script and then automate), so Privoxy zaps all those IPs before they even get to the browser.

  • by sjames (1099) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @08:26PM (#46915845) Homepage

    That's the best policy. The problem isn't sites using JS, it's sites sucking in random bits of JS from 5 otrhert domains that each suck in yet more bits from 3 or 4 additional domains.

    Generally whjen I see that, I decide they're trying to convince me to just allow all witrhout seeing everything I'm allowing. That, in turn, tells me that that's is the last thing I should do so I leave the page and never go back.

  • by Arker (91948) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @08:29PM (#46915861) Homepage
    It sounds like a great idea. HTTPS Everywhere is a must have extension, and this looks set to join it. Thanks EFF!

    And in a related note, both of these fine extension works fine in Pale Moon, but refuse to install in Seamonkey, which is a deciding factor in which one I am going to use in the future. I dont know why it breaks in Seamonkey but if anyone does please chime in. Is it just a matter of a bad compatibility check or is there more to it?
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Sunday May 04, 2014 @08:36PM (#46915889) Homepage Journal

    Maybe you just get half a sheet of text, or the first 1.3 windowfuls, then the site will pick up on the tracking bug being broken

    If a web server is configured to deliver only the abstract to viewers behind user agents that include tracking countermeasures, then it will deliver only the abstract to search engines. They tend to retrieve pages with no JavaScript, no Referer, and no cookies.

  • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @08:44PM (#46915919)

    It's not that websites shouldn't rely on JavaScript to function, it's that they shouldn't rely on *third-party* JavaScripts from jQuery, a thousand fucking ad servers, a plugin from here and there, Google tracking... that's why what should be a basic website takes forever to load: it's having to make requests to 50 different servers to load a single page.

    JavaScript-dependent websites *can* be done properly. Most are not.

  • by Ford Prefect (8777) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @09:23PM (#46916027) Homepage

    Piwik [wikipedia.org] is a self-hosted web analytics package. In other words, your visit to an EFF page is being tracked by the EFF.

  • Re:Ghostery (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sir_Eptishous (873977) on Monday May 05, 2014 @10:40AM (#46919019) Homepage
    This is why I love slashdot. I had no idea Ghostery had such a conflict of interest. Thanks for that info.
    From WP: [wikipedia.org]
    "Evidon, the company owning Ghostery, plays a dual role in the online advertising industry. Ghostery blocks sites from gathering personal information. But it does have an opt-in feature named GhostRank that can be checked to "support" them. GhostRank takes note of ads encountered and blocked, and sends that information, though anonymously, back to advertisers so they can better formulate their ads to avoid being blocked.[4]"

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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