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Re: Scott made me do it.

On 08/21/2009 02:06 PM, Scott Bennett wrote:
>      Well, I suppose torbutton doesn't count as a proxy, but wouldn't it
> fail the test you propose above?  Granted, torbutton filters at a content
> level rather than at a URL/host+domainname level, whereas privoxy is active
> on both levels, but torbutton does very effectively filter all sorts of
> stuff most of us don't want to run in our browsers.  (I use both privoxy and
> torbutton and find the combination very satisfactory.  They rarely leave much
> for AdBlockPlus to trash.:-)
>      When privoxy blocks an advertisement or a page, it leaves links that
> allow the user to override privoxy's decision immediately and to see which
> rules were involved in blocking the fetch.  In other words, it's not really
> censoring, but rather editing for convenience.  Its filtering is also very
> configurable, provided you're willing to devote the time necessary to learn
> its very peculiar dialect of Martian (not as cryptic as the sendmail
> configuration dialect perhaps, but still highly unattractive).
>      And it's not as though the tor project didn't advocate the use of other
> filtering packages already, like the NoScript and AdBlockPlus plug-ins for
> firefox, although it's true that they are plug-ins and not proxies.

I agree there is a gray area here in filtering versus protection.  I
don't have a concrete answer at this point.  A fine question is, Where
is the boundary between protecting the user from an anonymity
vulnerability versus open access to information (for good or bad)?
Torbutton protects against known issues within Firefox, but are ad
networks external to those issues or is it something we need to mitigate
for the user (unsuspecting or otherwise)?

I may sound like a broken record here, but I don't use an ad blocker
plugin.  RequestPolicy does just fine to block 99% of the ads because
99% of the sites on the Internet use a 3rd party ad network that isn't
in their full domain. (I don't actually know if 99% of the sites on the
Internet use a 3rd party ad service, but roughly 99% of the sites I
browse for information appear to do so.)  This also breaks content
delivery networks and turns most sites into text only, but that's fine
with me.

Clearly I need to do more testing and use more features ofprivoxy to see
what it can do.

Andrew Lewman
The Tor Project
pgp 0x31B0974B

Website: https://torproject.org/
Blog: https://blog.torproject.org/
Identi.ca: torproject