[tbb-bugs] #25773 [Applications/Tor Browser]: Disable Speculative Connect and Download

Tor Bug Tracker & Wiki blackhole at torproject.org
Wed Jun 6 15:38:00 UTC 2018

#25773: Disable Speculative Connect and Download
 Reporter:  sysrqb                    |          Owner:  tbb-team
     Type:  defect                    |         Status:  closed
 Priority:  Medium                    |      Milestone:
Component:  Applications/Tor Browser  |        Version:
 Severity:  Normal                    |     Resolution:  not a bug
 Keywords:                            |  Actual Points:
Parent ID:                            |         Points:
 Reviewer:                            |        Sponsor:
Changes (by sysrqb):

 * status:  new => closed
 * resolution:   => not a bug


 Replying to [comment:11 gk]:
 > Replying to [comment:8 sysrqb]:
 > > The reason I opened this bug is because Tor Browser should not begin
 downloading a file unless the user explicitly confirms they want the file
 downloaded and where they want it saved. If clicking "Save Link As..."
 starts any network transactions before the users clicks "Save" within the
 file-chooser dialog box, then Tor Browser should make this obvious. I
 believe Tor Browser should treat the two scenarios differently:
 > >
 > >   1) I click on the link and Firefox doesn't know what to do, so it
 asked me where to save the file
 > >   2) I click on "Save Link As..." and specify where I want the file
 saved (or I click cancel)
 > >
 > > Within scenario (1), Firefox cannot know what it should do without
 beginning the download. That's okay. With scenario (2), that is completely
 against what the user requested. This is almost certainly a Firefox bug,
 unfortunately it seems Firefox handles (1) and (2) using the same logic.
 > Why is (2) against what the user requested? The user said: "I want to
 have that thing AND want to specify where it will be after the download
 finished." And they get both.

 Yes, except as a user, I do not confirm this is the action I want until I
 click the "Save" button on the file selector. Downloading the file before
 I click "Save" is preemptive and it is an optimization.

 > Note that the "Save Link" part already means "Yes, I want to have
 it!1!!" (unrelated to the "As") even if they might not know yet where to
 put the result or how to name it, or want to select the place themselves
 with a GUI . Thus, starting the download in the meantime while they are
 selecting the place where it should land sounds reasonable to me. Sure, if
 they decided "Nah, I actually don't really want it" (i.e. clicking the
 Cancel button) it gets discarded, no damage done.

 I understand why this design is useful - especially for slow connections
 (and therefore it is useful for many Tor users). I'm worried this breaks
 the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_least_astonishment|rule
 of least surprise]] and it creates a network call the user may not want -
 and in some situations it could put a user at risk, I think. I am not
 saying this is a bad feature, but I did not *expect* Firefox would begin
 the downloading process before I clicked "Save". From the Browser's
 perspective, I agree this behavior makes sense - as you described.

Ticket URL: <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/25773#comment:12>
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