[tbb-dev] Proposal: extensions.update.enabled=false [tbb-fingerprinting]

Georg Koppen gk at torproject.org
Thu Apr 27 09:22:00 UTC 2017

Rusty Bird:
> Georg Koppen:
>> We won't disable extension updates by flipping some preference in Tor
>> Browser. Users who install extensions which we don't ship (even though
>> this is strongly discouraged) should get updates.
> Oh right, my bad for not thinking of that. It makes
> extensions.update.enabled=false a non-starter, for sure.
>> However, it is planned
>> at least since the AMO pinning fiasco we witnessed last year (see
>> #20146) that we essentially prevent all extensions *we* ship from
>> auto-updating.
> Even better!
>> We'll start with doing so for HTTPS-Everywhere (#10394)
>> which is currently blocked on HTTPS-Everywhere getting the ruleset
>> updates disentangled from the extension updates. Once we are done with
>> HTTPS-Everywhere and got some experience what this means for our
>> releases we'll do the same with NoScript.
> Thanks for the pointer to #10394.
> Separate ruleset updates would be #2161, "Allow subscription to
> external rule feeds"? Have you considered punting on that... I'm
> obviously biased because my niche use case is a completely stateless
> Tor Browser, and ruleset changes between releases would mean I'd have
> to write yet another standalone updater (welp) to avoid the
> fingerprinting issue. But the ticket also hasn't been modified in 3
> years.

So, I think I am not a fan of having the option to subscribe to several
external rule feeds. What is going to happen, though, is something
outlined in
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/2161#comment:5. However,
I think having an option to disable the ruleset updates relying only on
the updates that happen via new HTTPS-Everywhere releases does not seem
to be unreasonable to me (for a bunch of use-cases). I'll bring that up
with the EFF folks and will argue for adding such an option (if it is
not already implemented).


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