launch external application warning

Luis Herrera luis.herrera.bruckner at
Sat Feb 20 17:48:20 UTC 2010

Hi Andrew,

Thanks very much.  About the launch external application warning:
there does seem to be a consistent pattern - it happens with some
sites always, and with other sites never.  So it seems that each site
decides how to handle the file downloads.  I'm sure you can tell I'm a
"newbee" (I think that's the word in English?) who doesn't understand
the technical details, but from common sense, I don't see how it is
that, even if the site launches an external application to do the file
download, that this application launch would "unmask" you, since where
could that application send the traffic except to the Tor exit node,
and what information would it know besides what is provided by the Tor
exit node?  This is a completely different problem than the one in
which you accidentally launch a different browser; in the case of
downloading files with the launch external application warning, you're
still using the same Tor-enabled Firefox browser.  Thanks again.


On 2/20/10, Andrew Lewman <andrew at> wrote:
> On 02/16/2010 02:00 AM, Luis Herrera wrote:
>>> This is a UI problem with either otr or pidgin.  Naturally you think
>>> clikcing "Authenticate" means you want to authenticate the user.  What
>>> it really means is that pidgin tries to load your default browser to go
>>> to the otr website to explain what "authenticate" means, like a help
>>> file.
>> *** Yes, that is what I thought.  Is there a way to tell the portable
>> Tor-enabled Firefox browser, "always use me and don't launch any other
>> browser"?
> I agree on the risks.  I'll hack at this a bit and see if I can figure
> it out.
> --
> Andrew Lewman
> The Tor Project
> pgp 0x31B0974B
> Website:
> Blog:
> torproject
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