[tor-talk] Adblock Plus and Ghostery should be included in Tor bundle

Andrew Lewman andrew at torproject.org
Mon Feb 13 01:22:31 UTC 2012

On Sun, 12 Feb 2012 07:53:17 -0800 (PST)
Brian Franklin <bfranklin74927 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> 1. Privacy. Fairly obvious why we do this. Stopping ads and ad
> tracking is consistent with the privacy mission of the Tor Project.

In general, I'm going to defer to Mike Perry, as he's our expert here.
Stopping ads is not the goal of Tor. Stopping tracking is one goal of
tor. We already defang and stop tracking by ads and ad networks through
torbutton. Adblock will just make things more of a mess, and possibly
undo the protections built into torbutton.

See https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser/design/ for the full

> 2. Network health. Congestion has always been a problem on Tor.

Actually, the likely problem is cryptographic overload on relays. We
seem to have a decent amount of unused bandwidth,

> Installing these plugins to stop HTTP requests which don't help the
> user reduces congestion on the network and speeds up page loads for
> each user and everybody else. Browsers won't be slowed down loading
> tons of ads and ad scripts and the network won't have to process many
> requests for junk. I think we can save a ton of bandwidth by stopping
> the junk requests.

Sounds like interesting research. I look forward to the results and
data. Here's an informal set of research and data,

> Ghostery has to be configured to block tracking scripts and cookies
> before first use. The Tor project should have that done automatically.

Ghostery is closed-source software. If we cannot see the source code,
we cannot evaluate it for privacy threats.

pgp 0x74ED336B

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