Jump to content

Tor Could Help Power a Super Private Browsing Mode in Firefox


The AchieVer

Recommended Posts

The AchieVer

Tor Could Help Power a Super Private Browsing Mode in Firefox

Mozilla positions privacy at the core of its Firefox browser, and the company wants to continue investments in this area on the long term.

 

Mozilla positions privacy at the core of its Firefox browser, and the company wants to continue investments in this area on the long term.

In the report covering the research grants for the first half of the year, Mozilla discusses the privacy and security improvements that it wants to make happen in Firefox.

One of the priorities, Mozilla says, is to “integrate more of TOR in Firefox,” as the company wants to enhance privacy with what it calls a Super Private Browsing (SPB) for users.

Mozilla already has a program to bring Tor features to Firefox. Called Tor Uplift, this effort helped implement fingerprinting protection in the browser, and as per GHacks, Mozilla could further enhance it for the creation of the aforementioned SPB mode too.

Tor Browser itself also runs on the Firefox ESR version, providing users with privacy options that aren’t available, or at least not yet, in Mozilla’s browser.The challengesBut as Mozilla itself puts it, implementing more of Tor in Firefox browser isn’t necessarily an easy project, and the purpose of the research grant is to help deal with the challenges such an idea could bring.

“Enabling a large number of additional users to make use of the Tor network requires solving for inefficiencies currently present in Tor so as to make the protocol optimal to deploy at scale. Academic research is just getting started with regards to investigating alternative protocol architectures and route selection protocols, such as Tor-over-QUIC, employing DTLS, and Walking Onions,” Mozilla says.

Needless to say, this is something that Mozilla is only considering in the long-term and not a feature that is currently under development. The research grants offered by the company are specifically supposed to help pursue such ideas, albeit it goes without saying that not every little project comes to fruition.
 
 
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Replies 1
  • Views 697
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Firefox might get a Super Private Browsing mode in the future

Mozilla published the organization's Research Grants for the first half of 2019 yesterday. The 2019H1 funding series seeks answers to 12 research questions in the categories "Growing the Web", "New Interaction Modes", and "Privacy & Security".

 

The Privacy & Security group seeks answers and new solutions in two areas: Data, and Privacy & Security in Firefox.

 

In the latter, Mozilla states that it has an "interest in potentially integrating more of Tor into Firefox" and that this could lead to a "Super Private Browsing (SPB) mode" for Firefox users.

 

firefox tor integration

 

Tor Browser, a web browser based on Firefox ESR code that integrates Tor connectivity, is already available. Mozilla started to implement certain Tor features in Firefox as part of the Tor Uplift project.

 

Designed to make life easier for developers of Tor and to integrate privacy features in Firefox, Tor Uplift introduced new features in Firefox including a new fingerprinting resisting option.

 

The Mozilla Research Grant question goes beyond the Tor Uplift program as it suggests that Tor could be integrated in the Firefox web browser to power the browser's Super Private Browsing mode.

 

The following questions are asked:

  • What alternative protocol architectures and route selection protocols would offer acceptable gains in Tor performance? And would they preserve Tor properties?
  • Is it truly possible to deploy Tor at scale? And what would the full integration of Tor and Firefox look like?

Firefox has hundreds of millions of users; if only a fraction of those would start using an integrated version of Tor in Firefox, it would have to be ensured that the user experience would be acceptable or better.

 

Scaling is one issue, and Mozilla would like to know if new protocols would improve Tor performance to address the potential bottleneck. Ultimately, it would come down to finding efficient options to run Tor at a very large scale without compromising anonymity or privacy.

Closing Words

Tor integration in Firefox could potentially lead to the retiring of Tor Browser. The Tor development team could continue to work on Tor, this time directly integrated in Firefox. The solution would offer several advantages but also potential issues.

 

Tor Browser is based on Firefox ESR. Integrating Tor in Firefox (Stable), would lead to faster development cycles and more issues the team would have to address. Firefox ESR does not get all the new features that Mozilla implements in Firefox directly.

 

Source: Firefox might get a Super Private Browsing mode in the future (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...