Opened 8 months ago

Last modified 3 months ago

#30175 reopened enhancement

Manually whitelist extensions removed from AMO for purely political reasons in Tor Browser to fight Mozilla's censorship

Reported by: cypherpunks Owned by: tbb-team
Priority: High Milestone:
Component: Applications/Tor Browser Version:
Severity: Major Keywords:
Cc: Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:

Description

Mozilla recently removed the Dissenter Firefox add-on, an add-on that allows users to make comments on any web page that can be viewed only by other Dissenter users, from AMO for "hate speech" (which of course is a charge only even possibly related to some of the content its users freely posted on it and not any particular sentiment expressed by the program's interface, description, etc. itself). This is similar to the charges commonly levied against the Tor Project that it promotes child pornography, drug addiction, terrorism, hate speech, etc. simply because it facilitates the creation of a free and open platform that anyone can use anonymously, even those with ill intentions.

Surely, then, we must recognize the folly in accusing the creators of the Dissenter add-on themselves of hate speech (and thus removing their extension) simply for the expressions of its users and thus that Mozilla's removal of the add-on (in coordination with Google's removal of it from the Chrome Web Store, which should tell you all you need to know about the shadowy motivations behind it) was arbitrary, unjustified, and unethical. The same logic that's been used against Dissenter could easily be turned against the Tor Project by Mozilla in order to attempt to hinder the creation and dissemination of Tor Browser.

So my question is this: When is the Tor Project going to condemn this unjust censorship of an add-on that merely attempts to aid one of the goals of the Tor Project itself (the protection of freedom of expression online) from its partner Mozilla, and when is the Tor Browser going to provide its users with a convenient means to work around this odious totalitarianism from the browser (Firefox) it is based on?

Leaving the situation as it is, where any add-ons that Mozilla deems to be insufficiently politically correct enough are demoted to "temporary add-ons" that must be clunkily reinstalled with each browser restart, is unacceptable (as is requiring users to entirely disable the protections the current system from Mozilla provides because they want to install on a permanent basis an extension that was not removed from AMO for being a security risk).

Tor Browser should take a stand against this freedom of expression-hostile action from its partner Mozilla by adding to its forked Firefox code a "whitelist" of extensions that were removed from AMO purely for politically biased reasons, allowing them to be installed in Tor Browser normally as if they came from AMO itself. This strikes the right balance between preserving the general protections that Mozilla's extension security system provides while sending a clear message to Mozilla that the Tor Project, at the very least, will not allow Mozilla to censor its users or block any extension in its fork of their browser other than those that are actively hostile to the user (as opposed to hostile to Mozilla's agenda).

If the Tor Project is truly in favor of freedom online, then it can no longer stay silent about big tech censorship. After all, what is the meaning of the Tor network if its anonymity can only be used to shout in dark isolated corners where nobody can hear you? Dissenter, which has no restrictions on accounts registering with or using the Tor network to post, opened up the web universally for comment by Tor users, even the areas of it traditionally hostile to Tor. Mozilla's actions are a direct attack on this newfound freedom. The Tor Project opposed Cloudflare when it attempted to restrict the freedom of Tor users. Now it must express that same opposition to Mozilla.

Child Tickets

Change History (13)

comment:1 Changed 8 months ago by cypherpunks

Tor Browser should take a stand against this freedom of expression-hostile action from its partner Mozilla by adding to its forked Firefox code a "whitelist" of extensions that were removed from AMO purely for politically biased reasons

How would that work? There's no need for a "whitelist" since there is no "blocklist" in the first place, one can easily install that extension by manually downloading it for instance.

comment:2 in reply to:  1 Changed 8 months ago by gk

Resolution: wontfix
Status: newclosed

Replying to cypherpunks:

Tor Browser should take a stand against this freedom of expression-hostile action from its partner Mozilla by adding to its forked Firefox code a "whitelist" of extensions that were removed from AMO purely for politically biased reasons

How would that work? There's no need for a "whitelist" since there is no "blocklist" in the first place, one can easily install that extension by manually downloading it for instance.

Yep. Apart from that we strongly discourage installing random extensions from the internet (even from Mozilla's extensions' store) as they contain unknown risks to the privacy and anonymity of Tor Browser users. Thus, this is a won't fix.

comment:3 Changed 8 months ago by cypherpunks

Resolution: wontfix
Status: closedreopened

How would that work? There's no need for a "whitelist" since there is no "blocklist" in the first place, one can easily install that extension by manually downloading it for instance.

Once installed, it only becomes a temporary add-on that is disabled at the next browser restart. That sounds like demoting it to a second-class citizen to me. My proposed fix would allow it to be upgraded to a full add-on.

Yep. Apart from that we strongly discourage installing random extensions from the internet (even from Mozilla's extensions' store) as they contain unknown risks to the privacy and anonymity of Tor Browser users. Thus, this is a won't fix.

If the Tor Project doesn't wish to fix the technical problems with Firefox's extension system (which people are going to use regardless of the warnings against them), then the Tor Project should at least issue a statement against Mozilla's actions here.

Use your influence and take a stand for Internet freedom. After all, you felt the need to issue a statement condemning The Daily Stormer, even though that was completely and utterly superfluous because they were doing nothing but using hidden services for what they were intended.

comment:4 in reply to:  3 Changed 8 months ago by gk

Resolution: wontfix
Status: reopenedclosed

Replying to cypherpunks:

How would that work? There's no need for a "whitelist" since there is no "blocklist" in the first place, one can easily install that extension by manually downloading it for instance.

Once installed, it only becomes a temporary add-on that is disabled at the next browser restart. That sounds like demoting it to a second-class citizen to me. My proposed fix would allow it to be upgraded to a full add-on.

Yep. Apart from that we strongly discourage installing random extensions from the internet (even from Mozilla's extensions' store) as they contain unknown risks to the privacy and anonymity of Tor Browser users. Thus, this is a won't fix.

If the Tor Project doesn't wish to fix the technical problems with Firefox's extension system (which people are going to use regardless of the warnings against them), then the Tor Project should at least issue a statement against Mozilla's actions here.

That's not a Tor Browser bug then. Thus, please leave this ticket closed, thanks.

comment:5 Changed 8 months ago by cypherpunks

Resolution: wontfix
Status: closedreopened

That's not a Tor Browser bug then. Thus, please leave this ticket closed, thanks.

Where do I go to report bugs in the Tor Project then, like you refusing to issue a statement in favor of free speech when you felt the need to virtue signal to SJWs mad over The Daily Stormer using your protocol for its intended purpose?

Also, it absolutely is still a bug that the Tor Browser inherits the parent behavior of Firefox of not allowing certain extensions to be installed properly based on arbitrary criteria, meaning that this ticket should stay open.

comment:6 in reply to:  5 Changed 8 months ago by gk

Resolution: wontfix
Status: reopenedclosed

Replying to cypherpunks:

That's not a Tor Browser bug then. Thus, please leave this ticket closed, thanks.

Where do I go to report bugs in the Tor Project then, like you refusing to issue a statement in favor of free speech when you felt the need to virtue signal to SJWs mad over The Daily Stormer using your protocol for its intended purpose?

Also, it absolutely is still a bug that the Tor Browser inherits the parent behavior of Firefox of not allowing certain extensions to be installed properly based on arbitrary criteria, meaning that this ticket should stay open.

Feel free to fork Tor Browser as you see fit. It's free software after all. _This_ bug tracker is for tracking bugs we can think working on. However, the bug you filed is _not_ such a bug. We won't support loading extensions outside of AMO. Thus, finally, just leave this bug closed. It is a won't fix as I said multiple times.

Moreover, this bug tracker is no support forum. If you look for support and have question about Tor, please contact the relevant support channels.

comment:7 in reply to:  5 Changed 8 months ago by cypherpunks

Replying to cypherpunks:

Also, it absolutely is still a bug that the Tor Browser inherits the parent behavior of Firefox of not allowing certain extensions to be installed properly based on arbitrary criteria, meaning that this ticket should stay open.

This is incorrect, you *absolutely* can install that extension. Note that the Tor Project has no control over the moderation policies on AMO or what gets or not posted or removed on AMO.

comment:8 Changed 8 months ago by cypherpunks

This is incorrect, you *absolutely* can install that extension.

You can install it, but only as a temporary extension that goes away every restart. Hence it cannot be installed properly.

Moreover, this bug tracker is no support forum. If you look for support and have question about Tor, please contact the relevant support channels.

What would be the relevant support channel to suggest that the Tor Project grow a spine and stand up for free speech online?

comment:9 Changed 8 months ago by cypherpunks

Resolution: wontfix
Status: closedreopened

comment:10 Changed 8 months ago by gk

Resolution: wontfix
Status: reopenedclosed

I said it's a won't fix. Leave this bug closed, thanks!

comment:11 Changed 8 months ago by cypherpunks

Resolution: wontfix
Status: closedreopened

If it's a wontfix, then the Tor Project is a wontfix. Resolve the issue adequately and answer my questions or I will keep opening the ticket.

comment:12 Changed 7 months ago by cypherpunks

Wow, looks like I sure called it on Mozilla controlling which add-ons can be installed in TorBrowser being a major problem. I guess I'm owed an apology.

comment:13 Changed 3 months ago by cypherpunks

If it's a wontfix, then the Tor Project is a wontfix. Resolve the issue adequately and answer my questions or I will keep opening the ticket.

Annoying the devs is literally the worst way to get this "issue" fixed.

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