The Browsers discussion


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Apr 15, 2020
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Lately their discussion around open source browsers vs proprietary browsers and the evils of google. The thing do not understand why the need for a privacy focus open source browser when most people keep going to youtube, and gmail. ? which are both are owned by google and is gathering some information about you . i do not know how google gathered the information that im on linux but it their .If you really want no tracking or information to be given out then best option is to use Protonmail for email and odyssey for consuming video. if you going to still use google platforms like Youtube you might as well google chrome browser from the best media consumption. I would like to know your thoughts on this.

I'm using Firefox and used this setup.

I've never been a Google Chrome user and as for an email client never saw any need for using one I've always just login to Gmail when needed.

Since I'm a new Linux user I figured I try some different things out that I normally wouldn't normally try on Windows 10 OS as it's just easier.

I've always used Firefox and like it although have played around with the new Edge Chromium based browser on Windows 10 however don't like it.

If I screw my Linux up I can reinstall it easier than Windows 10 using Timeshift although I haven't had to so yet but give me time. :p
Ya i dont care for google chrome too . to much information leaking. But i tryed then all and each have up and downs . But one thing is for sure you lose privacy and information leaks when you use google services on them so called privacy browser . at this point I should go out not careing about it but just about every week the linux community remind me about browser topic which is not going to fix itself any time soon.
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Choose a browser and use a browser you're comfortable with using and search about how to harden the weak points in it.

I think most of the mainstream browsers are secure for the most however I also believe that all browsers collect user information to sell to advertisers.

I can't really backup my above statement but most browsers admit to collecting user information to give the user a better experience.

I call bull crap that it's for a user to have a better experience.

I don't know but I ain't buying it.

I do stupid stuff but I ain't stupid either.
i do not know how google gathered the information that im on linux but it their

You broadcast that information everywhere you go. It's in your "user-agent".

This is actually a good thing, as it allows sites to tailor content on a device-by-device type manner.

Well, it'd not really be needed if all the browsers conformed to the standards, but they do not.
You use several browser for different categories of tasks, as well as that I use several different search engines and I only use Google as last resort. I am also on Odysee but not al content creators are on Odysee so for some stuff I have to still use YouTube. Also everyone shares YouTube links not Odysee links and even when looking it up on Odysee those same videos can't be there so then again your only choice is YouTube. So in short yes there are alternatives when it comes to video content but they aren't popular enough to only use them. As for search engine with most other search engines you can find what you need most of the time.

I host my own e-mail for my own domain but I do have a Google account which I don't really use except for the times I am on Youtube. I have a de-Googled phone with no GAPPS and I host my personal cloud to sync data from my phone to. You can't avoid all tracking but you can try and limit of how much is done by making choices in different areas such as using different browsers, search engines and hosting your data at other places than Google cloud. There is no way to avoid Google or Facebook entirely because 90% of the websites use Google-Analytics and/or Facebook. You can setup Pihole as dns server which will also block tracking telemetry done through dns but if you block too much websites will break and there other a million other ways of tracking you on the web other than using dns requests.
You should still be able to block Google Analytics easily enough with just adding:


To your /etc/hosts file.
I am moving this Thread to General Computing because although these and many more browsers are available to and used by Linux users, most of them are cross-platform, and they are developed, released, and maintained by non-Linux organisations and firms.


Can you flesh that out a bit @KGIII ? does that work to block google analytics?

Those are the domains used for Google's Analytics.

By putting them in your hosts file, the computer looks there first before looking online for an address. You're telling it the address for those domains is, which are false addresses and will timeout immediately. This means you never send any requests for assets located on those domain names. This means Google's Analytics never sees you.

You can use the hosts file for all sorts of things, including hard-coding IP addresses or sending things to (both work equally well).

Do not just insert fake IP addresses, as then the system will still try to look up those domains. That'll still hide you, but you'll browse slower as the computer will send requests to those addresses.

Look up 'hosts file blocking domains' for more information.

I suspect you can do it with your ad blocker, just choose to use the MVPs Hosts File.

Putting it in the hosts file means it works across the whole system, however. Lots of people block tracking and ad domains by using their hosts file. There are even hosts file managers just for the task.
So reading that article which @wizardfromoz linked, it further states "Brave also "phones home" there a procedure or an addon or whatever to silence the 'phone' ?
I don't see a link from Wiz anywhere in this thread, but you can block any domains you want with the hosts file.

Unfortunately, it doesn't support wildcards. So, each domain must be blocked manually.

Also, one may lose some functionality by blocking everything.
oops....befuddled me !

too many browser topics

The information companies are taking from your browsing activity comes mainly from 2 sources and it's pretty much independent from what browser you use. Other than taking your stand and supporting your browser, you can't get much solved these days by changing from browser A to B.

Sources of surveillance:
  1. Enabled third-party cookies
  2. Browser Fingerprinting
The third party cookies are the tracking cookies a company plants on your browser (e.g.: facebook). They are just a unique id, and they work because can read its own cookies from every library loaded directly from (same origin / same domain policy). Therefore, each time you surf to a website that uses any facebook library, like the "share to facebook" button, or the ad facebook pixel, or login with facebook, they read their tracking cookie from those facebook libraries and they record what website you are visiting. Good thing: you can block third party cookies as a tackle, or use extensions like facebook containers to isolate cookie groups by kind of activity.

The browser fingerprint is the malvertising industry's response to us blocking third party cookies. What they do is to query almost all information the browser would make available to a web app for it to render itself correctly. Things like your operating system, user-agent, screen resolution, fonts installed, graphics driver, open/webgl versions, color depth, and a obscenely large amount of data points that, if used for its intended use, they are great to have because they mean that websites can work as great as possible for your device. Problem: all those data points together form a fingerprint that is dangeroulsy close to be unique, giving then the same tracking capacity, or very close, to their simpler tracking cookie. Bad thing: very difficult to tackle and block without breaking many webs, this is an industry problem very little likely to be solved as Chrome, Chromium and Google control the major broser quota.
You should still be able to block Google Analytics easily enough with just adding:


To your /etc/hosts file.
I'm already using Pihole as my dns server and it looks like using the default adlist and another that I'm using. So it's blocking these for me.
Pi-Holes are great (I have), and things like blockada or Lockdown Apps (I have) for mobile are awesome as well.

The thing is, as those are the only things you can use to block browser fingerprinting and they would do it by blocking the domain the information would be sent to... if you're going to use them there's very little reason to go to town and change your browser of choice!
I still use several browser for different tasks as a more privacy aware person I am following on Odysee said browser isolation is the best way to go when it comes to getting more privacy when browsing the web.

Seems Microsoft uses telemetry on either Teams or Sharepoint, I suspect probably both.
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I'm already using Pihole

I've played with that in the past. When I retired, I spent some years concerned with privacy. I've since adjusted what information I care about. I actually hired a company to go scrub my online presence.
I've played with that in the past. When I retired, I spent some years concerned with privacy. I've since adjusted what information I care about. I actually hired a company to go scrub my online presence.
Not all of us have the money for that and luxury of that.
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