my Firefox 57 add-ons
11 November 2017
Firefox 57 is coming on Tuesday, and as you may have heard, add-ons must use the WebExtensions API. I have been running Firefox Nightly for a while, so add-on switching came for me early. Here is what I have come up with.
The basic set
Facebook Political Ad Collector reports sneaky Facebook ads to ProPublica. I'm still not quitting Facebook entirely, even with the whole "medium to heavy treason" problem and other issues, but I do mostly let dlvr.it handle Facebook for me. Help ProPublica with stories like this. (Bonus: open source project opportunity for people interested in browser add-ons or writing server code in Rust)
HTTPS Everywhere. This is pretty basic. Use the encrypted version of a site where available.
Link Cleaner. Get rid of crappy tracking parameters in URLs, and speed up some navigation by skipping data collection redirects.
Privacy Badger is not on here just because I'm using Firefox Tracking Protection. I like both.
Blogging, development and testing
blind-reviews. This is an experiment to help break your own habits of bias when reviewing code contributions. It hides the contributor name and email when you first see the code, and you can reveal it later. Right now it just does Bugzilla, but watch this space for an upcoming GitHub version. (more info)
Copy as Markdown. Not quite as full-featured as the old "Copy as HTML Link" but still a time-saver for blogging. Copy both the page title and URL, formatted as Markdown, for pasting into a blog.
Firefox Pioneer. Participate in Firefox user research. Studies have extremely strict and detailed privacy policies.
Test Pilot. Try new Firefox features. Tracking Protection was on Test Pilot for a while. Right now there is a new speech recognition one, an in-browser notepad, and more.
Advanced (for now) nerdery
Cookie AutoDelete. Similar to the old "Self-Destructing Cookies". Cleans up cookies after leaving a site. Useful but requires me to whitelist the sites where I want to stay logged in. More time-consuming than other privacy tools.
PrivacyPass. This is new.
Privacy Pass interacts with supporting websites to introduce an anonymous user-authentication mechanism. In particular, Privacy Pass is suitable for cases where a user is required to complete some proof-of-work (e.g. solving an internet challenge) to authenticate to a service.Right now I don't use any sites that have it, but it could be a great way to distribute "tickets" for reading articles or leaving comments.
Note on ad blocking
If you run an ad blocker, the pre-57 add-ons check is a good time to make sure that you're not compromising your privacy by participating in a paid whitelisting scheme. As long as you have to go through your add-ons anyway, it's a great time to ditch AdBlock Plus or Adblock. They're taking advantage of users to shake down web sites.
If you still want to get rid of more ads and join the blocker vs. anti-blocker game (I don't), there's always uBlock Origin, which does not do paid whitelisting. The project site has more info). But try either the built-in tracking protection or Privacy Badger first.