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barbaz
 
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Post Posted October 25th, 2014, 11:57 am

Heads up to users of the EasyPrivacy subscription for Adblock Plus: http://forums.lanik.us/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=19083 (yes, same barbaz)

Summary: I've been a longtime user of the EasyPrivacy list for ABP. Apparently, recently, the EasyPrivacy maintainers have added at least one whitelist that protects tracking of the sort their written policy clearly says should be blocked (on multiple counts at that). I reported the example I spotted on their forums, under the assumption that someone was just being careless, and despite at least one maintainer being around, my thread has gotten no response for almost a week and no action was taken. So I'm posting this fact publicly here, as a warning to the privacy-conscious users in this community.

Until they remove the dubious whitelisting, I cannot reasonably recommend to anyone to use EasyPrivacy, because a false sense of privacy is worse than a real sense of no privacy.

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Post Posted October 25th, 2014, 4:16 pm

Did you try the Adblock Plus forum directly? Usually there's someone that has the ability to adjust this listing.
https://adblockplus.org/forum/
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barbaz
 
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Post Posted October 25th, 2014, 4:59 pm

I think I'm gonna give them a bit more time (at least another week or so) to remove the bad filter(s?) before I start suggesting removal of EasyPrivacy from ABP's listings.
Also, before I do any such thing, it would be nice to have an alternative list in mind that fills the same niche, and the only similar list I know of is Fanboy's Enhanced Tracking list, which is targeted mostly at power users. Do you know of any other alternative ABP subscription lists that only block tracking?

LoudNoise
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Post Posted October 25th, 2014, 5:05 pm

If it is an issue, you should post now. The folks there are much more likely to know if it is an issue. I would also post saying something like "I think shouldn't be here" rather then accusing the fellow of doing something bad. It might be a mistake or something that the list author accepted without fully checking it out.
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barbaz
 
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Post Posted October 25th, 2014, 5:32 pm

LoudNoise wrote:If it is an issue, you should post now.

It's definitely an issue. Guess I'll alert the ABP forums within the next couple days then.

LoudNoise wrote:I would also post saying something like "I think shouldn't be here"

Sounds like good advice but I'm not clear quite what you mean. Are you suggesting to say something like "EasyPrivacy has added, and left for some time, a filter that violates their written policy, so I'm not sure this subscription should be listed anymore" or something like "I'm not sure this filter should be included in EasyPrivacy, see [link to the post in EasyList forum] for why I say this, please check it and let the EasyPrivacy maintainers know"?

LoudNoise wrote:It might be a mistake or something that the list author accepted without fully checking it out.

That's why I was going to wait a bit more before talking to the ABP guys...

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Post Posted October 25th, 2014, 6:14 pm

I would suggest something like "Can someone look that this (quote of filter) filter? I think EasyPrivacy made a mistake.....".

Your post here has a vib of "I am right and the author of Easylist is doing something evil." That is a good way to get ignored. Assume good faith and that you might be wrong even if you are sure you are not wrong.
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barbaz
 
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Post Posted October 25th, 2014, 6:45 pm

Sorry, it's hard to keep it totally neutral being pretty upset about the issue... so I think I should run it by you before actually posting to ABP.
Would the following be a decent shot at getting a response (or no response but action taken), and does it provide enough information that it doesn't seem like a pointless post?
I've noticed that EasyPrivacy has included the filter
Code: Select all
@@||s.youtube.com/api/stats/playback?$object-subrequest

It appears to whitelist items that send some of user's history on YouTube and user's browser info to the server, and I think it may have been added by mistake.
Can someone please check it?

Thanks


(Thanks a lot LoudNoise for your help with this, much appreciated.)
Last edited by barbaz on October 25th, 2014, 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LoudNoise
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Post Posted October 25th, 2014, 7:06 pm

I would lose both links and make the sentence that includes the first link make sense without it. Find out what other folks think. You can include the "acceptable" link in a later post if necessary.

Think of it this way, you are not being neutral you are reporting a problem.
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barbaz
 
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Post Posted October 25th, 2014, 7:12 pm

Edited above. How does it look?

LoudNoise
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Post Posted October 25th, 2014, 7:15 pm

Great!. You are reporting a problem here. I would use "seems" but that is matter of personal style.
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barbaz
 
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Post Posted October 25th, 2014, 7:24 pm

LoudNoise wrote:I would use "seems" but that is matter of personal style.

I agree that's better.

https://adblockplus.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25773

barbaz
 
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Post Posted October 28th, 2014, 9:54 am

They've made it clear in the ABP thread that the filter is indeed intended, not a mistake or a miscommunication.
Given that, I tried to follow up with what I thought would be a reasonable question ("would it be feasible to re-work the filters to allow this item without whitelisting?"), but sadly someone else who shares my opinion beat me to replying back and posted a trolling comment in my ABP thread, now the list authors seem to be ignoring my thread there :(

I conclude from the replies I got that the whitelist is there to stay and that asking to have EasyPrivacy taken off ABP's listings won't get anywhere.

Thanks again LoudNoise, and thanks mozillaZine for letting me get this message out there.

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted November 3rd, 2014, 3:50 pm

It's pretty clear that the item is whitelisted because it breaks part of YouTube. You are of course free to modify the filter and remove that item (just uncheck it) and then you should be good. Tracking is a war and you aren't going to find many people willing to break half of the internet to win it. Personally, I don't care what stupid features are broken because some hack designed them to require tracking features.... I'd rather have them blocked. Also, of course the irony of worrying about tracking and using Google Services is pretty deep IMO.
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barbaz
 
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Post Posted November 3rd, 2014, 4:56 pm

patrickjdempsey wrote:It's pretty clear that the item is whitelisted because it breaks part of YouTube.

Yes but the feature that was broken is only tracking your history on YouTube and presenting it to you - something that IMO my browser does just fine. I don't need or want a cloud-based version.

patrickjdempsey wrote:You are of course free to modify the filter and remove that item (just uncheck it) and then you should be good

... except that on a couple machines I've got Chromium, where disabling individual filters isn't possible...

patrickjdempsey wrote:Tracking is a war and you aren't going to find many people willing to break half of the internet to win it. Personally, I don't care what stupid features are broken because some hack designed them to require tracking features.... I'd rather have them blocked.

True that, and +1. However, in this case, the feature they're whitelisting is itself a tracking feature, and it doesn't seem required by any non-tracking feature (that's why I posted this thread).

patrickjdempsey wrote:Also, of course the irony of worrying about tracking and using Google Services is pretty deep IMO.

Which is why I only use my google account for stuff that's publicly visible anyway...

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted November 3rd, 2014, 7:03 pm

But there are many people who will consider that to be a feature of the website. And again... using a Google browser and worrying about tracking on a Google Service? Hmm.
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