Many recent browsers are not really as private as they appear, despite their massive popularity “Private” or “Incognito” modes. They do little more than avert your search history, cookies, and passwords from being recorded locally in many cases.
There are a few special cases to this (Firefox’s Private Browsing feature also has “Content Blocking” tracking preservation), yet for the most part, people tend to massively overestimate the protections these modes offer.
To address this, Firefox may be planning to turn out a “Super Private Browsing” (SBP) mode that could provide users with true anonymity, or at least as close to true anonymity as you can obtain with a normal browser.
This news occurs via PC Gamer, which spotted information within Mozilla’s 2019H1 Research Grant program. Mozilla is looking to offer to sponsor those who can answer one (or more) of 12 questions related to the future of Firefox and web browsing as a whole, in this program.
Integrating Tor into Firefox would bring real private browsing & a safer internet experience to an unprecedented number of people worldwide. Apply for a Mozilla Research Grant to help research the considerations: https://t.co/XJgn5iCtZk pic.twitter.com/D9nv9kZW1q
— The Tor Project (@torproject) May 9, 2019
Moreover, the 12th primary question (RQ12), which covers “Privacy & Security for Firefox,” is where Mozilla first mentions its interest in providing a “Super Private Browsing” (SBP) mode to its users. This mode would integrate Tor Firefox to block “mass surveillance, tracking, and fingerprinting.” Anyhow, the organization acknowledges that doing so would not be easy.
“…enabling a large number of additional users to make use of the Tor network needs solving for inefficiencies currently available in Tor so as to make the protocol optimal to deploy at scale,”
That’s where you or, more explicitly, any privacy researchers who may take place to be reading this come in.
Additionally, there is a good chance that “Super Private Browsing” (SBP) mode could become a reality if Mozilla can answer the following questions:
- What substitutive protocol architectures and route selection protocols would offer allowable gains in Tor performance?
- Would they protect Tor properties?
- And Is it honestly possible to install Tor at scale?
- What would the full amalgamation of Tor and Firefox look like?
You can apply for research funding right here if you feel equipped to gear these problems and help Mozilla create a “Super Private Browsing” (SBP) mode for its users.