THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION is exploring an even more private browsing option than, er, private browsing.
On Thursday, a number of groups were awarded Mozilla research grants by the Privacy & Security Group and as part of the announcement, the team mentioned that it is looking for ways to bring even more anonymity to its sizeable corner of the web.
The statement explains that: "Mozilla has an interest in potentially integrating more of Tor into Firefox, for the purposes of providing a Super Private Browsing (SPB) mode for our users".
That's a heck of a statement of intent there - but it's not without precedent. Firefox has already started integrating a Tor feature to prevent 'fingerprinting', particularly allowing cookies to track you by the dimensions of your browser window.
If that wasn't enough, the Tor browser is already built on a version of Firefox Extended Support (ESR), adding all those dark-webbish and super-top-secret features you'd expect. In fact, you can trace the beginnings for Firefox and Tor back to 2016.
The next stage is to ensure that Firefox under Tor won't have a huge lag factor compared to standard routing, and Moz is looking for feedback on how that will look, particularly what protocols and routing will work best.
It also asks the question of what Tor-at-scale will look like. This is clearly early stage stuff, but with a very clear goal in mind. Tor at this scale would need extra configuration, to ensure it doesn't bork the very things it's there to do, and that the routing won't cause more bottlenecks than it solves.
There's no question of Tor becoming de facto for Firefox on a day-to-day basis, but there's also little doubt that there will be interest, and Mozilla will need to ensure that a scaled up fox is as pernicious and angry as a regular fox.
There's no timescale for this and there are a heck of a lot of questions before development ever starts in earnest, so it looks like Super Private Browsing isn't going to be helping us keep our wife's anniversary present secret for a while yet. μ
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