[Freedombox-discuss] on small programs; Android and things Google

AnotherPeasant versparis at gmail.com
Thu May 12 07:53:52 UTC 2011

On 05/12/2011 03:40 AM, AnotherPeasant wrote:
> Actually, Eric, I've never seen the "This website is asking for your
> location" notices, because I don't surf with scripts universally
> enabled.  I started out on Windows boxes, and scripts are how most
> malware is delivered.
> My point remains.  Someone with far less experience of tweaking program
> options than me would have never found "Allow all sites to track my
> physical location", set as DEFAULT, in Chromium.  What if the
> "individual sites" requesting that information are forwarding it to the
> government?  What if a noob gives that info to cutencuddlykittens.com,
> and it's actually just a front for hardlycuddlyatallthugs.gov?  It
> doesn't matter whether or not it's phoning home to Google; it matters
> that it is even CAPABLE of giving away that physical location info.
> Just because there is a W3C spec for geolocation, doesn't mean servers
> or clients have to participate.  In a moderately free country, it's
> usually harmless to give a physical location away.  Yes, it aids
> shopping, and meeting up with friends.  But this box has to work in a
> country where there are death squads.
> The Freedom Box has to be usable by total noobs, and it should not put
> them in harm's way by DEFAULT.  If they make an innocent mistake, the
> choices made now on this project should help shield them from horrible
> consequences.  Giving physical location away to ANYONE should be
> difficult, and replete with numerous grisly and realistic warnings about
> what it might entail, and about how the info can be aggregated to
> predict your movements, and your normal physical range.
> FrBx defaults should be sane and rational, i.e., expecting the worst and
> planning for it, i.e., reality-based paranoia.  IMHO.
> On 05/07/2011 11:12 PM, Eric Mill wrote:
>> I'm pretty sure that "Allow all sites to track my physical location" has to
>> do with the W3C Geolocation spec, which allows individual websites to ask
>> for your location through JavaScript, and not to do with "phoning home" to
>> Google any information about you.
>> Even regarding W3C Geolocation, in my browser, which is Chrome 12 dev, the
>> default is to have each site have to ask you. If you've ever visited a
>> website and seen the "This website is asking for your location." dropdown at
>> the top of the window, that's what this is in regards to.
>> -- Eric
>> On Thu, May 5, 2011 at 7:47 PM, AnotherPeasant <versparis at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Actually, Eric, I just went and checked in my Chromium browser.  It's
>>> under: (wrench)> Preferences > Under the Hood > Content Settings >
>>> (scroll down to the hidden part of the page) Location.  Now maybe it's
>>> just my copy of Chromium where it's the default, but the fact that
>>> "Allow all sites to track my physical location" is even in there at all
>>> concerns me.  "Non-evil" FAIL, I.M.O.  There may be other interesting
>>> "features" in there that I have missed completely.
>>> Android, I have no clue about, as I am a moron about cell phones in
>>> general.  I have a buddy who understands them in detail.  Talking to him
>>> helps me understand just how clueless I am about the things.  -But I'm
>>> learning (slowly).
>>> BTW, version of Chromium is 10.0.648.205 running on Ubuntu 11.04  -Cheers!
>>>> You're conflating Android and Chrome with their open source projects. All
>>>> phone-home code is added in a separate layer from the open source
>>> codebase.
>>>>  The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and the Chromium open source
>>> project
>>>> are both free of tracking.
>>>> -- Eric
>>>>> Considering how much data scraping and invasive profiling Google does
>>>>> already, are you sure you want to use their base system for this?  I
>>>>> thought the point was to get away from centralized power like MS and
>>>>> Google.  The cell phone is the pen-ultimate invasive client, exceeded
>>>>> only by RF chips and implants :)  Look in their Chrome browser.  There
>>>>> is a place for you to change the DEFAULT of "allow websites to track my
>>>>> physical location"  Hello?  Seems like a not very freedom-enabling
>>>>> technology to me...
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