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

Eric Mill kprojection at gmail.com
Sat May 14 08:30:48 UTC 2011

I really shouldn't keep this thread going, but you're over-reacting.
Besides the fact that I'm nearly positive that the default in Chromium
is to have it ask each time -- if we were to include Chromium in some
way in the Freedombox project, we could simply package it with the
default switched to whatever we think is appropriate. It's an open
source project, and so are we.

On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 3:53 AM, AnotherPeasant <versparis at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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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