Former Mozilla CEO Launches New Super-Private Browser

Former Mozilla CEO Launches New Super-Private Browser

In a world where almost everything you do can be watched, former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich and his company Brave today launched a private web browser to keep your experience as clean as track-free as possible.

When we browse the internet, tracking happens. Targeting happens. Advertising and popups happen. And it can be annoying as hell when all we want is the story. Apparently former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich felt the same way, and his new company Brave has been working on a solution.

Today, they launched their solution as an open source project, releasing version 0.7 for developers and early adopters. There are versions for iOS and Android, as well as OS X/Windows/Linux (all available through GitHub). The browser is connected to a private cloud that uses anonymous ads.

Eich explains how it works in the About section of the new site:

Brave browsers block everything: initial signaling/analytics scripts that start the programmatic advertising "dirty pipe", impression-tracking pixels, and ad-click confirmation signals. By default Brave will insert ads only in a few standard-sized spaces. We find those spaces via a cloud robot (so users don't have to suffer, even a few canaries per screen size-profile, with ad delays and battery draining). We will target ads based on browser-side intent signals phrased in a standard vocabulary, and without a persistent user id or highly re-identifiable cookie.

The browser sees everything you do, including actions to stop that annoying phenomenon of retargeting where an ad chases you around the Web, often for something you just bought or decided not to buy. We keep user data out of our cloud Brave Vault by default. It's better for you and us that we don't store any of your data without your permission.

The browser blocks harmful ads, redirects sites to HTTPS, and blocks tracking pixels and cookies. Eich said the new browser will go a long way to making browsing a more private experience and will work much better than standard ad blockers.

It will be interesting to see just how private the new browser is, but given Eich's previous experience with Mozilla/Firefox, he should be up on all the problems facing users. If this new browser can "fix the web," as he wants to do, I'll give it a try.

Source: Brave

Permalink

As long as we keep using a different browser to visit The Escapist Magazine, am I right?

I wish them well and hope for their sake that their browser catches on, but personally, I'm not interested in it.

.

It looks quite a bit quicker than Safari, though I'll admit I don't know how fast of a browser that actually is.

Jamcie Kerbizz:
So cure for being tracked and profiled is using an application which will reroute your entire traffic through their servers and keep full data on your history and unremovable ID on their side? LMAO who the [email protected]&ck would fall for that cute lill scam?

Are you referring to this:

We will target ads based on browser-side intent signals phrased in a standard vocabulary, and without a persistent user id or highly re-identifiable cookie.

Because the way I read it... is it just blocks ads without having to identify you personally.

Also, as far as the rerouting goes, it looks like it's just implementing a form of HTTPS Everywhere. I didn't read that far into their site, but so far it sounds like he's on the level for what the browser's goal is.

The browser's goal is ambitious. Honestly, I'd love for it to work well and catch on. I'm not entirely confident it will but replacing ads automatically without tracking your browser history with any identifier (they claimed they don't want that data and are not interested in it, only keeping it with the software), would be interesting.

Add-ons like Adblock and Ghostery have become necessities for me because of the gross abuses sites have done. Intrusive ads, videos/ads that play automatically with sound. hidden cookies tracking your browser history and then selling that data, it's a problem I knew from the very beginning that Chrome would never tackle because Google's business model is based there.

I think the most ambitious part of the project is that one where a portion of the ad revenues goes back to the user who can then choose to give it to the sites he/she thinks are deserving of it. I assume you can't pocket that money, obviously and it's sort of a kickback to finance sites you love. If that were to materialize, it'd be pretty awesome to be able to choose where to send part of the ad money. There are some pretty niche stuff I visit that could use it.

It's going to be very hard to convince users to switch to a new browser. However, I love the concept on paper. We'll see how it goes when it goes public.

So, like NoScript, but with more specific filters?

Does the browser stop others from seeing your unsightly political contributions?

...sorry it was just too tempting.

Anyway I'm not sure how many people actually use the private browsing figure on the current Firefox and while I like NoScript (don't worry Escapist I all your stuff), it can also be a hassle and make quite a few sites not work these days. Unfortunately I think major websites will make truly private browsing next to impossible eventually, user friendliness be damned.

Obbi:

Jamcie Kerbizz:
So cure for being tracked and profiled is using an application which will reroute your entire traffic through their servers and keep full data on your history and unremovable ID on their side? LMAO who the [email protected]&ck would fall for that cute lill scam?

Are you referring to this:

We will target ads based on browser-side intent signals phrased in a standard vocabulary, and without a persistent user id or highly re-identifiable cookie.

Because the way I read it... is it just blocks ads without having to identify you personally.

Also, as far as the rerouting goes, it looks like it's just implementing a form of HTTPS Everywhere. I didn't read that far into their site, but so far it sounds like he's on the level for what the browser's goal is.

Actually, I think he might be referring to how the browser can "see everything you do." I know there are (supposedly) ways to make such a scheme private, as with a no-logs VPN, but this just seems like Amazon Fire without the personal ad targeting, i.e., I probably wouldn't want to do my online banking with Brave.

I'm all ears if someone can convince me this isn't some backdoor ploy to mine user data, but it just seems fishy (or is that phishy?) to me.

The funniest thing about this article is how people are citing him as the former CEO of Mozilla. He was CEO for like a week, he only qualifies on a technicality. I mean, the man has real accomplishments you could cite and they go with the one thing he never really did.

.

Seems like a good idea but we will see what the real and final deal is, after all they already plan to replace all the existing crud with their own. Which in itself is a great business opportunity to take in ad company money and actually put even more crap into your browser, this time inherit to the system.
"Oh they wouldn't...", you need to wake up and smell the coffee because everyone else does it.

In the coming years it seem we will need more and more capable filtering browsers because even on generally "clean" sites such as this one you get half the crap from completely random sources that are loading/running/sending shit you never wanted, or know about for that matter.

Knowing this guy version 1.0 will be called Don't Ask Don't Tell, am I right guys? God I'm hilarious.

I wonder how long it will be before widespread use of this will end up gating sites one way or another. Looks interesting as a big part of the reasons ads are annoying is the utter loss of performance you experience when loading all the background crap associated with them.

Somehow I doubt this will be popular with The Escapist or other Defy Media sites given their *ahem* vigorous policy on ad blocking.

So, it blocks the ads that websites use to stay afloat, and replaces them with its own which reroute all the revenue to themselves. Is that the gist of it?

Gonna reiterate what I said in another thread: If I made my own browser, I'd completely disable the JavaScript functions that spawn pop-up windows because a lot of sites have figured out ways to make pop-ups spawn when you click somewhere; include an option to have video and audio file playing on a click-to-enable basis, with the ability to whitelist obviously acceptable sites like YouTube and Tumblr; and have the option to block cookies coming from sites that are inside frames. That plus having Flash on a click-to-activate basis takes care of 90% of the unacceptable ads right there; the rest involves HTML5 ads (hey, great job "fixing" the Flash problem by integrating everything we hate about it right into the browser with no way to turn it off, guys!) that use up way too much CPU, which is going to be damn near impossible for a browser to regulate.

 

Reply to Thread

Posting on this forum is disabled.