Mozilla Improves Privacy in the Firefox Web Browser

Firefox 1.0 was released ten years ago, on Nov. 9, 2004. At the time, Microsoft’s web browser, called Internet Explorer, dominated the marketplace despite its many security holes. Firefox was designed to be more secure, faster, and to not be encumbered by Microsoft’s advertising. Indeed, it has achieved all those aims and still continues to add new improvements.

Johnathan Nightingale, vice president of Firefox, has made a number of new announcements in a blog post at https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/11/10/celebrating-10-years-of-firefox-2/ including:

The new release of Firefox 33.1 offers DuckDuckGo as a new pre-installed search engine choice, joining Amazon, Bing, Google, Yahoo and others. (See my earlier about DuckDuckGo at https://privacyblog.com/2014/11/01/the-search-engine-that-doesnt-track-you/comment-page-1.)

A new Forget feature has been added to Firefox. Forget gives you an easy way to tell Firefox to clear out some of your recent activity. Instead of asking a lot of complex technical questions, Forget asks you only one: how much do you want to forget? Once you tell Firefox you want to forget the last 5 minutes, or 2 hours, or 24 hours, it takes care of the rest. This will be especially useful for shared computers, whether at home, at work, at school, or in a library.

You can read the blog entry at https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/11/10/celebrating-10-years-of-firefox-2/.

In a different blog article on the same blog, Mozilla spelled out Polaris, which has a pair of partners at the start: the Tor Project and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT). Two experiments will be conducted under the Polaris banner, focusing on anti-censorship technology, anonymity, and cross-site tracking protection. Mozilla will host its own Tor middle relays, anonymous servers that receive Tor traffic and pass it along in an effort to improve the Tor network’s overall performance and increase its capacity.

You can read more about the Polaris project with Tor at http://blog.mozilla.org/privacy/2014/11/10/introducing-polaris-privacy-initiative-to-accelerate-user-focused-privacy-online/.

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