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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Project Fusion: Mozilla would like to implement Tor directly into Firefox and offer users a great private browsing mode


Tor is a computer network whose notoriety is more to anonymize the origin of TCP connections. However, the anonymization of the stream is not sufficient, because the application can potentially transmit additional information to identify the person, which is why the Tor project also develops a browser based on Firefox, Tor Browser, and other applications specially modified to preserve the anonymity of their users.

The Tor project has announced that it is working with Mozilla to integrate Tor directly into Firefox, an integration that should eventually eliminate the need for Tor Browser. For those who do not know, Tor Browser is based on Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release), a version of the browser that offers extended support for enterprises and whose stable development is to only fix bugs without implementing new features for long periods of time. month. In this way, the operation of Tor Browser is not disrupted constantly and developers can focus on patch deployment.

But the Tor project requires a lot of fixes and the developers have said that it takes a long time to adapt to each version of Firefox. This is why Mozilla started deploying patches directly in Firefox through the Tor Uplift project. This project was crowned by the implementation of new security features borrowed from Tor Browser, we are talking here about the First Party Isolation, a feature deployed silently by Mozilla to stem the profiling of advertising agencies. And also the "resistance to fingerprinting", the "browser fingerprinting" here designating the activity of collection by a browser of a certain amount of information on a user's device to build a fingerprint. Only downside, the FPI is not enabled by default, because it can cause problems of connection persistence. Likewise, the other feature may cause some websites to malfunction.

Project Fusion, what is it for?

The main objectives of this project were stated by the Tor Project developers as follows:

• Resist Fingerprinting, make the feature easier to use and less able to break the operation of some websites.
• Implement a proxy bypass framework.
• Find the best way to integrate Tor proxy into Firefox.
• A real private browsing mode in Firefox: will activate First Party Isolation, Fingerprinting Resistance and Tor Proxy.

If the Fusion Project is finalized, Firefox will have a great private browsing mode that could replace the need for Tor Browser once and for all. But this roadmap is not without hindrance, developers are concerned that the implementation of Tor in Firefox has an impact on the scalability of the network: with hundreds of millions of users every day, Mozilla will have to make donations to the parties who control the servers called nodes.

For the moment, the "Project Fusion" is far from being finalized and enters just in the experimental phase, the developers still do not know if Firefox will be endowed with two modes of private navigation or only one. They also try to make sure everything works perfectly before delivering Tor with Firefox. But the developers are confident, they have the support of the CEO and the CTO of Mozilla.

Mozilla, on the other hand, is seeking to standardize Tor client implementation specifications, write compliance tests, and open documentation. In this way, the foundation wants to ensure that more people have the opportunity to take a look at the implementation of Tor in Firefox and detect any problem. But first, the foundation will have to develop a private telemetry and solve the problems that have been mentioned before.

Implementing Tor will be a big plus for Firefox, which is still behind Google Chrome, a browser that is heavily involved in tracing and collecting user data to serve as the best ad. This explains Mozilla's interest in this implementation, which should help him to further extol his position favoring respect for privacy on the internet, while at the same time making the Tor Browser obsolete so that the project can concentrate. on the search instead of maintaining a fork of Firefox.

Source: torproject

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