Why not Firefox as default browser

I was hoping /e/ had checked the browser they include in their distribution, honestly.

Plus, I don’t really know who to trust, considering that all of Mozilla’s browsers for Android except Firefox Klar are full of trackers.

DuckDuckGo’s browser, maybe? Have you checked if it’s sending out dubious requests?

I think they did, and since they forked Chromium (they use their own modified version, no the original one), they managed to disable some (all?) of these requests. I will give it a try with Wireshark today to double-check.

The whole point here is: why bother forking and ungoogling a browser when Firefox exists and has a focus on privacy that seems so compatible with /e/?


Over all, I definitely agree with @seb-ksl - distributing a browser which is made by Google while trying to create an OS which focuses on avoiding Google seems a bit controversial for me. It’s a bit like deleting your Facebook account but still keep using Whatsapp if you understand what I mean…
Personally, this is the main reason why I do not use the e-browser.

However, the e-browser is not just a simple implementation of Chromium. They forked Bromite, which is an ad-blocking and privacy enhancing extension of Chromium. See here for more details: https://www.bromite.org/
Generally, Bromite is not a bad choice. However, there was a bug where calls were made to gstatic.com which maybe lead to leaking some userdata (see https://github.com/bromite/bromite/issues/399 ). This issue is resolved and will be fixed within their next release.
But as you can see, although the creator of Bromite gives his best to remove any connections to Google, it can’t be ensured simply because their codebase is based on a google-made source.

I personally use the “Privacy Browser” (https://www.stoutner.com/privacy-browser/ ) as a daily driver. It uses Androids built-in WebView, allows you to load AdBlocking lists, restrict Javascript and other permissions along with an easy to use and understandable UI. And of course, it’s fully open source.

Would also love to hear some feedback from the devs why they decided for Bromite :slight_smile:

Cheers guys!


I’m sorry but Firefox does not respect anyone’s privacy. Not on Android, at least.

Using HTTPToolkit, I detect recurring connections to http://www.google.com/gen_204 triggered by… I’m not sure, but it looks like it’s triggered by Android itself.

When using /e/ browser, an additional request is made to to https://www.gstatic.com.

This is definitely wrong on desktop, especially when comparing Firefox to Chromium. I’ll try to know more about the specifics of Firefox for Android.


Vivaldi browser says this about relying on Chromium: https://vivaldi.com/blog/vivaldi-different-from-chrome/
They have a point, no?

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I like FF on desktop.

I don’t on mobile. Download all the different versions of Firefox you can find and then run ClassyShark and then you tell me…

That’s a good point with Chromium. Although if Bromite can remove everything related to google, I could live with that. Similar to the project Ungoogled Chromium, which I like on the desktop, because there are good privacy apps available.
I do not trust Mozilla anymore, just look back on their list of security issues. Used to be a big fan of Firefox but it has ended now. Interesting browser I found is Zirco. And also the Privacy Browser. In general, for non-tech folks Bromite looks to be a good choice.

I like this hot discussion :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
Mozilla Firefox lovers against ‘rest of the world’.


It’s at least a bit exaggerated to say Firefox for Android is “full of trackers”. It is pretty straightforward to know what trackers are employed by Mozilla and why do they use them as well as how to be sure to deactivate them. Firefox asks at first launch if you want to share this data and you can change the setting any time you want. Moreover, in Firefox’s website you can consult a generic XML showing the type of data they collect.

The bad news, I guess, is Windows, Mac and Linux builds include the same three trackers (counting Mozilla Telemetry which is not even third-party). I prefer to use Firefox, deactivate crash reporting, sharing data and telemetry and let Firefox block trackers as it is default since September.


Firefox has never been “not open source”. It’s been open source since it’s creation (2002), derived from the open sourced Netscape 5 code (which has been renamed a few times in between). Netscape 4 was closed source.

That said, Firefox, just like Chrome, has to have it’s settings modified in order to disable any kind of reporting. Firefox’s telemetry does not track you the way Chrome does, but it does still report some of your Firefox usage, which you may or may not like.

Additionally, Mozilla recently announced that in most countries Firefox will enable DoH (DNS over HTTPS) by default using the Cloud Flare DNS servers, which has been criticized by many as it centralizes your DNS traffic (on the flip side, it means your ISP can no longer mine that data, but Cloud Flare might). Of course it’s also a setting you can change, but just like Chromium and derivatives you’d have to do that.

Note that many other apps do this as well, it’s just not as well known. With that said I don’t think the current browser is a bad choice. The only real reason I could see for Firefox is to use a browser rendering engine that is not Chrome’s (because when everyone does, then Google can change the engine to do whatever it wants and you’ve to follow it for your browser to be compatible with the websites. It’s already like that to some degree today.)

Hope you found that somewhat informative at least :slight_smile:


No, I am sorry. It’s not just telemetry.

Download Firefox, Firefox Lite, Fennec, Firefox Focus, Firefox Preview etc, and then run CkassyShark and you will see that they all have third-party trackers from the Ad-tech industry.

I did not state there is only Telemetry at all. If you read that I understand you already have a certain animosity against Mozilla. It is OK. To add to my previous post you may want to check for trackers in Fennec F-droid and GNU Icecat, those are Firefox forks including only Mozilla Telemetry which, again, it is possible to activate or deactivate at will.

In the end, both are not ideal options. I still prefer an internet not designed for the one web engine managed by Google.

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I wanted to use Firefox Preview.

I really like it, and I would prefer an internet with more than one page rendering engine.

But it has trackers.

I’m using /e/'s browser, Firefox Klar and DuckDuckGo’s browser. Any feedback on DDG?

That is not true, at least for Fennec and Firefox Klar. Fennec aims to remove any proprietary bits from Mozilla so you can check the sources on your own if you are interested.
Checking the traffic log shows, that there are no third party trackers implemented. However, Fennec implements Mozilla Telemtry which can be deactivated in the settings though.
Apart from that, there is still some traffic going on to cloudfront - not sure if this is for update checking or loading news, etc.

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I said Firefox Preview has trackers.

Citation needed. :thinking:

They were talking about FF in general.

It’s true. Not just telemetry.

And BTW: Mozilla pays 1500 salaries at the end of every month. And do you know where the money comes from? That’s right. Big G.

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Download Firefox, Firefox Lite, Fennec, Firefox Focus, Firefox Preview etc, and then run CkassyShark and you will see that they all have third-party trackers from the Ad-tech industry.

Doesn’t sound like you said that only Preview has trackers to me.

They were talking about FF in general.

It’s true. Not just telemetry.

You are right that the regular Firefox version has trackers installed which is why I also wouldn’t recommend anyone to use this app.

And BTW: Mozilla pays 1500 salaries at the end of every month. And do you know where the money comes from? That’s right. Big G.

Could you please link some sources? I would really appreciate it if you could substantiate your point with some articles.

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