Does Mozilla's Firefox web browser repeatedly connect to Google's servers?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by zedi, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. zedi

    zedi Registered Member

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    When viewing real-time logs in Sysinternal's Process Monitor, I was shocked to see that Firefox is now repeatedly attempting to connect to Google's google-analytics.com servers.

    Firefox attempts to connect to Google servers when it starts. Firefox attempts to connect to Google servers when it is running. Firefox attempts to connect to Google servers when it closes.

    I tested this in a fresh profile using Firefox version 48.0.2 (the current stable version as of this writing).

    Within Firefox, I turned all features that could possibly warrant connecting to any external servers.

    I also noticed that Firefox is connecting to Mozilla servers, and there appears to be no way to disable those connections either. That's not great, but it's tolerable, as it is a Mozilla product. But connecting to Google servers? That's unacceptable.

    Can others confirm this issue?
     
  2. Anonfame1

    Anonfame1 Registered Member

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    It does this far less than Chrome does, and it can be disabled. There are guides online where you use about:config to disable all the phoning home crap. Ive done all of it and verified my results with Wireshark- it at least can be done. Not sure on Chromium- it is better than Chrome for sure, though theyve had troubling invasion of privacy tactics in the past as well (look up the Chromium microphone debacle).
     
  3. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    Yes, just about all browsers phone home. You can try to block this by disabling certain features and by blocking certain connections via a firewall, but I'm not sure if all of this stuff can be disabled.
     
  4. inka

    inka Registered Member

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    What firefox version?
    What is your operating system?
    Which extensions do you have installed?

    Check my prior posts and you'll see that I distrust mozilla and have repeatedly criticized aspects of firefox's privacy unfriendly behavior. That said, I have to tell you I've never observed core firefox calling out to google-analytics.

    Visit the "Firefox Lockdown" topic here on wilders and/or the relevant discussions at ghacks.net
    you'll learn there are a BOATLOAD of default preference values you'll need to change in order to suppress callouts.
    Ultimately, for ff v45 and later, I've needed to resort to domain (er, hostname) blocking b/c nothing settable via prefs has sufficed to suppress @startup calls to a handful of mozilla-owned servers. Aside from those callouts during startup, everything else is suppressable via prefs.

    Frankly, I really don't care to read whichall extensions you have installed. My point is that "the something" contacting google-analytics is almost certainly an extension; you need to consider -- and test, by disabling one-at-a-time and noting whether the callouts to google-analytics cease while a given extension is disabled. Ironically (in the sense that mozilla harps about 'we respect your privacy') the mozilla for-developers blog contains article(s) extolling to extension authors the wonderful-ness of embedding analytics (performing callouts such as you're witnessing) into extensions.
     
  5. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    Could you be more specific?

    FWIW, I think I've seen googleanalytics and googletagmanager requests when first starting a stock Firefox portable. My guess was that these were due to Mozilla content pages that were automatically opened in tabs, but I don't recall if I verified that. Point is: watch out for Mozilla content too.
     
  6. inka

    inka Registered Member

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    v45, winXP
    looks like I did manage to prevent mothership contact by mangling prefkeys, but didn't find a way to prevent these 2 callout attempts from occurring during each startup:

    location.services.mooofuzilla.com/v1/country?key={snip}
    tiles.services.mooofuzilla.com/v3/links/fetch/{snip}
     
  7. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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