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Maintaining online privacy, security and anonymity.

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Quick Review: Ghostery - Best blocker I've used since JunkBuster:
I have been interested in maintaining my web privacy for years, wishing to defend myself from the continuing and increasing assault on that privacy, from the advertisers and the Google and other ad-click giants.
So, yesterday out of interest, I downloaded the Ghostery add-on that works in:

* Firefox
* Safari
* Chrome/Chromium
* Opera
* IE(I am using it in Firefox and Chromium.)

I was so impressed with the initial results after installing it that I posted a review and gave it a 5-star vote:
Best blocker I've used since JunkBuster - Rated 5 out of 5 stars.
Great add-on! Since 1997 I had used JunkBuster to keep the junk out of my browsing and minimise bandwidth utilisation. It worked very well, up until the time when the JunkBuster project was abandoned. I later moved to Ad-Block Plus, then added NoScript, but they were never quite enough, and I have long missed having the fine degree of control over my web browsing that JunkBuster was able to provide me with.
However, with the addition of Ghostery, I think I have nearly got back to the degree of control I had in 1997 - 15 years ago.
Sadly, that is *NOT* a measure of progress.   :-(
--- End quote ---

You can see a summary of the Ghostery functionality on the website and the the settings tab for the add-on.
I am requesting that the developers consider adding some of the JunkBuster-like functionality to Ghostery.

JunkBuster: If anyone reading this is wondering why JB might be such a good comparison, it was because JB enabled you to generally reduce/stop the annoying useless content "noise" appearing on web pages in your browser and to selectively tell the web server to NOT send various items that would otherwise consume bandwidth (thus reducing bandwidth consumption).

It did this by using regex expressions and proxy technology to (for example):

* Selectively block annoying or unwanted or bandwidth-consuming images, ad banners, advertisements. (So you could always see the ads you wanted to see.) This saved annoyance and bandwidth.   :Thmbsup:
* Selectively block annoying or unwanted or privacy-infringing URLS or domains.   :Thmbsup:
* Selectively block cookies.    :Thmbsup:
* Accept cookies and quarantine them all in a "cookie jar", then periodically swap filled cookie-jars with other people, by posting them to a public forum set up for that purpose. (Thus defeating the purpose of cookies altogether.)   ;)
* Send out other people's cookies from their imported cookie jar.   ;)
* Generate "wafers" (dummy cookies) and send them out to sites that requested a cookie.   ;)
* Insert false information about your brower or set a message - e.g., "Do not track me" into the http header - e.g., my http header declared that I was using an obsolete Apple Mac with the obsolete Mosaic browser.   ;)
* ...and so on.
For interest, you can get a copy of the last known version of JunkBuster (executable and code released under GPU GP Licence - runs on Linux and as a DOS-based proxy for Windows), together with complete FAQ files, from here: JunkBuster 2.0.2 -
Apparently, the JunkBuster client proxy did not play well with the changing SSL technology, and development petered out. The developers suggested you tried out Guideon (now defunct), then Ad-Block and/or NoScript (I forget which, but I have them both anyway).

The website now says:
Sorry, the web site is no longer maintained.
Related information may be found at the following sites:
    The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) -
    Privacy International -
    Privacy Rights Clearinghouse -
--- End quote ---

i used ghostery as a warning tool about tracking, havent noticed the blocking options...

@iphigenie: Yes, when you look on its options page, you realise that its blocking functionality and resource are quite extensive. They seem to work too, so far.

This blocker seems to be working quite well, with no hiccoughs so far.    :Thmbsup:
Just noticed that on this DC page Ghostery senses and blocks:

* AddtoAny
* Google Analytics
(Does that cause any problem or create an issue for DC forum site management, I wonder?)

I've started using Ghostery in the browser I use for most ordinary browsing (Opera) and have set it to block all tracking elements.  The results have exceeded my expectations.  It has pretty much stopped any advertising from following me across multiple sites, such as political ads on news sites and ads for competitors I have recently visited on shopping sites.

Since you can selectively enable or disable any individual tracking elements, I have considered unblocking Google Analytics to allow sites like Donation Coder to keep count of unique visitors. I'm just not sure I trust Google enough to do so yet.


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