uBlock Origin

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Thomas Ludwig

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Apr 24, 2018, 7:02:33 AM4/24/18
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Hello,

one of the most important add-ons for me in Thunderbird is uBlock Origin
(which is one of the most popular add-ons for Firefox). It's way more
powerful than other blockers (like Adblock Plus) as its Dynamic Filtering

https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/Dynamic-filtering:-quick-guide

makes it possible to provide a very fine-grained control of what is
allowed in RSS feeds and HTML mails. As a result it is, e.g., very
effective in stopping email tracking.

The legacy version of uBlock Origin works well in Thunderbird 52.x but
obviously no longer in Thunderbird 60 beta (see
https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/issues/3698). Unfortunately, its
author gorhill says that support for the legacy version for Thunderbird
will not happen (see
https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/issues/117#issuecomment-381641188).

On the other hand according to
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/Add-ons_Guide_57 webextension
support is not yet available.

This leads to the unfortunate situation that the legacy version of uBO
will soon *no longer* work while the webextension version will *not yet*
work in Thunderbird.

So my question is: Can someone modify the legacy version to make it work
in TB 60? I know that Jörg has done this for some other add-ons -
perhaps he can step in here, too? This would be highly appreciated :-)

The latest legacy version is avialable from
https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/releases as uBlock0.firefox.xpi.

Best regards,

Thomas
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Mihovil Stanić

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Apr 24, 2018, 7:31:16 AM4/24/18
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Apart from tracking via 1px images or other remote images, which are blocked by default in TB, why do you need uBlock?
I'm just interested in subject to see if I'm missing something. :)

Mihovil

Thomas Ludwig

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Apr 24, 2018, 8:57:43 AM4/24/18
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Well, in oder to properly view RSS feeds or HTML mails you often have to allow remote content.

In order to ensure that it is only allowed what is absolutely necessary I have blocked everything (RED) in the global column in Dynamic Filtering. In the local column only those cells get a noop rule (GREY)  which are necessary to make the mail readable. I save those rules with the padlock for every RSS feed and every sender from which I regularly get HTML mails.

This means:

- Everything else (often 3rd party mail trackers) is still completely blocked regardless if there are corresponding rules in the filter lists.

- For those cells with noop rules existing rules from the filter lists (Easylist, EasyPrivacy etc.) are still applied.

Note also that this strategy also mitigates risks from flaws in "browser or browser-like contexts" (e.g. https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/advisories/mfsa2018-09/). Particularly if you have to allow javascript in RSS feeds.

Thomas

Christian Riechers

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Apr 24, 2018, 2:11:10 PM4/24/18
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The same basically is true for AdblockPlus. But one of the Eyeo
developers outright refused to work on this.
https://issues.adblockplus.org/ticket/6028#comment:7

I'm not a developer, but given the version of the Adblock Plus extension
still working in TB52 already is an embedded web extension, I'd expect
no groundbreaking changes are needed to get it going again for TB60.

May be the TB council can approach Eyeo and try to convince them to
produce a working version for TB60?

Reading RSS feeds with TB from news sites is unbearable without an
Adblocker, as new browser tabs with 1-pixel images pop up all over the
place.

Not having a working adblocker in TB60 also would be a kind of blow to
Thunderbird's reputation as an email client protecting a users privacy.

This isn't a made up scenario, even Bruce Schneier has commented on this
privacy issue not too long ago.
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/10/e-mail_tracking.html
Thanks.

Tanstaafl

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Apr 24, 2018, 3:20:23 PM4/24/18
to Thunderbird planning (moderated)
On Tue Apr 24 2018 14:03:33 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time), Christian
Riechers <chrie...@aim.com> wrote:
> Reading RSS feeds with TB from news sites is unbearable without an
> Adblocker, as new browser tabs with 1-pixel images pop up all over the
> place.

I would argue that this is something that native Thunderbird should do
automatically, and I can't think of a good reason to provide the ability
to change/allow such popups.

Magnus Melin

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Apr 24, 2018, 3:35:18 PM4/24/18
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On 24-04-2018 22:13, Tanstaafl wrote:
> On Tue Apr 24 2018 14:03:33 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time), Christian
> Riechers <chrie...@aim.com> wrote:
>> Reading RSS feeds with TB from news sites is unbearable without an
>> Adblocker, as new browser tabs with 1-pixel images pop up all over the
>> place.
> I would argue that this is something that native Thunderbird should do
> automatically, and I can't think of a good reason to provide the ability
> to change/allow such popups.

Yes this is just a quite annoying bug. Would be great if someone could
figure it out! https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=524281

  -Magnus

Christian Riechers

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Apr 24, 2018, 4:15:09 PM4/24/18
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On 4/24/18 9:35 PM, Magnus Melin wrote:
> On 24-04-2018 22:13, Tanstaafl wrote:
>> On Tue Apr 24 2018 14:03:33 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time), Christian
>> Riechers <chrie...@aim.com> wrote:
>>> Reading RSS feeds with TB from news sites is unbearable without an
>>> Adblocker, as new browser tabs with 1-pixel images pop up all over the
>>> place.
>> I would argue that this is something that native Thunderbird should do
>> automatically, and I can't think of a good reason to provide the ability
>> to change/allow such popups.
>
> Yes this is just a quite annoying bug. Would be great if someone could
> figure it out! https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=524281
>
>   -Magnus

Even if this bug would be fixed, it wouldn't eliminate the need for a
working adblocker in Thunderbird.
The problem is, most extension developers who have moved on to
Webextensions show little or no enthusiasm to continue supporting their
extension for Thunderbird/Seamonkey.

Jörg Knobloch

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Apr 24, 2018, 4:19:19 PM4/24/18
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On 24/04/2018 13:01, Thomas Ludwig wrote:
> On the other hand according to
> https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/Add-ons_Guide_57 webextension
> support is not yet available.

I was under the impression that we have enough WebExtension support that
those add-ons will work.

Does the WE version of uBlock Origin not work?

Jörg.

Philipp Kewisch

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Apr 24, 2018, 4:28:49 PM4/24/18
to Thunderbird planning (moderated), Jörg Knobloch
On 4/24/18 10:19 PM, Jörg Knobloch wrote:
> On 24/04/2018 13:01, Thomas Ludwig wrote:
>> On the other hand according to
>> https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/Add-ons_Guide_57  webextension
>> support is not yet available.
>
> I was under the impression that we have enough WebExtension support
> that those add-ons will work.
>
> Does the WE version of uBlock Origin not work?

We have only very basic support once the patches land. We get the
toolkit WX APIs for free, but for uBlock Origin we would still need at
least: content scripts, contextMenu, sidebar_action and possibly the
commands API.

Philipp

Ben Bucksch

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Apr 24, 2018, 9:40:18 PM4/24/18
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For HTML mails, you can use View | Message body as | Simple HTML
In 10 years, I've hardly ever missed anything.

If you want sure protection against tracking, that's what you should
use. Ad blockers are not bullet proof.

That of course doesn't help with RSS. But there, you subscribe yourself.

Ben

Thomas Ludwig wrote on 24.04.18 14:54:
>
> Well, in oder to properly view RSS feeds or HTML mails you often have
> to allow remote content.
>


Tanstaafl

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Apr 25, 2018, 11:42:21 AM4/25/18
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On Tue Apr 24 2018 16:15:01 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time), Christian
Riechers <chrie...@aim.com> wrote:
> Even if this bug would be fixed, it wouldn't eliminate the need for a
> working adblocker in Thunderbird.
> The problem is, most extension developers who have moved on to
> Webextensions show little or no enthusiasm to continue supporting their
> extension for Thunderbird/Seamonkey.

A good argument for getting WevExtension support in Thunderbird asap?

Thomas Ludwig

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Apr 25, 2018, 12:41:56 PM4/25/18
to tb-pl...@mozilla.org
Am 25.04.2018 um 03:40 schrieb Ben Bucksch:
>
> For HTML mails, you can use View | Message body as | Simple HTML
> In 10 years, I've hardly ever missed anything.

I know that, of course. Unfortunately, this means to me that in many
mails important content is missing. I guess it really depends from whom
you're receiving such mails.

>
> If you want sure protection against tracking, that's what you should
> use. Ad blockers are not bullet proof.

Well, uBlock Origin's Dynamic Filtering is. As explained in my first
post if you use that everything is blocked by default independent of
existing rules in the filterlists. Only what gets an explicit *noop*
rule is allowed - and the filterlists are still applied. All other
network requests still remain completely blocked. This is something not
offered by other ad blockers.

>
> That of course doesn't help with RSS. But there, you subscribe yourself.

Sure. But that doesn't make the need to protect onself void.

Thomas
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