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Freedom issue #1620

[Iceweasel] Iceweasel uses the user agent of a nonfree OS

soni - over 2 years ago - . Updated over 2 years ago.

Status:
not-a-bug
Priority:
bug
Assignee:
-
% Done:

0%


Description

The default user agent of Iceweasel is this: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:57.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/57.0
This includes both the nonfree Windows OS and the Firefox trademark. It should be changed to something along these lines: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:57.0) Gecko/20100101 IceWeasel/57.0


Related issues

Related to Packages - Bug #1560: [iceweasel] 1:57.0.1-4 User agent is "X11; Linux x86_64; Iceweasel" now, previous versions had "Windows NT 6.1; Firefox" instead (56 and earlier)fixed2017-12-09

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History

#1

Updated by soni over 2 years ago

In fact, it would seem to me that the ideal useragent is this: Mozilla/5.0 (Unknown; Linux; rv:57.0) Gecko/20100101 IceWeasel/57.0 - it doesn't depend on the setup.

#2

Updated by soni over 2 years ago

Just noticed #1560, but I think that it's more important for users to have a free user agent by default, as the Windows useragent is something that people aren't likely to notice, whereas people who want the Windows useragent will probably know how to change to it, or at least be aware that the default useragent isn't something they want.

#3

Updated by oaken-source over 2 years ago

  • Related to Bug #1560: [iceweasel] 1:57.0.1-4 User agent is "X11; Linux x86_64; Iceweasel" now, previous versions had "Windows NT 6.1; Firefox" instead (56 and earlier) added
#4

Updated by isacdaavid over 2 years ago

Let's get our definitions straight: there is no such thing as a nonfree user agent. A small string mentioning proprietary software and the software itself aren't the same thing.

The practice was probably copied from GNU Icecat, where the Windows user agent is employed to protect users from tracking by default. Would you rather have users unsuspectingly report they are using your average nonfree platform or make them easy prey to miners?

#5

Updated by oaken-source over 2 years ago

  • Status changed from open to not-a-bug

this is a feature. It prevents websites from tracking you by pretending you were in a large anonymous group of users.

GNU icecat is doing the same, and there was a lengthy thread on why this is on their guix's mailing list:
https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/guix-devel/2016-09/msg00835.html

in particular this explains it quite well:
https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/guix-devel/2016-09/msg00847.html

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