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uMatrix for Helping Understand the Truth of Clearnet

- Posted in BinChan's ZeroNotes by

uMatrix is a Firefox/Chrome/... addon/extension, from A uMatrix guide for Firefox:

The extension is developed and maintained by Raymond Hill (Gorhill), the developer of uBlock Origin, a popular content blocker that is also available for various browsers including Firefox.

Why two extensions and not just one? While both extensions can be used for the same purpose -- blocking content -- they are different when it comes to scope. Without going into too many details: uMatrix is like the advanced brother of uBlock Origin. It gives you more control, and comes with privacy enhancements on top of that.

Yep, uMatrix is a powerful tool for giving user/net-citizen full control of their browser, aka protecting us from all kinds of privacy violation, security traps and also helping us understanding our online activities.


My basic uMatrix rules:

https-strict: * true
https-strict: behind-the-scene false
matrix-off: about-scheme true
matrix-off: behind-the-scene true
matrix-off: chrome-extension-scheme true
matrix-off: chrome-scheme true
matrix-off: localhost true
matrix-off: opera-scheme true
referrer-spoof: behind-the-scene false
ua-spoof: behind-the-scene false
* * * block
* * css block
* * frame block
* * image allow
* 1st-party * allow
* 1st-party css allow
* 1st-party frame block
* 1st-party script block
* cloudflare.com * block
* cse.google.com css block
* facebook.com * block
* fonts.googleapis.com * block
* www.google.com image block
* ytimg.com image block

Why blocking Google, Facebook, Cloudflare? For Facebook, thanks to the recent scandal, guess I don't need to explain anything. Many small websites use Cloudflare to protect them from DDOS, but they also expose their users to Cloudflare's Javascripts and trackers, if you also need some scandals, here is one: CloudBleed HTTPS traffic leak. For Google ...

uMatrix has an awesome real-time logger:

Bildschirmfoto_2018-04-05_11-35-33.png (0x0)

As you may discover, I also use self-destructing cookies addon. Cookie is a kind of fancy tracking snack as you may already know..

And from the screenshot: one image aka the favicon of a site wasn't marked as removed after closing the site. Why? I don't know, maybe it's just a bug from uMatrix, marking as removed doesn't mean they are removed from your computer either. But still, I don't like it, so I opened about:config, searched icon and removed some related features, now my browser (Icecat) don't request favicon from any clearnet sites :3 (I don't mind if some sites use it as a fingerprint to track me)

Yep, I may be a bit of paranoid for privacy, doing too much things like these is probably not good for mind and health, so.. I like to go (half-)offline periodically :3 Anyway, clearnet is naughty/creepy, you never know how creative those cats can be..:

Browser-difference2.png (0x0)

The screenshot shows the difference of surfing a Discourse forum from Firefox 59 and Icecat (Firefox ESR 52) (I guess it may have sth to do with browser version header, but nothing changed when I used User-agent and marked Firefox 59 as IE.., maybe it's because my Icecat is much smarter XD)

Edit: Even different projects in Github have different version, I guess it's caused by some features, not Github wants to do its user a mischief, anyway, that's the clearnet we are using..

Github-difference.png (0x0)

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