startpage.com waterfox browser and w3m text browsing – gstatic.com

Brief reporting here of a slogan sold cheap “your privacy is important to us” or “we put your privacy 1st“, used by many commercialized old software and services, that became too popular for “industry” to leave alone.  Sometimes marketing hype and sloganism becomes more than actual meaning and content.   It is the myth that sells.  So how is open/free software and a free search engine, committed to user privacy, used by large marketing businesses, and data miners, is used as a lure to do exactly what Microsoft explorer, msn, google, yahoo, mozilla, do, but with an “activist’s” dress?  I am talking about waterfox and startpage, both sold during the past couple of years to a data mining business.  And if it wasn’t a data miner it is now.

If I use waterfox to access startpage.com, no proxy, no tor, no VPN, but with NoScript blocking every type of script, I get access to the search engine.  I am not blocked, my options set a while ago are still set, I get my dark theme and 20 hits per page.  I am “ensured” that I can use anonymous links if I wish for the results, but accessing startpage is not anonymous, in a sense, and “it” knows who I am.

If I go to terminal now and access the same page through w3m (browser)

 

Startpage Home

Just checking ...

We apologize for the inconvenience: to prevent possible abuse of the
Startpage.com service, your Internet connection has been prevented from
accessing it at this time.

This happens when a large number of search requests are received from one's
Internet connection in a short amount of time -- for example, if you are using
"screen-scraping" software, or if you are sharing a connection with many
people, perhaps through a proxy service.

Otherwise, if you have received this message in error, please help us in
investigation by providing following information:

- Are you using TOR or other anonymous proxies?
- Do you have special browser configuration or extensions?
- Are you using VPN?
- Are you using a company network?

We will seek to refine and correct this whenever possible. Thank you for your
patience.

If you have javascript disabled, you will not be able to send this info to
Startpage via the form. You can enable javascript or contact us via email at
support@startpage.com.

© 2021 Startpage.com

Now, I try elinks I get a blank screen, not even the above message, I try lynx and I have full access and can search!  Wow!  Hey, look, startmail, it sells with the slogan:

What is StartMail? StartMail is an email platform that takes privacy seriously.

Take whose privacy seriously, and what does that even mean?  A private detective takes privacy seriously, he gets paid so you can’t have any.  That’s pretty damn serious.

Let’s see if I can use Lynx to sign up for a “free” email….. sorry you must have “javascript” enabled.  So their free email may be private between two users but their access to their web-mail comes at a cost.  They want us to run their scripts on our machine.  No dummies, get your own machines to run scripts, I keep mine for running my own damn bash scripts, not yours.

At least, like most commercial sites these days, the only scripts they are inducing to their victim/visitors are their own in house scripts, you are not bombarded by 15 servers all working on you for reading a 2 paragraph article with a catchy title and literally no content.  Have you noticed how frequent and how aggressive gstatic.com has gotten these days.  It is even running here on wordpress if you want to edit text.  Most sites if you just block gstatic, nothing else, you can’t read or browse anything on them.  Free apis handed out to all commercial web-designers have a cost.  If you stop using them everything that is funky on the site falls apart.  Just one google site, gstatic.com blocked, and about 80% of the content of WWW vanishes.  There is a public contract with users for google, is there one with gstatic.com?  Let us examine this.

 

404. [INS: That’s an error. :INS]

The requested URL / was not found on this server. [INS: That’s all we know. :INS]

[Document has only hidden links. Use the 'l'ist command.]


List Page (Lynx Version 2.8.9rel.1)

References in http://www.gstatic.com/

Hidden links:
1. http://www.google.com/

So, you all allow gstatic.com to run scripts for every web page you visit (almost, respectable open/free software sites don’t use any of their apis and work perfectly without scripts – EMPHASIS ON RESPECTABLE) there is no contract or even a note who those people really are, just a hidden link within hidden content to google.

 

And things are getting worse and worse every day, every click, and every activity, action, expression of freedom.  Your whereabouts are recorded, your interests, your movement, your contacts, your dreams, your aspirations, your tendencies …..  each and every one of us 8bil. imprisoned corps have voluntarily handed out our existence to the “controllers”.  The know it alls.

All above tests were done with no tor, no proxy, no VPN, and no “company network”.  That last one they list at startpage is a bit surprising.  Are companies really blocking startpage so startpage is blocking them back?  Or is it that you can’t use the search engine behind some commercial firewalls.   Their last excuse:

– Do you have special browser configuration or extensions?

Nothing special, no extensions, just a text browser’s evolution as it worked 30 years ago.  Same IP that I’ve had for days, no middle man.

I am not asking for an excuse about why they are denying service through my text browser, I am looking for a reasonable explanation on how does Waterfox, with NoScript addon installed and blocking scripts from startpage,  allows access and use, but KNOWS that I am the same machine from the past few days and what my settings are.  If scripts are not doing it, cookies are.  Or is it something more elaborate within the browser.  Someone may say, it is more private than mozilla’s ff.  That is not an example of anything committed to privacy and anonymity, mozilla’s products have been known to be common spyware on their own.

Am I surprised?  No, I like cookies, I eat them and then “bake new ones” to have the next day.

 

6 thoughts on “startpage.com waterfox browser and w3m text browsing – gstatic.com

  1. Pingback: #waterfox and #startpage are owned by #system1 and attack your #pri… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (罗伊)

  2. I mentioned “them” in an other article when 3 months after the fact waterfox announced it was already sold. I figure the less they are mentioned the less they are advertised as a force in that market. I was going to say the evil market, but all markets are evil. All exchange is evil, and all that is common and shared is … just that. Common and shared, the ultimate in human development. NO!!! Common, shared, and managed by equals, is the ultimate. Ok, now I got it right.

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  3. For at least the last 5 years I must spend an lot of time on browsers, fixing them after install that is. I look at the browsers from the back of the browser, not the front. Take Brave right? Got some nice window dressin on it, got a few things like incognito mode or whatever, which is fine. But.Its built on chrome. k. So, on the front end one can go into the settings, and they arent exactly user friendly I am sure by design, and when you get way down to permissions you will find that the box allowing Brave to collect your data is on by default. This is what you can see. Then theres the flags what you dont see unless you know where to look. So get into flags now. Now you can run the entire gamut of what they are collecting on the back end. it is truely terrible. I started having to really hack out about:config in and around 2015 in FF and in WF. Not to long ago I had to zero out WF Current and go back to WF Classic, I installed a list of add ons from the current FF addon store, I basically just built a link for it and bookmarked it, I go to it and I install and most the time it does it some times it says 56 is too old bla bla bla. anyway, If I must have FF I go for 78 or 68, I then spend no less than 1 hour hacking out about:config and theres alot to get gone inside there. Once I removed 90% of the spyware in there like slimmed it down. Of ourse it stopped working hahah. anyway, another really weird thing is TOR. Built on FF, which the theory is good, but again built on FF, the backend doesnt look any different than FF main. but the front end does. I dont know. People do not look. they assume its fine. I assume its all crooked so I look.

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  4. I want to add to above. Things I forgot. Basically I see it like this, the browsers are the portal, the eye if you will, we must have them. However, they must be tuned and configured the same as we tune a desktop operating system. We download them stock, made to collect data for the corporates, I then mod it to be the least intrusive possible for the user. On any new install before I type one word into it I tear it down, then build it back up accordingly. While I am tearing it down I am disconnected from the internet. when I have all the pings disabled, all the telemetry turned off, all the auto settings disabled, all the updates disabled, all the amazon and google safe browsing disabled, all the highlights topsites snippets whats new, media-peer connection disabled, keyword set, all the settings set on the front and the back end and or removed, then I will get back online, and go to the add on store and proceed to build it back up. l use powerful add ons and I dont overload it, I also set about: config with a personal file for user agent. everywhere I go every website thinks I am a windows 10 user. I regularly have about 20 addons. These add ons block or disable most of the tracking going on out there. I see the internet closer to the way it used to be rather than the way it is now for most people. I have logged alot of hours modding FF and its subsets. I have also sampled every browser on the market, there are like 50 at any one time, and from time to time I sample the new ones. Heres why I stay with FF (for now), because I can see what they are doing. I have a way to see. and I have a way to modify. I can also see with Chrome, but Chrome is too broken, there is too much and their add on store hides the good add ons when one is searching through their boxes making the find more time consuming, also chrome is a moving target, and even in flags you cant mod everything you can see. I dont have a road to the backend of alot of these other browsers, thus I cannot see. I would just have to trust them. and I am not going to do that.

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  5. Search Engines,
    Start Page I left Long ago, in and around 2012. I moved to DuckDuckGo. In 2015 I moved from free email to paid email that is out of the country, located in Norway. Runbox. They have been around since 1999, and have been privacy oriented long before it was trendy. My dad still used SP until about a year ago, from what I understand they just pull in their results direct from Google, and then attempt to “privitize” the served up results. There is no way to extensively set settings in the search engine anonymously like DDG has avail, and again StartPage may have to toe the line with GGL. I have set up all my settings in DDG and set a password which is anonymized. To get there -DDG Main Page to Hamburger Menu to All Settings. Choose Settings, Save Settings, Load Settings. With DDG after I have set FF, I just go in to this menu, I choose Load Settings, I put in passcode, it produces my saved settings, I choose Show bookmarklet settings, I copy my link I paste into FF Custom Homepage and then my browser is ready. I also update these things accordingly. ADgaurd is my main ADblocker. once installed it takes about 10 minutes to setup, if it is ones first time it may take alot longer, then on to the other addons. Another search engine I use is SwissCows Search Engine. The data harvesting is a moving target and there are alot of moving parts in the equation, there isnt one thing you can do or one place it comes from. Getting away from it is more akin reduction than it is elimination. In 2021 just to function normally online one must have quite a few things in place, I found long ago Noscript while in practice years ago was worthy of its weight, is a deprecated add on just simply due to the fact that the data harvesters have found ways around it. By making verything reliant on java. Upstream projects from downstream projects force it more times than not. sucks. but there are more than one way to approach this. Its just not a one add on fits all situation anymore.

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  6. Enter TLS 1.3 further complicating getting to otherwise healthy websites. https://duo.com/decipher/browsers-will-block-sites-using-old-versions-of-tls-in-march. I have not found a way around this even in about:config. What I can say for sure is websites formerlly reachable, some of them can still be reached through. onion. Like the rv mod website I refer to at times for projects, can no longer be reached via regular channels. I must tunnel through.onion to get there. I think TLS 1.3 is essentialy a strong arm of the internet certificate society. Whereas the preveious versions were good for something like ten years, these ones are much shorter and will require recertification more frequently by the web hosting sites, are paid for services that are a moving target themselves. The stated goal by the corps is always “more security”. But I do not find that to be the end result for me as a user.

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