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Re: Concurrency, again

From: Ricardo Wurmus
Subject: Re: Concurrency, again
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:52:02 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 0.9.16; emacs 25.1.1

Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
>   > Every open browser tab (should I say "window", this being emacs?) can
>   > potentially be doing all sorts of computation in the background via
>   > JavaScript,
> We should not make Emacs a platform for running nonfree software
> sent from servers designed to snoop on people.
> An ethical web browser requires lots of work.  We made have IceCat by
> changing Firefox so that
> (1) it doesn't by default run nonfree programs, and
> (2) it blocks various kinds of schemes to track or fingerprint users.
> If Emacs is going to have a web browser powerful enough to be vulnerable
> to these things, then it too has to be changed to defend against them.

Emacs has the potential for a fully functional browser since the
addition of the xwidget feature.  (The current implementation is not yet
very usable but it doesn’t take much work to make it usable enough for
common browsing tasks.)  We can disable execution of *any* JavaScript by
default (by changing the initial settings in Webkit) and/or add hooks to
run Elisp procedures that decide whether or not to run JavaScript,
e.g. by inspecting license information.

With the Webkit xwidget we can also send our own JavaScript to the
widget to have it executed *instead* of whatever the web page loads.
This would work similar to what the dotjs extension does for
Firefox/Icecat.  I’d like to prepare some patches to implement this.  (I
was told that my copyright assignment is now complete.)

(Blocking fingerprinting and tracking attempts is harder and I don’t know
how to approach this.)

~~ Ricardo

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