Does Adblock Plus behave, or does it phone home or collect information about you? I'm using Tor Browser Bundle, but I don't like ads very much, so I want to use an adblocker, so long as it's safe to do so.
as the saying goes, anonymity likes company. so by installing ABP you're essentially sticking out of the TBB crowd more than a regular user, as your browser does not behave exactly like the others. see https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser/design/ 2.3 #5
Users are free to install these addons if they wish, but doing so is not recommended, as it will alter the browser request fingerprint.
ABP may not collect information on you, but since you increase fingerprintability, other actors might
Don`t worry,Adblock Plus is an open-source extension ,you can see source code here :https://adblockplus.org/en/contribute-code If they dare to put a backdoor for collecting information,they will be reveled in a short time and no one will trust them,then their product will die.
edited:A open-source software doesn`t mean it will never have any backdoor or deadly bug,but compare to close-source software,it is more safety for everyone can check the code and find bugs(or backdoors)more quickly if it has them,especially when there is a big community about develop and test.Tor project have this community,Adblock Plus have it too.So I choose to trust Adblock Plus.
Update: Tails moved to uBlock Origin.
Tails uses uBlock Origin, if you use the same version, lists and config as Tails you can block most ads and keep a reasonable anonymity set, or you could just use Tails.
Ad-blocking is fingerprintable.
Tails ships with uBlock Origin in it's Tor Browser (something that no other answer actually touches on?). If you were to use Tails' uBlock Origin version, lists and configuration you would appear like a Tails user, which would give you a reasonable anonymity set.
Ad-blocking is censorship, you allow third parties to define what you can or cannot see on the web.
Ad-blocking does not defeat tracking. If you subscribe to every list in the world, you will still be subject to tracking because blacklisting never works with 100% efficacy. You should not approach ad-blockers in the belief that they make you less trackable, instead they should be approached as a means to improve your browsing experience if you (like I do) find ads offensive.
The Tor Browser should ship with a default ad-blocker. They have legitimate reason to not want to allow some third party to provide a text file that says what will or will not load on the internet for their users. However, that being said people want ad-blockers (not all people all of the time but some people some of the time) and the Tor Browser not shipping with something like ABP or uBlock means that more people are likely to just install some ad-blocker and configure it themselves. This is, ultimately, fragmenting anonymity sets. I feel the Tor Browser should ship with an ad-blocker, with a sensible configuration, that is disabled by default. This would allow users who are going to install one anyway, to be a more homogeneous set.
If you trust TBB, I think it's justifiable to trust TBB's inclusion of NoScript as an addition that does not "phone home or collect information about you".
Adblock is semi-safe on a non anonymous browser as they do allow "white listed" ads. But for purposes of using with Tor Browser:
Adblock will block the image ads that NoScript can't. Adblock is a very common add-on so I wouldn't fear "fingerprinting". Besides, the more browsers that use Adblock the more we "look" the same.
NoScript doesn't block image ads on many sites (such as porn) as they are not scripted on the "top level". i.e. image ads with scripts underneath - the script is blocked but the image remains.
From what I understand, the Tor browser is a modified Firefox browser. When you install Adblock Plus, it uses filters to block certain traffic. You can choose which filters to use. For example, I am using almost all of the available Adblock Plus filters on my regular FireFox browser. I have not installed Tor yet. The filters I am using are:
3. Disable Malware
4. Fanboy's Social Blocking List
5. There is another which I have disabled: Adblock Warning Removal List. I'm not sure what this is used for.
You can see these filters and what settings you have by clicking on the red Adblock Plus stop sign on your browser and then choosing "Filter Preferences." The filters are listed on the "Filter Subscriptions" tab. Most people probably only use 1 or 2 filters. You can add the other filters by visiting the Adblock Plus website. When these filters are loaded to your list, enabled or disabled, they are updated every so often, probably every 2 or 3 days. When they update, they do contact the easylist page:
I have never checked to see if Adblock Plus uses the FireFox proxy settings. You would need to use a Windows connections lister such as Nirsoft CPort or Sysinternals TCPView. Keep in mind, these filters are small text files and download very quickly, especially if you have a fast 80Mbit/s connection. Activity on these connections would appear and then disappear very quickly in these listers. Instead of waiting for Adblock Plus to update a filter, you can manually update each individual filter by clicking "Action" and then "update filters."
If you want to block ads and you don't mind the possibility of Adblock Plus knowing your physical location, then you can use Adblock Plus. Finally, when Adblock Plus does phone home, I don't know what information it sends , if it sends any identifying information.
The decision is yours to make.