Browser extensions

Wrong news about Ghostery from Wired

Wired reports that Ghostery went open source and that they changed their business model. I need to correct this article because it’s simply wrong in so many ways and it shows that the author never used Ghostery or did some research.


The source code was already viewable

Wired writes that the source code is now hosted on GitHub, this is correct but the title is wrong, the source code was already always on their own homepage, somewhat hidden and you could’t download it for no reason but it was there, as I explained here. The links however aren’t working anymore which is no surprise because it’s now on hosted via GitHub. The latest changes on this was made February 22, 2016, while Ghostery decided to change their EULA.

Open-source company?

That’s not possible and is wrong too, a company can never be open source due several reason, mostly privacy related ones and only the source code is open, nothing else. I’m not sure what the author smoked here but he even wrote that the US government released something to the public, does it means there open-source too? I doubt that….

Changes on the business model?

Wired states that the business model got several changes, but I can’t see any different from what Cliqz did since last year, maybe nothing because there no changes made. The article on Wikipedia also doesn’t mentioned any Wired mentioned things, nothing has changed.

Ghostery overrated

“Edward Snowden used/said….” with much respect, if he uses xy toilet paper, do you going to do the same just because he things it’s the best?! Really?! His so called privacy related app is a joke, I reported about it such things really make me wonder how much this guy is an expert. Basically it’s a spying app which states to prevent spying? O’rly?!

To be perfectly honest I was after lot of research never a fan of Ghostery and there better alternatives out there, like NoScript, uBlock (Nano Adblocker) and uMatrix which does all the things without drama or selling the data to external organizations. Sadly NoScript is not anymore the addon it was because WebExtension API related changes on Firefox.

My Comment

I wonder how many false articles really exist on the Internet while reading Wired’s article, I only reacted to the article because I was involved in the entire Ghostery discussion long time ago and I put a lot of effort and time into Ghostery’s addon related question/criticism. It’s really shocking that you then see an article which shows another story.

I think releasing the source code doesn’t gain the users trust back and Ghostery not gets my recommendation because in the meantime other addons fully replaced the place and there more trustworthy. You should always use the best available addons and not the ones which are recommend by Edward Snowden & Co. That uBlock is unique in speed, memory consumption, blocking and update frequency was already shown on several forums, discussion groups. But  at the end I can tell you a lot, just try it yourself and report your findings. Also don’t forget that the ‘best software/app in the world’ is worthless if the user doesn’t understand it or is not comfortable with it! I think that also must be mentioned because the usability point is important.