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[liberationtech] Help test the new Tor Browser!

Mike Perry mikeperry at
Mon Jun 24 16:25:08 PDT 2013

Mike Perry:
> Jacob Appelbaum:
> > Jillian C. York:
> > > +1
> > > 
> > > 
> > > On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 2:38 PM, Cooper Quintin
> > > <cooper at>wrote:
> > > 
> > >> Start page also allows you to generate a url that has certain settings,
> > >> for example this one (
> > >>
> > >> )has safe search turned off and no caching for video and image search
> > >> results turned on.  It could be useful to put something like this in Tor
> > >> Browser to avoid search filtering.
> > 
> > It would be great if this was the default home page. I'd certainly be
> > happier with that as the default search engine.
> I don't have anything against porn, and do I strongly believe we should
> make it easy for people to search for whatever they want (hence right
> now, I like the idea of adding a "Startpage (unfiltered)" omnibox item
> rather than changing the default), but I am not sure that I like the
> idea of exposing people to porn who are not looking for it. I worry that
> changing the default *might* do this.

In fact it does do this. Queries for "female condom help", "female
condom use", "female condom pictures", "female condom videos" return
increasing numbers of porn results with the query without filters. With
the filters in place, they return no porn, only instructional material,
diagrams, and pictures.

I think it is reasonable to expect that a number of sexual education
and potentially even sexual abuse topics will have similar results.

> Two things could tip the scales in my mind either way about the default:
> 1. Can anyone provide concrete examples where the image and/or video
> filters of Startpage/Google (I think Startpage just uses Google's
> filters) have inadvertently censored material that is not porn, and this
> error has persisted uncorrected for a significant period of time?
> I think it is important to weigh this against people being provided with
> porn results if they are not actually looking for porn -- which is an
> important issue of consent, IMO. I am sure there are many Muslim users
> of TBB who do not want to see porn at all, and merely want free access
> to information. The possibility of subjecting those people to porn
> potentially against their will weighs on me a bit..
> 2. The converse is that making people in the Islamic world who *are*
> looking for porn potentially signal this via their omnibox choice isn't
> a great option either, since that choice can leak to disk. I don't think
> it is fair to allow these people to potentially subject themselves to
> government persecution via this choice. :/
> I am open to suggestions on how to balance these concerns.

Still am, but I also want to point out that there is also the "Do
Nothing" option: DuckDuckGo is our second omnibox choice, and it is not
hard to switch to it to get unfiltered porn results without signaling
that you are looking for such material...

Mike Perry

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