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[liberationtech] Meet the 'cowboy' in charge of the NSA

Leif Ryge leif at
Mon Sep 9 13:39:22 PDT 2013

On Mon, Sep 09, 2013 at 06:50:05PM +0200, Al Billings wrote:
> Have fun tilting that windmill, Mr. Quixote.  
> Like it or not, to fully use websites at this point, you generally need
> things like Javascript and CSS. The reason that most folks, even security
> folks like the ones I work with, don't run with NoScript on all the time is
> that it breaks the net as experienced. 

Lots of people do run with NoScript configured to deny by default. It is
hyperbole to say that the seconds it takes to wait for a page to reload after
clicking "temporarily allow scripts from" constitutes breaking the
net. (And of course, I do permanantly allow a few sites that I use frequently.)

Many sites like the washington post have javascript coming from a hilariously
large number of domains, only a few of which actually need to run to do
something like viewing the PDFs they embed via documentcloud. In those cases, it
can take a few more seconds to decide which domains seem likely to be the ones
necessary to enable, but if you're in a hurry you can just "temporarily allow
all this page".

NoScript also not infrequently actually improves my browsing experience, as it
did in the case of the FP article this thread was about: when I read the
article, I didn't have any reason enable any scripts, so I didn't even know
about their irritating overlay until I read the complaints about it here.


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