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I've noticed a handful of questions along the "Is the XYZ plugin/add-on safe to use with Tor Browser?" theme. Most of these probably deserve a canned "No, because blah blah blah" response.

That being said, the non-tin-foil-hat users still want to know what may or may not be reasonably safe for day-to-day use. One could argue that some plugins with publicly auditable code could be "cleared" by some in the community for general consumption as long as the standard caveat emptor goes along with it.

So, should we even try to get involved with these?

  • Hmmm. goes away to think on this for a bit. – Megan Walker Jan 31 '14 at 17:05
  • Though call; good discussion to have though. I will also think about this for a bit... – Sam Whited Feb 1 '14 at 15:32
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I agree that the answer here should be no; these sorts of things aren't really about Tor. If we open this site up to questions about Firefox plugins, we're opening this site up to questions about any and all software. We don't have the resources or the knowledge to properly review any random piece of code to see if it's Tor-safe out of the box.

In short: This would vastly expand the scope of this site, so I'd say no.

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In order to keep the discussion more open I'll give my own opinion as an answer and not inside the question.

I'd vote No on this one. I personally think it's unlikely we'd even be able to keep up with which versions of which plugins may or may not be "safe", only to have a new version come out that changes everything. On top of that, it's probably best not to imply that certain "sacrifices" can be made to privacy in order to ease use. To coin a phrase:

They who would give up essential Security, to purchase a little temporary Simplicity, deserve neither Security nor Simplicity

My solution? Let the existing ones remain (since there are some decent answers in them) but close any new questions like this as either duplicates of off-topic. It may even be worth updating our About page and Help Center.

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Maybe it is useful to create a general question 'Is it safe to use plugin XYZ with Tor?'. The answer can explain why it is hard to give general advice and that plugin which is safe now might now be safe in the future etc. This question can used in the future as the reference questions for dupes.

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