NoScript Firefox Plugin – Whitelist, Blacklist, Graylist

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privacy-security I use the NoScript plug-in for Firefox.  However, there are tons of websites that use JavaScript for legitimate functionality.  For example, the Mozilla forums use a javascript:history.back() for the back button in the forums.  There is obviously no need to block this.

Originally, I tried to allow everyone to use JavaScript and then block the ones I didn’t want.  Of course, that is easier said than done since you never no where a link might lead you, and legitimate sounding sites can be full of garbage.

Now, I use NoScript to block everyone by default and then allow various websites as I use them.  At first this is time consuming and frustrating because nearly every big website uses JavaScript for something.  However, over time, it becomes less of an issue because when you set a site to “allow”, NoScript remembers that setting and you never have to change it again.

NoScript also allows for a “temporary allow” setting which essentially is the same as regular allow, but sooner or later I click “remove temporary permissions.”   When that happens, the regular allows stay allowed and everyone else goes back to not allowed.

I bring this up today because this morning, I removed temporary permissions and was stunned at just how many of my “main” sites are now needing their permissions changed.  The issue is the large number of sites which I don’t know about.  Some are ad services of course, but others are functionality that is served to site owners from elsewhere.  Usually, these fall in the category of animations or other fancy things that, frankly, I don’t care if they load or not because I don’t really need those.  But, sometimes that cripples the website because they do everything that way.

So, starting with this post, and permanently listed and archived on my NoScript Plug-in Graylist page will be sites that I get the time to investigate and make informed decisions on.  You are free to use my list, make comments on the list, and make suggestions for the list.  We’ll see where it all goes from here.

NoScript Blacklists

I am aware that there are various services and lists out there that publish various “blacklists” for NoScript.  The problem is that what is an anathema to one man is fine by another.  For example, I have no problem with Google Ads being displayed on a webpage.  They are unobtrusive, and do not interrupt my browsing experience.  So, if it helps a useful website stay in business by displaying some ads, then I have no problem with that.  (I control my Google privacy in other ways.)

However, I despise those ad services that use programs to underline words (sometimes randomly so) and turn them into links which go to ads.  For starters, that makes me afraid to click any links on the site even legitimate ones. Second, they almost always have a mouse-over bubble component that means innocent mouse movements create bubbles that get in the way of what I am trying to look at.  So, I want those blocked no questions asked.

In other words, I can use other people’s lists to block the horrendous no-value JavaScript as well as the dangerous virus, trojan type JavaScripts, but when it comes to that gray area where something is maybe fine for one but unacceptable for another, I’ll need my own list.  And this is it.

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