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Re: Firefox-3 isn't free software. Anything free and usable for GNU?

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Firefox-3 isn't free software. Anything free and usable for GNU?
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 19:32:24 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

David Kastrup <> wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie <> writes:

>> I was just starting Firefox-3 on a GNU/Linux system, when up popped a
>> obnoxious "end-user Software License agreement", to which you've got
>> to agree before the program will start properly.  Part of this is
>> agreeing to their "privacy policy" (a privacy policy for a PROGRAM???)
>> which you can't read, unless you've got another working browser, since
>> it only gives a web address (

>> In essence, this rambling, turgid, patronising web page says that
>> Firefox will "phone home" in the event of a crash (and maybe at other
>> times too), transmitting private and personal information to Mozilla,
>> which they may use in any fashion whatsoever without regard to
>> privacy.

>> (Actually, they say they'll treat it with proper respect, but that
>> they can change their "privacy policy" in any way at any time, without
>> telling anybody, including you, about it, and that it's up to you to
>> watch this page continually, just in case it changes).

>> Does anybody here know of any genuinely free web browser which runs
>> well in X-Windows running on GNU/Linux?

> It is genuinely free, so feel free to throw out all the code that does
> phone home.

I don't think it's completely free: there are restrictions on using it.
(You've first got to accept their licensing terms, some of which are
difficult to read).

> It might be worth taking a look at, uh, Iceweasel?  Or rather its
> Debian-specific change files.  It is conceivable that Debian has put
> the wrench to functionality of that sort, saving you the work to do
> so.

Thanks.  I looked up Iceweasel in Wikipedia, and it turns out there's a
whole mass of Ice.* products, spurred into existence by Mozilla's quirky
trademark position.  In particular, there's Gnuzilla (thanks, Alfred!),
which contains "IceCat", which purports to be updated to Firefox 3.  And
it's part of GNU, so it'll probably be free.

I'm going to try this out.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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