Mozilla drops Yahoo as Firefox’s default search provider

Mozilla released a major new version of the organization's Firefox web browser on November 14, 2017. The new version of Firefox promises better performance and stability, came with a theme refresh, and dropped the legacy add-on system on top of all that.

Changes were made to the browser's default search provider as well. Firefox ships with search engines preset, and options for users of the browser to switch to another search provider.

The organization changes its search strategy back in 2014 when it started to broker regional deals with search providers instead of relying on a deal with a single provider (Google). A consequence of the change in strategy was that Yahoo Search became the default search provider in the United States, Baidu in China, and Yandex in Russia and some other countries.

Mozilla announced yesterday that Google Search is once again the default search provider for Firefox in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Mozilla agreed to make Yahoo Search the default search provider in Firefox for the United States for five years in 2014, a period that is not over yet. TechCrunch managed to get a statement from Mozilla in which Denelle Dixon, the organization's Chief Business and Legal Officer had this to say:

We exercised our contractual right to terminate our agreement with Yahoo! based on a number of factors including doing what’s best for our brand, our effort to provide quality web search, and the broader content experience for our users.

The contract was favorable to Mozilla, judging from what has been reported in the past. Mozilla did have a clause in the contract for instance that Yahoo had to pay Mozilla even if another company bought Mozilla and if Mozilla did not want to work with that other company.

Read also:  Google feeds users local results in Maps and Search

Another clause allowed Mozilla to move away from the deal, and it appears that this is what the organization has done.

Google is now the default search provider for most regions in Firefox. The only regions left with other default search providers are China, Russia, Turkey, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Neither Mozilla nor Google disclosed how much money Google agreed to pay to Mozilla to become the default search provider again.

firefox default search

Firefox users can change the default search provider in the following way:

  1. Load about:preferences#search in the browser's address bar.
  2. Locate the "default search engine menu", and select one of the providers from the listing. If your preferred search engine is not on that list, go to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/search/?type=search to install it from there.
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Mozilla drops Yahoo as Firefox's default search provider
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Mozilla announced on November 14, 2017 that it dropped Yahoo Search as the default search provider in Firefox and switched back to Google Search.
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Responses to Mozilla drops Yahoo as Firefox’s default search provider

  1. Tony November 15, 2017 at 7:49 am #

    Google? Boooooooo!

    • Simple Shredder November 15, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

      Agreed.

      Google is very likely a financial orientated decision from Mozilla, but what else can be expected? Mozilla needs to find funding in any number of ways they can. Firefox toes the following line.

      "When you use Firefox, you’re also contributing to a movement to ensure the Internet remains a global public resource, open and accessible to all. As an independent, not-for-profit organisation, we’ve been committed since 2003 to building products that put you in control of your online life and advancing open technology and public policy that promote a healthier Internet. We put you at the center of everything we do.
      "
      Source https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/57.0/whatsnew/?oldversion=%OLD_VERSION%

      I personally disagree with the connotation of "We put you at the center of everything we do", IMO this needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, they make it sound like the individual you, but in fact the collective you is what is meant, since clearly they dont cater for the individual you so much anymore with FF57 launch.

      But back on topic, you "the individual" still have the possibility to use/select/add/change Google for Disconnect, DuckDuckGo, Startpage or any other search engine you prefer; this serves individuals to contribute to maintain a public, open and privacy concerned internet resource.

      • Appster November 15, 2017 at 1:04 pm #

        > "privacy concerned internet resource."

        Not really, though. See my main comment down below.

      • Simple Shredder November 15, 2017 at 4:15 pm #

        @Appster

        >Not really, though. See my main comment down below.

        Nothing about your comments below contradict the fact that if you use DuckDuckGo or Disconnect or any other non tracking search services that "this serves individuals to contribute to maintain a public, open and privacy concerned internet resource."

        Also you taking and quoting a snippet of a paragraph makes for a great out of context reply, hence I clarified the meaning above.

        FYI I dont disagree with your points of view, but the search engines I mentioned dont seem to qualify under the Mozilla Corp and its interests.

        Your whole take on Mozilla and their politics and interests is lost on the minds of these "we dont care" users, I applaud your efforts in trying to educate people. Yes people are mostly misinformed and are lazy enough to make the internet a dangerous place for all, most of all their focus interestingly enough is set on talking down valid points, begs the question if they are paid by interested parties to add noise, to otherwise valid discussion..

      • Appster November 15, 2017 at 5:44 pm #

        @Simple Shredder: Of course I was not talking about DDG or Disconnect. It was all about Mozilla Corp. Nevertheless, regardless whether or not you use those search engines in Firefox, one should be concerned with the browser itself and have a close look at its about:config settings. Otherwise all DDG or Disconnect efforts are rendered (almost) useless. That's what I meant with "not really", as I assume you are a Firefox user.

      • Simple Shredder November 15, 2017 at 9:32 pm #

        @Appster, which specific about:config entries do you mean?

      • Simple Shredder November 17, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

        @Appster in the absence of a reply from you regarding the about:config entries that would affect in your opinion render DDG and Disconnect or similar search engines "almost useless", I would ask you to actually provide detailed information with your statements, otherwise it may well be seen as just an opinion and not actual facts.

      • Tom Hawack November 17, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

        @Simple Shredder, before Appster replies by himself I believe he meant that focusing on privacy-concerned Websites (be it for search as for whatever topic) may appear less efficient (in terms of the user's privacy) if the global settings of a browser (and/or of the system) are not switched to adequate values. One could even extrapolate that a system and a browser set to optimize the user's privacy leave less arguments to the fact of choosing, say, DDG rather than Google Search : less arguments doesn't mean no arguments at all.

        So, when it comes to Firefox/Waterfox/Pale Moon, it's all in the about:config settings, of which some are integrated in the browser's Options, or in the most valuable 'ConfigurationMania' add-on (legacy only, impossible to adapt to Webextension).

        What about:config settings? I'd advise to refer to the best available detailed and summed up in the best list IMO available : ghacks-user.js available, developer by Pants and his team, explained, discussed here :
        [https://github.com/ghacksuserjs/ghacks-user.js]

        Believe me it's worth it, requires the user's personal choices on specific settings, hence attention, but that's the lot of combining efficiency and liberty.

      • Appster November 17, 2017 at 1:09 pm #

        @Simple Shredder: A day from off from the blog was necessary yesterday, so I couldn't respond within 24 hours. Anyway, for starters, here are some of the most notable Firefox settings which need to be changed:

        network.http.speculative-parallel-limit:
        This should be set to "0". When this is enabled, you will connect to the server behind a link whenever you (perhaps accidentally) hover over the link. This is not useful at all, so one should disable it for the sake of not establishing unnecessary and unwanted connections.

        network.prefetch-next:
        Should be set to "false". Websites hint at the next sites which are likely to be visited , so the browser downloads them in advance. Not useful at all, and may create unnecessary traffic as well as connecting to servers you may not wish to connect to.

        beacon.enabled:
        Should be set to "false". When this preference remains active, Firefox can communicate to a site after you have left it. Only useful for tracking, and thus useless to you.

        extensions.getAddons.cache.enabled:
        Should be set to "false". When this preference is active, Firefox will renew the description texts accompanying the add-ons in about:addons frequently. However, when it is is activated, it also sends a list of all your installed add-ons to Mozilla once daily. If you do not want that to happen and don't care about the texts, deactivate it.

        dom.serviceWorkers enabled:
        This should be set to "false". Quote from gHacks: "Service Workers are an up and coming feature supported by most modern browsers that enable sites and services to interact with the browser without having to be open in it. Think of them as on-demand processes that enable the use of push notifications and data synchronization, or make sites work offline." They are even worse and far more aggressive than regular cookies, you do not want or need them. (Pale Moon works well and has them disabled by default, by the way.)

        dom.battery.enabled:
        This should be set to "false". Your device can be tracked by its battery form and status (it will even reveal information about what other programs you are using!), and most websites do not need this feature. Only good for hardware-based tracking, and you can do without that.

        social.remote-install.enabled, social.share.activationPanelEnabled, social.toast-notifications.enabled, social.whitelist:
        Set all of them to "false" and empty the social.whitelist entry. Mozilla's Social API, where you could Facebook and Twitter services etc. Since you have no idea what those social services consist of (they are not open source) and since they come from companies notorious for tracking, I would disable it for good. Note that "social.whitelist" shows a Cliqz entry - unbelievable, if you ask me.

        experiments.enabled and network.allow-experiments:
        Set them to "false". Those preferences are related to experiments such as Cliqz and others. If you don't need those, you may wish to stop them for good. The network.allow-experiments preference is especially nefarious, since it allows Firefox to install experiments all on its own. You need to take this one out, for sure.

        security.family_safety.mode:
        Set this to "0". Setting it to "0" will deactivate the parental control tool in Microsoft Windows. Don't know why this is enabled for adult persons, can only speculate. Some would classify that as censoring, I guess.

        Last but not least, all browsers are supporting so-called "referrer headers". Those will give a site you are going to information about the site you came from. I will link a very good explanation for you, since this would be just too much to explain here: https://askubuntu.com/questions/797135/how-to-disable-http-referrer-in-firefox

        And those were just the worst ones, the ones related to tracking in some way. There are many more, and Firefox privacy guides will show you. However, when you turn these off, you have already enhanced your tracking protection in a major way.

        Hope this helps you a bit. Maybe you understand now why using a relatively private search engine like DDG alone is certainly not enough. Also, it is certainly good advice on Tom Hawack's part to read ghacks-user.js closely, as that will give you helpful information in general and will greatly assist you when it comes to deciding which settings are best for you, as there is sometimes more than one recommendable option, depending on your use case.

      • Clairvaux November 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

        What is the default level of privacy of Chrome, Vivaldi and others ? And do they have the equivalent of about:config ? If not, it could be argued that Firefox is, indeed, the most privacy-inclined browser, even though its default state might not be satisfactory.

      • Appster November 17, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

        @Clairvaux: Mozilla is (successfully) counting on the stupidity of the average user, end of story. What percentage of users out there truly does change anything in about:config? That's around 1% - 2%, I guess. The rest are ignorants, and Mozilla knows this. If they truly cared, they would have made Firefox's privacy settings better by DEFAULT. Also, about:config is not enough of an argument to justify the "most private browser" batch, especially since "privacy" is relative. Privacy relative to Google? Wow, that's a real challenge, haha.

      • Clairvaux November 17, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

        @ Appster

        My question was : do the other browsers have an about:config ? As you say yourself, privacy (as pretty much everything else) is relative. If Firefox is still the most private / less un-private browser available, well, then it's the better choice in that respect.

        I wouldn't call users ignorant and stupid if they don't get into about:config. Such people are just normal users, people computers are made for. There's a perspective error here. Individuals fiddling about:config settings, downloading user.js lists or even being aware that all those things exist are white elephants, highly abnormal users.

        Not only it is derogatory to call the vast mass of users ignorant and stupid, not only it's almost certainly false (it's a statistical certainty there are among them some of the most intelligent and learned men on the planet), it twists expectations and tends to ruins software design.

        Computer products should be made first with the masses in mind, and they should also, up to a point, be as powerful and as configurable as possible. Not the other way round.

        This is not even an opinion, it's a historical fact : if the computing pioneers had not acted this way, then we wouldn't even be discussing the matter, because tech wouldn't be the ubiquitous tool it is today. Firefox wouldn't even exist, so we can berate Mozilla for its perceived failings.

      • Appster November 18, 2017 at 10:27 am #

        @Clairvaux:

        Whether or not other browsers have about:config doesn't matter as long as 99% of the user base don't even know what about:config is! Name me one good reason why Mozilla couldn't enhance the default state to a more private level! You won't find any... They just don't care, at all. Which comes unsurprising, considering that they are now in the business themselves. Their ownership of Ghostery and minority share of Cliqz should tell you all you need to know.
        Also, I insist that people who don't care about the privacy of a product they use daily are ignorants. After all, it's a browser, and will at times treat sensible, private data as well as work-related data. One should sit down and think about that for a moment.
        Your argument regarding "some of the most learned men on the planet are using it as well" doesn't really stick, unless you mean computer scientists. You can be a knowledgeable mathematician, a great artist or capable engineer, but you can still be ignorant towards other things, privacy being one of them. I don't see the connection, at all. It is and remains ignorant when people don't care about the safety of their sensible data, whatever excuses you might make up for it.
        That's not "derogatory", but a well-meant counsel. People should be more privacy-aware nowadays. That includes having a closer look at Mozilla. After all, about:config is not THAT hard to handle.

  2. User November 15, 2017 at 8:10 am #

    Wasn't Canada already using Google?

    Also, I don't understand why Yahoo Search is so ugly outside USA. It is modern only on USA thanks to Mozilla. They are not updated with the trends. It's like if they don't even care anymore. This is why they are a failure, nothing more then a gossip portal.

  3. KNTRO November 15, 2017 at 8:20 am #

    Adding DuckDuckGo would have been just WONDERFUL.

    Not so original in choosing Google again.

    • Appster November 15, 2017 at 9:17 am #

      DuckDuckGo won‘t bribe them the way Google can. If you haven‘t noticed yet, Mozilla is a donation leech. They are sucking up money from actual companies. Their own attempts to make money (Firefox OS) failed miserably.

      • lefty November 15, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

        You are funny. Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization. Developers have to pay bills though. In your fantasy world other people have to work for free and give you free stuff.

      • Appster November 15, 2017 at 12:57 pm #

        @lefty: Although you may not like the fact, there is non-profit Mozilla Foundation and for-profit Mozilla Corporation. More about Mozilla "paying its bills" in my main comment below.

      • Tom Hawack November 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

        lefty has the same rhetoric as http://www.com ... :)

      • lefty November 15, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

        No matter if you like it or not Mozilla is a non-profit organization. You can't be non profit and for profit at the same time. There is no evidence that Cliqz collects user's personal info. Only fud by people like you. You are just bitter because you lost your precious addons lol.

      • Appster November 15, 2017 at 1:46 pm #

        @lefty:

        > No matter if you like it or not Mozilla is a non-profit organization. You can't be non profit and for profit at the same time.

        Alright, you don't seem to know anything about Mozilla, then. Mozilla Foundation is just the parent of Mozilla Corporation, which is a for-profit subsidy of the non-profit Mozilla foundation. In turn, Mozilla Corp. owns e.g. Pocket, Ghostery, and holds a minority share of Cliqz. All those are for-profit.

        > There is no evidence that Cliqz collects user's personal info. Only fud by people like you.

        That's not true. Cliqz' outgoing connections could be intercepted at the time, and this:

        "If you are using a version of Firefox with Cliqz search recommendations, your browsing data will be sent to Cliqz Gmbh, a German company."

        source: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/privacy/firefox-cliqz/

        > You are just bitter because you lost your precious addons lol.

        1) I am at Waterfox, so I still have my add-ons. 2) Pretty poor red herring, trying to make it seem like I have a personal enmity with Mozilla, for whatever reason.

        Note: I don't see any point in discussing this with you, as your arguments are way too subjective and sometimes not even true.

      • lefty November 15, 2017 at 1:49 pm #

        Good, use Waterfox. Move on and stop speading fud about Mozilla because they removed your precious addons.

      • Appster November 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm #

        > Good, use Waterfox. Move on and stop speading fud about Mozilla because they removed your precious addons.

        Says the guy who has lied about Cliqz not collecting data just minutes before.

      • lefty November 15, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

        I refuse to reply to a Watefox biased fanboy. News for you, you are using Firefox, 99% of Waterfox is from evil Mozilla. I am sure you switched the last days haha, you had no problem using Firefox from evil Mozilla before. It's now an evil corporation, they removed your precious addons.

      • Tom Hawack November 15, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

        Oh! stop-it, lefty! No flud, facts only. No bitterness, objectivity only on Appster's part.
        Be honest or lucid, one of the two at least is missing. I mean : ask anyone (maybe your teacher first) where fluding or biterness appear in Appster's comments and all will answer : nowhere! Nowhere man :)

      • Appster November 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm #

        > I refuse to reply to a Watefox biased fanboy.

        Why don't you stop, then? I certainly didn't ask you to reply in the first place.

        > News for you, you are using Firefox, 99% of Waterfox is from evil Mozilla.

        You should differentiate between the normal browser code and nefarious code, both of which is present in Firefox. Waterfox strips out the nefarious code.

        > I am sure you switched the last days haha, suddendly, you had no problem using Firefox before.

        Waterfox exists since 2011 and I am using it since 2013, if that gives you peace of mind.

        > It's now an evil organisation, they removed your precious addons.

        Ah, that red herring again. Tell me, most obvious fanboy, what do have any of my add-ons to do with Mozilla's privacy-evading actions? Where do you see the connection?

      • lefty November 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

        Dear Waterfox fanboy, I have moved on. I use Vivaldi because it fulfills my needs better that other browsers right now. Move on, stop being so bitter because Mozilla removed your precious addons. You are so funny.
        You will have the last word, I promise not to reply. I understand you feel very angry these days because you lost your addons, so I won't make you more angry by replying to your craziness again and again.

      • Tom Hawack November 15, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

        @lefty,(addressed to Appster) :
        > News for you, you are using Firefox, 99% of Waterfox is from evil Mozilla.

        Well, that does mean there's no Mozilla/Firefox hatred and no Waterfox fanaticism!

        People who'd "hate" Firefox wouldn't even use a browser built on it, would they?

        No hatred here, be it Appster's or mine, should it be for the sole reason pointed out cleverly on Waterfox's Reddit pages by a user called dylan493 :

        "Whoever fights with monsters should see to it that he does not become a monster in the process. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”

        No fanaticism, no hatred. But please allow argumented critics, if you please. And argument your own as well, but do argument, explain because otherwise you're the one appearing as fanatic.

      • A different Martin November 16, 2017 at 7:20 pm #

        @ Tom Hawack:

        "[N]owhere! Nowhere man :)"

        Clearly, today is a "Beatles day."

      • Tom Hawack November 16, 2017 at 7:46 pm #

        A day in the life, @A different Martin, a day in the life ...
        That's what I'd answer at a dinner, trying to look smart or at least not totally illiterate, but here I can admit it : I don't understand what the Beatles have to do with my "Nowhere man"!

    • anon November 15, 2017 at 10:23 am #

      DDG is a really poor search engine, not patch on startpage. It's also amazing how many people think using bangs are anonymous when they're not.

      • asdf November 15, 2017 at 1:03 pm #

        Nothing could be further from the truth. For a straightforward search for information, DuckDuckGo is excellent. Also DDG is the best environment in which to do searches.

      • Tom Hawack November 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

        @asdf, "DDG is the best environment in which to do searches."
        "Best" I don't know. One could mention searX as well. Several searX dedicated sites, some slow, some fast as this one : [https://www.perfectpixel.de/searx/]. In fact it's a metasearch engine (which can include DDG as many others). Worth a try.

      • Simple Shredder November 15, 2017 at 4:39 pm #

        @lefty

        Your negative and personal attacks make for very poor substitutes for actual semi-intelligent discussion by some parties.
        We all have the right to voice our opinions and concerns, without fear of being bullied or being drawn into a flaming war by comments like yours.

        If it truly annoys you so much, move away, dont reply at all, resist the urge of going from participant in a discussion to a troll.

        What you and people like you prove time and time again is that your under the illusion that the internet must be owned by some Trolls Corporation, and that only their "associates" have the right to spew hatred, nonsense and bullying on the masses that just trying to post their points of view like everyone else.

        You're mistaken, everyone has the same rights as you and they should be respected and argued against in proper manner, and would it be me, I would simply not allow your verbal sewage to become a live comment, youre luck Martin Brinkmann is a laid back guy and a journalist and allows all forms of speech on his blog.

        My argument to silence hatred and bullying is valid though, because at some point a pile of dung just has not literary value.

        I would simply ask for proof intead of calling FUD, and maintain some dignity in the discussion and some integrity and respect for the blog and its operators and its participants, but when I read nonsense and bullying it just makes me why people even bother to create such environments.

      • Tom Hawack November 16, 2017 at 10:55 pm #

        @A different Martin, OK! No way, nowhere ... I hope my 144 IQ would have allowed me to establish the relationship if I had had that famous song among my favorites (because I do know the song). That's why I lack 20 points or so to compare to Einstein! Especially that you explicitly mentioned the Beatles... good for bringing authenticity to my fake modesty, lol!

        I am indeed of those who loved, love the Beatles but, whatever singer or group I am more a specific song passionate than an album fan. Friends tell me that albums are more important than the specific songs they contain, I don't disagree on that but that's not my emotional approach (arts for me is above all an emotion) which is why I'll sing and whistle A day in the life, Strawberry Fields, And I love Her ... etc ... and not the Nowhere Man considering I recall less albums than songs as I feel closer to individuals than to societies as a whole...

        Anyway, yes, sixties in NY as a basis, those TV shows, "A Hard Day's Night" at the movies when it came out in NY, surrounded in the cinema by yelling girls and popcorn, memories memories, nostalgia. An era of happiness. A happy childhood is so important, it is a true strong basis in the misfortunes of time.

        That's why I love America, whatever criticism I may have as Americans themselves express, as French and others express in the face of their respective nations and cultures. When I meet Americans I feel them as compatriots, you realize? My military conscription took place in the French Navy and while we were in Toulon we exchanged visits with an American ship : when I went on board and spoke American with the American sailors I felt in a very strange mood (I still recall that feeling) as being and a Frenchman and yet not feeling as among foreigners! Gosh : life and reality is so much more than citizenship.

        Ooops! Triggered on those topics I forget the word 'silence'!

        > "Nowhere Man" is a track from the 1965 Beatles Album Rubber Soul.

        Thanks for detailing. Now I'll remember :)

    • A different Martin November 16, 2017 at 9:53 pm #

      @ Tom Hawack:

      "Nowhere Man" is a track from the 1965 Beatles Album Rubber Soul. Since you dropped some lyrics from "I Am The Walrus" (Magical Mystery Tour, 1967) in a comment to another gHacks article today, I thought you might be on a Beatles roll. ;-) We both remember The Patty Duke Show (from the same era), so I figured you were probably familiar with it, as it got a lot of radio play in the States.

  4. Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 8:28 am #

    "Neither Mozilla nor Google disclosed how much money Google agreed to pay to Mozilla to become the default search provider again."
    Firefox > Transparent Project - Mozilla > Transparent Compagny. All is said.

    • Appster November 15, 2017 at 9:21 am #

      Psssst... How dare you? Don‘t you know that the Mozilla proponents are reading here? If they don‘t devour your comment in the near future you are a lucky man or woman. These guys are relentless in telling you that Mozilla is a wonderful open web-promoting company, only caring about our wellbeing, and being as infallible in its decisions as the pope, and all of that for free.

      Seriously, I agree with you.

      • anon November 15, 2017 at 10:25 am #

        They do have some rabid fans, it's just a browser.

      • Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 11:14 am #

        Wonder how its fans could defend such a project they can not even know who really finances it and what is the money for.

      • Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 11:35 am #

        Mozilla want to change EU copyright law etc, Mozilla is making politic. Google is making politic. Google and Mozilla same fight, same interests. So not surprising they have something to hide together.

      • Appster November 15, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

        @Anonymous and anon: Let people live in their fairy tail world, that's all they know. I tell you a thing or two about Mozilla:

        First off, Mozilla is not strictly non-profit, rather, it is divided into the for-profit Mozilla Corporation and the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. Recently, Mozilla has bought the tracking blocker Ghostery. Ghostery, in spite of its outward appearance, is in fact selling user data to advertisers, so that they can IMPROVE their tracking methods, and profit from the generated data at the same time. This is widely known, but if you still don't believe it, you may wish to install Ghostery and use a program intercepting outgoing connections from your PC on it. This will show you the variety of suspicious connections Ghostery is establishing all day long. What's more, Mozilla has promised to open source Ghostery, but hasn't followed through with this promise up until this day. What do they have to hide?
        Later on, Mozilla has introduced the Cliqz experiment, which will come by default with 1% of new Firefox installations in Germany. Cliqz does record your browsing history and even your mouse movements, actively phoning home to Mozilla all the time. Needless to say, the user doesn't get notified in any way about whether or not Cliqz is installed. He or she needs to search for it and opt-out. So Mozilla is in fact secretly sneaking in a privacy-evading software without any user consensus. Furthermore, due to Cliqz being classified as an "experiment" not officially belonging to the Firefox core product, it hasn't appeared in the source code tree. Mozilla made some announcement on their blog and that was it, then.
        Ironically, the Cliqz spyware is coming from a German company of the same name, which is providing a "privacy-protecting" browser officially. So this spyware, very much like Ghostery, comes from a company which officially claims to pursue the opposite direction. The Cliqz company is outwardly presenting itself as a startup, but in fact belongs to the Hubert Burda Media KG, a media empire with a turnover of approx. 2 billion EUR annually. Mozilla is invested with a minority share in the Cliqz company. Hubert Burda Media KG in general is known to publish pretty normal magazines, but is also publishing a men's magazine with act models (Playboy) and a fairly shady software download site named CHIP, which is known in Germany for delivering adware and spyware installers.
        Most recently Mozilla has also joined an initiative of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar to combat fake news. Whatever you think of "fake news" and the like, it is hardly understandable that Mozilla is working on an algorithm which - all on its own - determines what people are allowed to say and what not. Despite that being highly antidemocratic, it also elevates machine thinking over human beings, which in itself is disgusting. This initiative is also backed by billionaire tycoon George Soros. Feel free to inform yourself about Soros, suffice to say that he was and still is involved in some very shady business. Soros is pretty well known for backing violent protests all over the world, undermining constitutional stability in several countries.
        If that weren't enough already, Firefox's privacy settings themselves are fairly non-private. For example, there is a speculative parallel loading setting which will connect to outside servers when you just hover over a link with your mouse, which is enabled by default. Of course this is helpful to advertisers and other people tracking you, Mozilla apparently has no problem with that. There is also a setting for updating the (rather useless) texts accompanying the add-ons in about:addons, which will send a list of your installed add-ons to Mozilla once daily. So they exactly know how many people are having privacy-protecting add-ons installed.
        There are many more nefarious settings, read any privacy guide to know them all. Firefox is NOT very private by default.
        WebExtensions are not having the ability to work on Mozilla sites by default, which is also a very questionable move. If you want them to work there, too, you have to add an otherwise hidden setting to about:config. Martin Brinkmann has reported about that not too long ago. I find it "interesting" that Mozilla is excluding itself from ad- and tracking blockers, if they indeed have nothing to hide. What speaks against having them enabled on their internal sites, too?

        Anyway, think about Mozilla what you want. Many people are falling for there marketing BS without bothering to inform themselves about a software they use daily in any way. Some rather delicate details about Mozilla do surface once you bother to do your research.

      • Tom Hawack November 15, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

        @Appster, great post.

      • Skaar November 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm #

        @Appster
        Bringing up conspiracy theories about George Soros won't get you any credibility. People who do that only care about freedom and prosperity for their own race/religion/tribe.

      • Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

        Yes, people reading posts like yours on Ghacks should install "Pionner" https://www.ghacks.net/2017/11/15/what-is-firefox-pioneer/ to inform Mozilla what should "take into account" too.

      • Appster November 15, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

        @Skaar:

        > Bringing up conspiracy theories about George Soros won't get you any credibility. People who do that only care about freedom and prosperity for their own race/religion/tribe.

        I am not bringing up "conspiracy theories", at all. Soros is pretty open about his donations to certain groups, and those groups were at large numbers (and at times frequently) present at demos which ended up being very violent, yet he kept the money flowing. Also, I don't get how those violent actions (oftentimes breaking fundamental laws of a country) should further the understanding between cultures? Is violence the way? I'd say no.
        I am not into this political stuff too much, so I refuse to discuss it in great detail. I am just questioning why Mozilla would be partnering with someone like that.

      • Tom Hawack November 15, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

        @skaar, conspiracy is what the whole financial institutions (and leaders) are about!

      • Sadaji November 17, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

        Soros... And Mozilla does not only side with such hater of western culture and western laws - they also embrace the users who share also the very same hate like Soros and else do have inside.

        What is even worse, Mozilla is fighting on the totally wrong side of the coin by now and they do not even realize it that they serve the enemy - and what even is worse, they have been becoming the enemy with their recent moves too.

        Soros - Google - Antifa - SJW - leftists - Mozilla:

        All want to destroy real diversity (where really EVERYONE had benefits) and impose their own radical fake diversity (benefits for only ONE side, all the others are accused for living in the past, are called bigots or worse)

        For example Mozilla once had the feature diversity concept... power for both simple and advanced users. The more they have fallen to leftist cancer, the more they have changed their concept towards a more "social acceptable" concept - and who is benefiting of that?

        Only the one's who are on the very left side of the spectrum! Because all other needs are seen as "Conservative" - and therefore are enemy garbage which has to purged.

        Fucking racists!

      • Clairvaux November 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

        "The feature diversity concept... power for both simple and advanced users."

        Exactly. Otherwise called usability. Because advanced users also need usability, even if some of them don't care, and some others prefer that their products be not easy to use, so as to exclude lesser mortals and make them feel superior.

  5. RIP Yahoo November 15, 2017 at 9:27 am #

    Yahoo has become for many years now the Myspace of search engines, it exists (In limbo) but almost no one use it.

  6. Tom Hawack November 15, 2017 at 10:25 am #

    Who uses Yahoo! anyway? Rather women than men if what I had read once was correct. Not that this target is insignificant but perhaps relevant of the fact women are more faithful than men, the latter less tolerant with losers?! Maybe did Firefox telemetry reveal many users switching their default FF search engine to Google and so : what the heck?!

    Money, money, money, raising the bidding. After all if everyone is happy why not? Google crumbs rejoicing a starving Mozilla leads me nevertheless to a broad yet squeezed smile :)

  7. Rebelwill November 15, 2017 at 11:05 am #

    Moz going full circle - embracing again the one who encouraged/forced them to adopt their own minimalist anti feature diversity concept and to sell out their own users with higher demands.

    Moz and thyeir abusive manipulative sugar daddy Google share honeymoon again... In hell!

    Damn you Mozilla and your hate for all not liberal/leftist approved users and features!

  8. Yahoogle November 15, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    Google Pays to Put Search Back on Firefox Browser in U.S.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-14/google-pays-to-put-search-engine-back-on-firefox-browser-in-u-s

    "Yahoo and Mozilla have enjoyed a productive relationship together since 2014," said Charles Stewart, a spokesman for Verizon’s digital advertising business, Oath. "We are surprised that Mozilla has decided to take another path and we are in discussions with them regarding the terms of our agreement."

    • Tom Hawack November 15, 2017 at 11:50 am #

      Interesting article. The "Traffic Acquisition Costs or TAC" is far above what I could have computed...

  9. streetfighter November 15, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

    Great news for Firefox.
    This is going to give to Mozilla the needed resources for the future development of Firefox.
    It makes sense, Firefox 57 is not an irrelevant browser anymore and Google knows it.
    Yahoo can't afford Firefox anymore.
    As long as they keep it easy to switch to DuckDuckGo I have no problem with that.

  10. F FF November 15, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

    I used to champion FF for all my users but all that ended a few years back. For all the holdouts I use the information on gHacks/Pants to filter out Mozilla's privacy intrusions and data collection. This idea of installing Cliqz on an unknown set of computers is highly disturbing, if true. Its astonishing that mozilla brandishes firefox as a privacy concentrated browser but underneath the armor they are scrounging your data and abusing your privacy like any other. Now there are rumors of mozilla adding politics to the firefox mix, ugh! I think this is the fastest way to lose customers in the modern age. Hopefully Basilisk or Vivaldi morph into quality browsers so we can leave firefox to the wolves.

    • villager November 15, 2017 at 4:39 pm #

      Don't believe the lies of trolls. Cliqz doesn’t process any personal data such as e-mail address, name or user ID etc. They try to make look like satan because they have issues with the new direction of Firefox (XUL addon removal).

      • Appster November 15, 2017 at 5:54 pm #

        @villager: "The lies of trolls"... Fine, let's see what Mozilla itself has to say about that. According to them, Cliqz does record:

        - everything you type into the URL bar
        - your search queries
        - browsing history / the websites you visit
        - interactions with the page, such as mouse movements, scrolling movements, and time spent on the page
        - your interaction with buttons of the Cliqz feature itself, coupled with a unique ID
        - counts of visits of search engines
        - the exact search engine you used
        - your precise location, whenever a new window is opened or something is typed into the URL bar

        source: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/privacy/firefox-cliqz/
        See the "Use Cliqz Results" section.

        > Cliqz doesn’t process any personal data such as e-mail address, name or user ID etc.

        For one, Cliqz obviously processes a unique ID. Yeah, e-mail address and clear name are probably the only things that are missing, since they will already know your browsing history, haha.

        > They try to make look like satan because they have issues with the new direction of Firefox (XUL addon removal).

        Nice red herring, the same one lefty has used above. Feel free to explain the precise connection between add-ons and Mozilla's privacy evading stuff. I bet you can come up with something factual, instead of the usual ad hominem speculation stuff.

      • Anonymous November 15, 2017 at 5:57 pm #

        What makes it look like satan is that childish design trying to put you in confidence.

      • villager November 15, 2017 at 6:53 pm #

        @Anonymous, I think you are right. I liked australis more. It looks like Edge now. I am not happy about how photon looks too, I will try to change it on my setup with css tweaks later today. I hope to make it look more tolerable.
        @Appster, sorry, I don't reply to trolls.

      • Appster November 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

        @villager:

        > Appster, I am not replying to trolls.

        No arguments, no substance. I provided substantial proof, coming from Mozilla itself, where can I find yours? You should provide proof before accusing others of lying.

  11. g_martin November 15, 2017 at 6:15 pm #

    Yahoo search is awful. I would prefer no default at all, but search engine income is like 90% of their total revenue. Mozilla needs funds for evolving and living, Firefox is not a Chromium fork like Opera or a Firefox fork like Waterfox. Noone stops us to change the default search provider.

  12. arh November 15, 2017 at 7:29 pm #

    Ever since they sent Breich away I have removed Firefox. I don't like their intolerance at all and lost my trust in them.
    'In reality, in all his years at Mozilla, no one had ever accused him of acting in a bigoted way, and the influential gay journalist Andrew Sullivan commented that “there is not a scintilla of evidence that he has ever discriminated against a single gay person at Mozilla” and so the whole episode “should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.' Amen to that. https://stream.org/brendan-eich-fired-from-mozilla-for-defending-marriage-has-a-brave-new-web-browser/

    • 2016celibdeaths2017celibsexcrimes November 15, 2017 at 10:42 pm #

      Yahoo is owned by Verizon now. The company who hates the idea of open internet. The company who restrict their costumer internet just because they can make more money that way. ISP will be allowed to sale our browsing habits because of them. These guys are part of the big ISPS behind the funding of an FCC Stooge that is declaring war on an open internet / Net Neutrality- the EXACT OPPOSITE of what Mozilla believes in. Dropping Yahoo is the best thing they could of done. Verizon bought yahoo because they want that search data for some big $$$.

      Google is a monopoly, a privacy nightmare, skynet if you will, and they have become the big media censorship bitches. but they've been pushing for open standards, have been pushing for faster internet speeds and haven't had any major user data leaks and don't sell data to other companies. I still don't use them but I trust them WAAY more than a company as greedy as Verizon.

  13. Definetly notahuman November 15, 2017 at 11:27 pm #

    Here's my guess

    1) Google probably pays better.

    2) Google as default is win-win for Mozilla and Google because users are ignorant and like convenience and commonly use google as verb in their conversations. ie. nobody uses yahoo willingly.

    2) Verizon recently bought Yahoo and they are vehemently against Net Neutrality. It would go against Mozilla's own beliefs to continue to support such a company.

    • anon November 17, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

      You could have stopped at number 1.

  14. Clairvaux November 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm #

    I have Duck Duck Go as default, but it's not very good. Start Page is better. Of course, Google is way better, as far as search is concerned (and also for a bunch of other useful things, such as translation).

    Also, all tech industry giants entertain certain political views which might be repulsive to some, so just saying "I'm not going there because I'm a pure soul and you're not" is delusional at best.

    What can be done is mitigation, just as the Internet is inherently dangerous and has to be navigated with caution. Just as the sea used to be dangerous and had to be taken seriously, but you needed to sail so you went out nonetheless.

    • Tom Hawack November 16, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

      In my opinion a meta-search engine which will include Google, DDG, Qwant etc etc is a plus, even if it might take slightly longer to get the results. I use searX, highly configurable (choose search engines depending on your search topics for instance). searX is hosted on several servers, some are really slow while others are very fast, i.e. the one I use : [https://www.perfectpixel.de/searx/].

      Concerning Google Translation, there is better, at least one service, though it handles at this time far less languages besides the "main" ones : DeepL Translator [https://www.deepl.com/translator].

      • Clairvaux November 17, 2017 at 2:49 am #

        Deep L seems very interesting, but yes, very few languages... I have Sear X among my Firefox search engines, but I end up not really using it... poor results, maybe ? I don't really remember why.

      • anon November 17, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

        By default searx can be a bit slow but it only takes a few seconds to set it up to just use the engines you want. I basically just choose google/youtube and wiki. Startpage is probably the best as they have the better filtering. I don't understand why ddg has any sort of following, the search results are poor and resorting to bangs means the searches aren't private.

  15. Sukhen November 16, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

    DDG!g or any other may be used. You just can't avoid tracking completely. Of course, we can try to minimize. Unfortunately, there's no perfect world, so we've to live with some trade-off or compromise. Just my thought.

  16. b November 17, 2017 at 11:31 am #

    I read this blog for the facts it offers. same with the comments; so please... "enlighten" me with valid arguments. some of the stuff delivered is excellent ( apster & Tom Hawack for example ). it makes it easier for me to make solid choises but please... trolls and haters: keep the party clean

    • Clairvaux November 17, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

      Calling people haters when they say things you don't like is a hateful thing.

      Besides, hate is a good thing. What's that recent madness about hating hate ? Hate is splendid when it's directed at people or things which deserve it. The problem is not hate ; it's misdirection of hate.

      You have to be discriminating about hate, and that, my friend, is an art form. People who pretend they hate nobody and nothing and love everyone and sundry are just liars. I hate liars.

      • Tom Hawack November 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

        "Besides, hate is a good thing."
        What?!! OK, here comes the saloon pseudo-philosopher (it's a bird, it's a plane, no it's an Hawack!).

        Revolt, irritation, hate. All different. Revolt assumes we consider our irritation as legitimate because built on values we consider beyond our own belly, universal so to say (even if universal may be defined differently from one society to another), independent anyway from our personal point of view. Political, religious etc...

        Irritation is when we are annoyed but yet believe that others may not be and have the right to not be : "it bothers me but, OK, I can understand it doesn't bother everyone".

        Hate, hatred is blind. It's a sentiment as love is so perhaps has no rational explanation as well. Consequently hate is neither good or bad, it is or is not, in the same way love is or is not. Why we are naturally inclined to love rather than to hate, as we are to search for happiness rather than for misery is another problematic.

        Do we have a choice, to hate or to love? Religion, morality, social and relational values don't refer to a choice in terms of rights but rather to an obligation in terms of duty, so-called "education" by many and I'd prefer commitment rather than code, but that's again personal.

        Hate is not forbidden, such as. But what does it bring? To others, nothing (and often hurts), to ourselves, nothing as well (it does blind and perhaps hurts ourselves as well, some doctors even say its bad for our physical health.).

        I wouldn't put on the account of hate what may simply the result of an irritation. All depends of the arguments so, once again, arguments develop thoughts, for others but also within ourselves : "Why do I like, dislike, hate or love this comment, this person, this and that? Why? Do I know why? Do I simply believe I'm right but, lacking arguments, state my truth with hate (or love)?

        People seldom ask us "Why do you love/hate me", sometimes they do and then most often we lack arguments, because arguments don't fit sentiments correctly. So I guess it's up to each of us to decide if we consider a sentiment to be the bast answer, especially when it comes to rational debates such as computing!

      • Clairvaux November 17, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

        Of course, a large part of the problem comes from the wrong choice of words : what people call, with an obsessive frequency, "hate", or "haters" (a previously unknown category of the population) is nothing of the sort. Summoning "hate" when strong opinions about the merits of a specific browser are voiced is just a way of trying to intimidate people into silence.

        Some of the so-called "haters" may well be culprits of the same act, which contributes to further confuse the matter. You really have to hate it when people destroy the language with such utter abandon. It does not do any good to the add-on situation, either.

      • Tom Hawack November 17, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

        I agree, Clairvaux, which is why the way of saying things is so important : 1- to be understood correctly, 2- to take into consideration and to consider, respect the one(s) we are debating with. "It"s not what you say but the way you say it" is maybe exaggerated but it does summarize the fact that a language may include a style (a container) to a raw wording. Some call it hypocrisy, diplomacy or even a fake attitude when others may consider this "politeness" as less aimed at efficiency than at plain regard for our opponent. That depends on one's very soul and I linger to know on what basis I'd be entitled to decide of one's deep motivations to be gentle, maybe even friendly when (op)posing his arguments.

        I mostly read here on Ghacks not only arguments but also often a "positive attitude" in the way of expressing them. It happened more than once to find myself in contradiction with this! but I believe I'm wrong then, no one is perfect, but I guess introspection helps us to reduce the gap between what we believe in and our own way of dealing with that.

        Beyond all this, remains always the "To be or not to be" : some people, companies consider whatever dialog in terms of communication, and everyone knows that communication in the marketing sens of the word must be free of hate and filled with nice words. This leads some of us to believe that hate wording is more the reflect of authenticity than sweet words. It's a mistake of course. Some of us are authentically respectful, which is the reason by the way why those who are not naturally inclined to respect adopt such an correct attitude in order to achieve efficiency. It is complex but as I see it nothing entitles me to decide what is and what is not an authentic attitude, nothing perhaps than feelings. I've noticed more than once that feelings may lead to wrong conclusions.

        All this is complex, our relation life is. I guess striving to establish a right dialog is imperative; not always easy but imperative, IMO.

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