Brave has a new Copy Clean Link feature

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 28, 2022
Brave
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Brave Software released an update for the stable version of the company's Brave Browser on September 27, 2022. Brave Version 1.44.101 release notes are available, but one feature that was originally scheduled to release with the new version of the browser, has not made it.

Copy Clean Link is a new privacy focused feature that copies only the relevant parts of a website address. Some websites add strings to links that are not relevant for loading the right resource on the website. These extra bits of information are often used for tracking purposes and several browser makers have added protections to their browsers recently that deal with those.

Mozilla, maker of Firefox, for example, launched Firefox 102 with support for removing known tracking parameters from URLs when they are opened in the web browser. Brave removes some query parameters for several known tracking attempts as well.

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The new Brave browser feature may be used to copy website addresses without additional parameters. All it takes for that is to right-click on the address bar and select the new "Copy clean link (only main URL)" option of the context menu that opens. Brave strips excess parameters from the address, without changing its link destination.

The option to copy the full address, alongside all the parameters that may not be necessary, remains available. It is necessary as some sites use it to power some functionality.

The copy feature works only when right-clicking on links in the address bar. Brave Software plans to extend it to other areas of webpages open in the browser, but for now, it only works in the address bar. In the future, Brave will include an option to copy the clean URL of any link displayed on a webpage.

The feature should work on all sites, as it drops the "query" part off any address open in the browser. Some users may be proficient enough to cut the excess parts of URLs manually, others may appreciate the new option when sharing links or loading them in different applications on their own machines.

Copy Clean Links is available for testing in the development editions of the Brave Browser.

Closing Words

Copy Clean Links needs right-click support on all links to make it really useful, as the majority of links are not covered currently by it. The URL needs to be open in the address bar to use the feature currently.

Now You: what is your take on copy clean links?

Summary
Article Name
Brave has a new Copy Clean Link feature
Description
Copy Clean Link is a new privacy focused feature of the Brave web browser that copies only the relevant parts of a website address.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Klaas Vaak said on September 28, 2022 at 7:28 am
    Reply

    It would be better to strip out that part, like an extension like CleanURLs does.

    1. ?* said on September 28, 2022 at 9:15 am
      Reply

      I never managed to get Clean URLs to work, or I just don’t understand it, I just want to click on a link and it should automatically get cleaned when opening a new link, so I tried this one…

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/neat-url/

      1. Klaas Vaak said on September 28, 2022 at 12:15 pm
        Reply

        @?*: TBH, I was running Clean URLs successfully for a year or so, then it seemed to act up. Then I tried Neat URL, which was also on and off. Now I have them both installed and enabled and it seems to work. Go figure.

        1 thing I could not get to work is the Clean URLs filter in uBO.

        In any case, I feel it must be possible to have something similar to Clean URLs/Neat URL natively in the browser.

      2. 1der said on September 28, 2022 at 6:01 pm
        Reply

        ” I just want to click on a link and it should automatically get cleaned when opening a new link”

        Or at least have automated as a option

      3. Dennis said on September 29, 2022 at 12:51 am
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        From the arkenfox user.js wiki, FWIW:

        ” – Neat URL, ClearURLs Redundant with uBlock Origin’s removeparam and added lists. Any potential extra coverage provided by additional extensions is going to be minimal”

        I don’t know if this functionality works with uBO on Chromium-based browsers like Brave………

      4. Iron Heart said on September 29, 2022 at 6:21 am
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        @Dennis

        “arkenfox says…”

        …lots of things, it doesn’t work though. At least not reliably, and yes I have tested uBO in Brave. At the same time the ClearURLs extension does work reliably, however. Do you think ClearURLs uses any other extension API than uBO? Nope. Perhaps you should not follow any questionable “advice” blindly without verifying it yourself.

    2. Seris said on September 29, 2022 at 3:05 am
      Reply

      @Klaas Vaak
      Brave has an issue opened to support $removeparam modifier https://github.com/brave/adblock-rust/issues/166, right now they remove tracking elements from the URLs but it is not perfect because it doesn’t allow users to load lists for it or create custom filters for whatever the user decides to use it.

      I mean, many things in the URL are not meant to track you, even if they exist, that’s why features like this, when they are native, has to be carefully done so they don’t break websites.

      But right now Brave supports what uBlock released as “queryprune” in 2020 (Brave supported it earlier) which you can see here from Brendan Eich’s tweet: https://twitter.com/BrendanEich/status/1574534336295993344

      But you can also see here the many things tracking parameters Brave currently deals with and removes from URLs https://github.com/brave/brave-core/blob/98785d7a59c9b2f5381e633fefa6bbf1a13f7c33/browser/net/brave_site_hacks_network_delegate_helper.cc#L32

      so for example, add this at the end of any URL you go to (sorry Martin, people need to be educated)
      /?test=&fbclid=12345&gclid=12345&msclkid=aisdh&mc_eid=ahsdjahs&test=test&dclid=assdasd&oly_anon_id=3453453asd&oly_enc_id=81723jh&_openstat=1928391&vero_conv=817238haihsjd&vero_id=HDUAHSD&wickedid=UIHUIHSDA&yclid=auihsduasdiasd&__s=aikshduah7&rb_clickid=ashduaihsg7d&s_cid=UISHDUH&ml_subscriber=IHFUIH&ml_subscriber_hash=IDHJISHYD&twclid=IJDHUSH&gbraid=IDHUJDSH&wbraid=JKDHJISHDUH&_hsenc=JHDJHS&__hssc=SIJHDU&__hstc=JDHSUIDGH&__hsfp=JDHUD&hsCtaTracking=FIHUSF&oft_id=ujahsduah&oft_k=UDHU&oft_lk=IHJIHDIHD&oft_d=JKHDU&oft_c=UHDUS&oft_ck=IHFUSHY&oft_ids=JHDUS&oft_sk=JHDJHDU&ss_email_id=UHDUIHSIU&bsft_uid=iaisohduihas&bsft_clkid=IHSDUHYS&igshid=UHDUSH&ihasduihsadu=test

      And you will see how many elements get removed, and that’s what Brave currently does, but with removeparam you can do more than that, easier and better, so eventually they will allow that kind of stuff, for now, copy clean links is going to be nice for many things and it will be improved as Brendan Eich mentioned he wanted to be more than a right-click thing.

      1. Klaas Vaak said on September 29, 2022 at 5:39 pm
        Reply

        @Seris: thanks for the lesson. I tried that test, and of the long text all that remained was

        /?test=&fbclid=12345&gclid=12345&msclkid=aisdh&mc_eid=ahsdjahs&test=test

        when I opened a new tab with proper URL and that code tagged on at the end. I thought it was Clear URLs and/or Neat URL (I have both installed & enabled) so I did the same test with both those extensions disabled. Result: the same as before. That’s great.

        But, TBH, I don’t know what that code represents, and in any case I have never come across a webpage with such a long tail in the URL.

        Furthermore, I have both Clear URLs and Neat URL installed because Brave was not cleaning up the normal trackers, like when you open an RT.com page: you get the UTM and the rest of the crap.

        So, what does your miles long code example prove?

  2. Fact Checker 2299 said on September 28, 2022 at 11:44 am
    Reply

    – Brave browser lacks the privacy features that Firefox has. Hardened Firefox has advanced Tor techniques to block browser fingerprinting such as settings in about:config that can spoof screen resolution.

    [Firefox is better than Brave]

    – Hardened Firefox is better than chromium-based browsers from a privacy and security perspective. Firefox is around 10% written in the safer programming language RUST.

    – Firefox is rich with choices to customize the browser for privacy.

    – Braves internal ad-blocker is not as powerful as UBO or Noscript on Firefox.

    – Firefox is a browser not based on Chromium the project that powers the proprietary Chrome browser built by an ad-tech company that limit ad-blocking with MV3.

    – Brave is a chromium-based browser.

    – Using Firefox can boost computer performance and is proven to be more secure statistically, thus arguably it has better protection on the web when compared to chromium-based browsers, that get lots of security issues, much more than Firefox.

    – Chromium-based browsers have a reputation for hogging system resources such as RAM, Chromium-based browsers are not as light on system resources as Firefox is.

    – Firefox is the best alternative to chromium-based browsers.

    [Firefox is better than Chrome, Edge, Vivaldi, and Brave.]

    1. Klaas Vaak said on September 28, 2022 at 12:21 pm
      Reply

      @Fact Checker 2299, a.k.a. “Firefox is better”: just because you say so does not turn it into fact, unfortunately for you.

      So, this time you have come up with a bit of a spiel pretending you know what you are talking about. Have you run tests? Have you seen tests that prove your points? If so, share your data with us.

      Firefox has been around a lot longer than Brave, so if it would be so much better, you would expect it to keep growing its market share and Brave’s to stay low. Yet, the opposite is happening.

    2. Yash said on September 28, 2022 at 12:21 pm
      Reply

      @Fact Checker 2299

      You won’t be getting your .00765 BAT for praising FOSS Firefox. Praise Brave instead and get your bat by watching privacy preserving ads.

    3. Anonymous said on September 28, 2022 at 12:44 pm
      Reply

      Wow, wou, wou… It’s better just because it’s not Chromium?.. Chromium is same opensource tech as Gecko. I really like Firefox, but your arguments are just “marketing bull***t”. Brave has solid reputation for the date. Yes, they have some crypto related stuff built in, but that was their business model from the beginning, you just can turn wallet/ads off and you get more privacy effective Chromium.

    4. Alex said on September 28, 2022 at 1:25 pm
      Reply

      Why is it always the “fact checkers” that spread obvious opinion pieces as facts?

    5. m3city said on September 28, 2022 at 1:52 pm
      Reply

      @Fact checker 2299
      Boring trolling. While FF is better;) it’s lousy to copy-paste such post under this news for no reason.

    6. Anonymous said on September 28, 2022 at 3:10 pm
      Reply

      @Fact Checker 2299

      Oh okay! let’s mention “manifestv3” like a good Firefox fanboy.

      Manifestv3 won’t change anything, do you really think people give a crap about it? most people don’t run adblockers.
      Adguard and uBlock lite are only experimental builds but they will be okay once they are merged with the normal extension, people who installed it will get the update and probably will notice some changes in how it works and UI and all, but the functionality of the extension will be enough to block tracker and ads.

      You don’t know what Manifestv3 is or why Google did it in the first place, and how it will affect adblockers or Filter lists maintainers. Adguard has been working a year on it and they have 90% of feaures of MV2, so who cares? we all know Firefox is going to remove WebRequest API and be just like Chrome some months after Manifestv3 completely drops and nobody cares about MV2 and developers just move on and accept the fate.

      We know you are just making stuff up, like “hogging RAM”, when in reality it is Firefox the one that doesn’t know what to do after a second tab is openeed.
      I could run 50 profiles in Brave in barely have any difference in RAM consumption compared to 50 tabs opened, now try that in Firefox, open 50 profiles and come back and tell me which one is more efficient.
      When I tried ‘firefox’ it was only LibreWulf and it was supposed to be a ‘lighter’ version of Firefox.

      Just accept that Chromium and Blink won, all major relevant browsers use it, even Brave which started as Gecko switched to Blink, Brendan decided to do it even if he was one of the ones creating Firefox.

      You don’t even know how adblockers work but you comment “it is not as powerful” I will give you time to get your proof and actually know what you are talking about.

      You are first comparing an extension to Brave’s native adblocker, where is Firefox’s native adblocker if you say they care so much about privacy? why do you have to relay on Extensions which Firefox team don’t develop to say they are better than the one who does?
      Do you even understand how your argument is just really not smart at all?

      But even then, you won’t be able to explain why uBlock is better than Brave’s adblocker, I can, but I know you won’t, because you are the one who is disingenuous enough to post this bunch of nonsense, even mentioning the Manifestv3 you don’t even understand about.
      I mean, tell me, which blocking features is Brave missing from becoming almost as powerful as uBlock? (it will never be 1:1 comparison, so let’s just focus on the blocking filters part).

      Just bring the ‘facts’ and tell us, which features is Brave missing right now that uBlock has an gives it the advantage? just that simple question!
      It is very simple, but I know you don’t know the answer, if you answered, which is obvious you won’t. You would put yourself in evidence how you don’t know what you are talking about I am 100% sure.

      Just accept the fact that Chrome is growing, Edge is growing, Brave is going and even Yandex and Opera and other ‘big’ Chromium browsers are growing while your beloved Firefox is shrinking because people just don’t care about it, even if in your mind it is better, only because you say so, even if it is based on a bunch of misinformation that only fanboys believe.

    7. Fact Checker Checker said on September 28, 2022 at 3:58 pm
      Reply

      “Brave browser lacks the privacy features that Firefox has. Hardened Firefox has advanced Tor techniques to block browser fingerprinting such as settings in about:config that can spoof screen resolution.”
      If anything it’s the other way around. Brave randomizes almost everything fingerprintable by default. Firefox randomizes almost nothing by default.

      By making it the default, Brave lets you actually blend in with other users. I don’t think you understand how few people change the defaults of a program. You stick out like a sore thumb by enabling those features in Firefox.

      1. Yash said on September 28, 2022 at 6:43 pm
        Reply

        @Fact Checker Checker

        By leaking screen resolution, timezone data, user-agent, network information and much more there isn’t a homogenous pool for users to blend into. Brave users sticks out from Chrome, Vivaldi, Edge and other chromium browser users but also within themselves. Now that’s a fact. To verify it download Brave and see for yourself in your Brave browser build.

  3. ECJ said on September 28, 2022 at 1:39 pm
    Reply

    That’s a pretty nice feature. Now they need to make the “Share” button in the address bar allow sharing links (including clean links) via the default email program, instead of just a bunch of social media dross.

  4. Anonymous said on September 28, 2022 at 2:18 pm
    Reply

    @Fact Checker 2299

    You forgot to show us the proof of your legitimate argument (you know paper allows you to write)

  5. Strix said on September 28, 2022 at 2:54 pm
    Reply

    Martin, Brave never scheduled this feature to be out in 1.44 update. It was only Brendan Eich mentioning it, but to be honest, for the way Brave is doing things, Brendan sometimes doesn’t know exactly how things are inside Brave, so only because CEO was saying it, it is not like what was going to happen.

    For example, contrary to Brendan, Brian Bondy two days ago merged a commit for #brave-adblock-cookie-list-opt-in saying ‘doing an admin override merge per a Slack discussion because it is needed before tomorrow” and in few hours it was all merged to Nightly, for some reason the feature was needed urgent for Nightly.
    Bu that is an example how Brendan’s doesn’t know some stuff about the company, that’s why he CCs a lot. It is like when someone asked why the uBlock fork and Brendan was so lost about why a uBlock fork by Brave. Brendan made it sound nice and cool, but in reality it is just a simple reason, that was like nothing what Brendan said.

    Brendan just assumed this feature would be out, but maybe it is not the way it had to be. I mean, the one linked by Brendan on twitter was even an opened issue, this is like the main issue, even if it is is closed, you can see other issues opened about this feature that are still opened (included Brendan’s tweet one) https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/issues/23315
    And you can see there are still things ‘to do’ like working it better apparently, it is not even implemented for Android, which Brendan was even talking about to use browser instead of apps, which Clifton removed as being an android feature.

    So I am sure it is not ready at all to be on stable and Brendan was just wrong about it even on Desktop. Like I said, probably for the way Brave is done, they want to push the feature to both, android and desktop or I don’t know but Brendan sometimes should not say ETAs, and this is why lol

  6. Paul(us) said on September 28, 2022 at 8:06 pm
    Reply

    I am still missing a comprehensive ghack.net article that explains what addons are complementary to the brave browser.

    1. Iron Heart said on September 28, 2022 at 8:26 pm
      Reply

      @Paul(us)

      Can only tell you about what I use:

      – Cookie AutoDelete
      – ClearURLs
      – LocalCDN

      SponsorBlock too if you dislike in-video promotions of sponsors on YouTube.

      Other popular extensions include “Return YouTube Dislike” (does what the name says) and password managers like Bitwarden.

      1. Dennis said on September 29, 2022 at 12:59 am
        Reply

        I’ve got ClearURLs, Skip Redirect, and Toggle Javascript on my Brave installation……

      2. Klaas Vaak said on September 29, 2022 at 7:35 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart: LocalCDN? I thought you mentioned a while ago it was not worth it anymore, though I forgot the reason you gave.
        Have you changed your mind?

      3. Iron Heart said on October 3, 2022 at 8:34 am
        Reply

        @Klaas Vaak

        CDN providers can collect the websites you’ve visited (where their CDN is used), along with your IP address. In general, with a VPN active LocalCDN is fairly pointless.

        However, without a VPN, LocalCDN does make sense. Some people argue that due to local storage partitioning – and thus partitioning of cache – LocalCDN becomes pointless, but I don’t really see that, as the privacy issue mentioned above (website visited + IP address collected) would still be an issue even under a partitioned scheme. This is what the LocalCDN developer has to say on the matter, I agree with this:

        https://codeberg.org/nobody/LocalCDN/wiki#user-content-17-what-about-fpi-and-dfpi

      4. Danny Divine said on October 8, 2022 at 6:20 am
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        Also on: https://codeberg.org/nobody/LocalCDN/wiki/Home#user-content-2-can-i-use-this-extension-in-my-chrome-browser

        Quotes from website:

        >Chromium unfortunately doesn’t support all features of LocalCDN
        >my focus is Firefox. Chromium issues have a very low priority

        Why would you endorse an extension from a known Firefox fanboy who is using LocalCDN to push Firefox?

  7. Fact Checker 2299 said on September 28, 2022 at 11:16 pm
    Reply

    – Brave browser fingerprinting resistance is absolutely useless when compared to hardened Firefox or Librewolf.

    – Brave has no fingerprinting resistance option to spoof Screen Resolution/Size, unlike Firefox, that has an about:config option to enable such a feature.

    – Noscript or UBO on Firefox is better than a simple dumbed down built-in ad blocker on chromium-based browsers such as Brave.

    – Noscript has advanced Javascript blocking options, unlike the simple dumbed down ad-blocker in Brave.

    – UBO works best on Firefox.

    – Firefox is better than Brave.

    – Librewolf is better than Brave.

    – Firefox is a cooler name than Brave.

    – Chromium-codebase is authored primarily by the ad-tech company Google. No surprise why chromium-based browsers have absolutely useless fingerprinting resistance when compared to Hardened Firefox or Librewolf.

  8. moonbat said on September 29, 2022 at 3:40 am
    Reply

    Let me know if it logs what parameters were removed and whether you can configure the list of parameters to be removed by adding your own entries; my fork of Pure URL for Pale Moon does both.

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