Bonum Certa Men Certa

You Cannot Remove Google-Controlled Web Browsers From Debian

Video download link | md5sum 5d236eb9e412b8c2cd Debian Mandates Google Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: It's virtually impossible to run a Debian desktop without either Firefox or Chromium/Chrome; this should be regarded and treated as a high-priority bug considering how bad Mozilla has become (Firefox is fast becoming little but spyware, guarded by truly untrustworthy people)

THE video above demonstrates a bizarre behaviour that we mentioned here months ago and was mentioned again two days ago in "Debian is basically useless unless you use Firefox or Chromium".

We already worry about Debian's CI outsourcing (Google, a security risk), SPI 'donations' (Google bribery), and GSoC ties to Google (which beget censorship by Google). Those aren't even a secret. But who inside Debian has decided that you must have either Firefox or Chrom* installed (but not neither)? Ryan wrote about this in an blog post (back when he was testing Debian 11) and the mystery was discussed in IRC yesterday and today at around 9AM (logs due tomorrow; they'll explain why this happens). Debian Developers oughtn't consider this a harmless thing. They need to rectify this because Firefox -- unlike some forks -- does not respect users' freedom. It's not about trademarks anymore (IceWeasel). Mozilla is very dodgy and it is controlled mostly by Google. The urgency will grow over time. New experiments with 'monetisations' harm users.

"They need to rectify this because Firefox -- unlike some forks -- does not respect users' freedom."Regarding the video above, it shows this behaviour in Debian 10. I've tested the same in Ubuntu (Debian derivative) and it does not have this awkward behaviour.

An associate suggested and then added an additional sentence clarifying that at least one of those two browsers must now be present in Debian. "If they are hard dependencies for base packages," he said, "then that should be mentioned too."

"From what we can gather, this is limited to desktops (or laptops), so servers running Debian do not need any Web browser installed.""Does that apply to just the desktop or does it affect Debian in other forms, server and embedded etc?"

From what we can gather, this is limited to desktops (or laptops), so servers running Debian do not need any Web browser installed. Heck, most lack a GUI.

"You could at least ask the user if they want to bring in "epiphany-browser"," Ryan noted. "It's part of the alternatives system. Like, if something calls a Web browser without looking to see what GNOME has as the default or what the default is with xdg-open. It's this really stupid Debian thing."

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