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back to article Microsoft dishes dirt on IE8 'pr0n mode'

Microsoft has outlined the new privacy tools available in its forthcoming browser Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). Earlier this week the company’s program manager Andy Zeigler confirmed rumours from last week that Microsoft would include a privacy browsing feature affectionately known as "porn mode". He said four new controls with be …

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What about index.dat?

Are they going to clear that, or will the little spy file continue to monitor every site you've visited?

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Am I missing something?

There doesn't seem to be anything very revolutionary about this?

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Silver badge

"caused quite a kerfuffle among bloggers"

Safari has had this feature for a while, and therefore I assume Firefox has had it for absolutely ages. So what's the kerfuffle?

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oh dear...

Sounds like a good idea, too bad the kiddies will be using it to hide all their browsing from their parents, what's a parent to do?

Me, I use firefox within sandboxie for my pr0n mode, it ensures that dodgy sites that are more likely to have malware and the like can't mess with the PC, and I only get the pics out of course. :)

http://www.sandboxie.com/

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Won't save

Don't worry, phorm will be there to watch your every move.

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Boffin

Firefox is there already

The pr0n aficionados out there already should have discovered Firefox's handy Profile Manager, which lets you essentially do the exact same thing.

firefox.exe -profilemanager

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Anonymous Coward

hardly a new feature for browsers

"will switch off cookies, browsing and search history, and it won't save form data and passwords. In addition, it will automatically clear the cache at the end of the browser session."

I've already configured Firefox this way since version 2. It's hardly a new thing for browsers. Anyway, why the prQn assumption? Some of us are just paranoid.

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About time really

Regardless of the moral issues regarding p0rn, the key issue should always be to protect innocent eyes. Ideally, adults should be able to use the computer for what they want and leave no traces behind them.

Most people's first experience of p0rn was in finding the stash that belonged to a parent or older sibling, and although this might have been relatively harmless stuff several decades ago, the stuff available nowadays is generally speaking much "harder" (no pun intended) than that in the days of old...

You won't, can't, stop people using p0rn.

What you can and should do is protect the innocence of children in such matters for as long as possible. That's not the same as being prudish - nothing wrong with sex, and children should be told that (once they are old enough for such a message to be appropriate). There is however danger in any child witnessing the sex scenes common on the Internet and thinking that they relate to standard human sexual behaviour rather than a (mostly) male-centric fantasy.

Not using the Paris icon because it's just far far too obvious...

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Flame

I am sure I have heard similar things before

I know it was in the Opera settings dialog several years ago IIRC

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Paris Hilton

Icon?

I think we need to decide what toolbar icon is suitable for Porn Mode.

Paris, cos she is a likely candidate.

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Anonymous Coward

@ thomas

There is an article in /. that claimed that this feature can also block ads the way Firefox extension AdBlock Plus do. If IE8 really has that (which even Safari and vanilla Firefox do not have), the implications is huge. Already those /. denizens claims that Microsoft is doing it to stop Google Adwords.

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Alert

@Tony

Exactly what I was thinking! FF to name but one browser, has had this stuff for donkey's. In fact the one reason I prefer FF, when I'm visiting the less salubrious "side" of the internet!

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Damn

And I thought 'pr0n' was an inconspicuous name for my E drive.

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Alert

delete or overwrite?

Will IE8 overwrite cached files or just delete them? It's really easy to recover "deleted" files on windows...

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Gates Halo

UAC Flash....

... would be very nice. Having flash decide to run on any site which wants it to run is quite horrific, especially if you play an MMO, a new vuln is on the lose that uses Flash (again). If IE would disable plugins by default and only allow them to be active on sites you trust, it would do a lot to improve security.

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Coat

Google Adwords?

Google Adwords is just one of the nuisances I've been blocking with my proxy server for a long time. My whole browsing experience is a lot like watching the BBC.

Mine's the one without a brand name.

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Anonymous Coward

Adsense supported sites will Block IE8, Use Firefox

inPrivate tells users a site is tracking them if it present on 10 sites they visit. So Google advertising will be flagged as a privacy invasion and the user can block it.

Ad supported sites will go out of business. Except they won't, Google will set a flag to indicate the ad has been served and the sites will redirect users to the Firefox download page if they have adsense blocked., or perhaps an explanation page.

Nobody likes freeloaders.

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Pirate

index.dat

That nasty little hidden file that collects EVERY url cannot be deleted while you are using your account. Maybe IE8 will edit it, maybe.....

You have to log into a different account, or even boot to MS DOS prompt, or even better mount the drive under Linux, to delete it.

Have fear, even with porn mode on, the police will still be able to see every little kiddie website you wank over.

index.dat is the number 2 reason that I don't use IE. Number 1 is that I use Linux.

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Once again ...

... Microsoft making a big hoo-ha about adding features to their second-rate browser that have been available in the competition for years, whilst trying to make it sound like they're "innovating".

Remember the fanfare when they wheeled out tabbed browsing like it was the Second Coming?

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IT Angle

So what?

I already have this with Firefox, have done for years.

Clears all data when I close it.

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W

"the feature, when enabled, ...

...will switch off cookies, browsing and search history, and it won't save form data and passwords. In addition, it will automatically clear the cache at the end of the browser session"

So, as others have already stated, it'll be just like Firefox "paranoid mode" settings I've got at the mo.

@ Ben Smith: agreed.

Re: IE8 "AdBlock" to hurt Google. Interesting. Veeeery interesting. Particularly keen to see how they'll credibly manage to block Google's ads which are markedly less anoying than the abomination that is MSN.com

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Flame

Absolutely Pointless

It is a widely known fact that any Microsoft Windows version is a virtual partyhouse of and for data miners.

The Windows Virtual Memory system gladly retains any information that passes through your system in the swapfile on your harddrive - passwords, addresses, files you clicked/hovered over/edited/sniffed/licked/sent/deleted/moved/etc.

Then there's the wonderful magic of multiple temp folders - one on C:, one in C:\Windows, one in C:\Winnt (and yes, there are systems that have BOTH Windows and Winnt), several more in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users and your own user account, Then there's C:\System Volume Information to which you do not have access by default (System Restore is your friend, really. especially in court), Any software you may have installed that grafts it's own temp and restore systems onto your computer, etc.

Then last but certainly not the least; your own internet provider. Your pal, your chum, your biggest friend of all. Especially when Uncle Bobby comes round for a pint of computer forensics.

With the lovely Data Retention laws now coming into full effect everywhere, your bits and bytes are stored 1:1 on nice, shiny, BIG disk arrays where anyone with a pea sized brain can trawl through your every move like it's the next best thing in the IKEA catalogue.

All in the name of privacy right? Good luck hiding your tracks!

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@AC (Re: @Tony)

AC:

"Exactly what I was thinking! FF to name but one browser, has had this stuff for donkey's. In fact the one reason I prefer FF, when I'm visiting the less salubrious "side" of the internet!"

A pr0n mode for donkeys? Your side of the net is certainly anything but salubrious!

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Paris Hilton

Sure FF already had it

for ages. However, for average uneducated IE users, do you expect they would know a single thing about FF? All they need is the ability to check email and watch pr0n. This will be a huge help for them.

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Linux

ccleaner

removes index.dat...

Other than that run a ramdrive and redirect your files to here.

Of course the best way is simply to run a "live" linux cd which can't possible write to your HDD in the first place.

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Gates Halo

@Tony

It IS revolutionary. Nothing really exists until Microsoft has written their own version of it. It's how they've become the most innovative company in history.

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re: what's a parent to do?

run an undelete utility on the cache folder perhaps?

delete != wipe

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Anonymous Coward

@A J Stiles

A J Stiles sez:

>

> My whole browsing experience is a lot like watching the BBC.

you mean you have filters that exclude anything hostile to the EU, positive towards Israel, or acknowledges the existence of, erm, what was it now, some place we heard about the other side of the M25?

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@Ben Smith

'There is however danger in any child witnessing the sex scenes common on the Internet and thinking that they relate to standard human sexual behaviour rather than a (mostly) male-centric fantasy.'

You mean that you don't regularly have unprotected sex with several large-breasted ladies simultaneously, who you just met after going round to fix their washing machine? I feel sorry for you mate - happens to me all the time.

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Safari does this already

.. not surprising really...

I do wonder what parents will do now, but having said that, any kid who wants to surf without her/his parents knowledge will find a way. Unless you've got an upto date standalone firewall that's locked down, you're not going to stop them.

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@index.dat

If you reboot your computer and login with another account, say the local admin, you can delete the index.dat files of other users.

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If Q = index.dat

Then A = CCleaner

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Anonymous Coward

Index.dat

No need to use another user account, switch to command line, or mount using Linux.

Just use Unlocker.

http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/

Right click, Delete. Done!

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Paris Hilton

What's in a name

isn't prOn some kind of fish?? is PORN! P-O-R-N

poooooorrrrnnnn there I said it!

nothing wrong with it, and nothing wrong with cleaning up after it

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Joke

Most commonly asked question....

...from on-site housecall-type repairs: "How do I clear the location bar?"

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Paris Hilton

Gutted doesn't quite cover it....

I'd assumed this pr0n mode meant that I wouldn't get anything except filth delivered to my browser.

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Anonymous Coward

Can't wait for the first court case...

Fired for surfing p0rn. Does evidence exist on the computer? If no, then sue employer for lack of proof (assuming they were not caught -ahem- red handed).

If yes, then sue MS for their product failing to perform as advertised. You just know it will happen, and some opportunistic lawyer will chase the big money. Especially if the end user did not accept the EULA (the IT guy did).

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Stop

"sites that might check their browsing history"

You mean that (a) sites can do this, and (b) the browser happily obliges?

Good grief!

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This would be same Microsoft

who tapped Instant Messenger using DPI so they could read^h^h^h^h analyse private communications now suddenly championing the cause of privacy by doing the same thing as Firefox has done for ages.

How about something really impressive, like 'tor mode' ?

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Linux

Linux live CDs

I thought that's what live CDs such as Knoppix were for!

But, more importantly, what about Duck Porn ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/20/microsoft_adcenter_keywords/ )?

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I'll tell what's so special about this

It's numbers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers

It's well and good for Firefox or Safari or Opera or Lynx to already have some feature, but that leaves out quite a few users. Actually, that leaves out more than half the users on the Internet, it appears.

I didn't quite see in TFA where Microsoft or anyone else has said this is the first time anyone has done this ever. They seemed to say things more like "if you used IE7 and thought cookie clearing could be refined, you'll like this new IE8 feature."

People at the other end of the web - advertisers and content providers - are going to have to cope with this because more and more (or, _even_ more and more) users are going to have and may choose to use this functionality. These advertisers might think it's revolutionary that not only now do the "thinkers*" who use FireFox and Safari have the ability to resist cookie and ad surveying, the plebs have it too.

(* I use this in a mock pejorative way. I am reminded of a friend-of-a-friend's six-year-old son who hung about a LAN party recently inflicting his enlightened anti-Microsoft, pro-Firefox, doesn't-care-if-you-care position on us.)

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Paris Hilton

pr0n? What's that?

Please give several examples in jpg format please

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Pirate

not for the educated admins

who dont know how to set security permissions for ie settings with regedit

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Stop

@Can't wait for the first court case...

There are plenty of ways for a Corp. to log access to porn without needing to have any of it stored on the workstation itself.

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@Tony

>You mean that you don't regularly have unprotected sex with several large-breasted ladies simultaneously, who you just met after going round to fix their washing machine? I feel sorry for you mate - happens to me all the time.

You bastard !! You owe me a new monitor to replace the one I just sprayed beer over after reading your post :)

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An ans to those instant on linux bios?

Apart from kicking Google in the groin, wouldn't you choose one of those instant on Linux based BIOS things coming out of China to go browse for wankalcious pron?

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Replies...

For my porn, back when I was using Windows, I just created a new user in Windows, then ran my browser as that user. Sure anyone that wanted to could browse to the other user's profile and poke around, but it wasn't likely that I'd accidentally click something and have a bunch of porn sites in the recently viewed url list.

And as for what parents should do... Transparent Proxy. I know this works because that's how I accidentally discovered that my roommate was looking at (not even very good) porn while I slept a couple years ago. Squid takes a good 10 minutes to set up if you're running a Linux or BSD firewall, and if you're not... Then just assume your kids are looking at porn whenever you aren't in the room.

I don't even know why children get their own computers with unsupervised Internet access... Don't parents know that the internets are dangerous?

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Go

index.dat

Using the sysinternals.com "movefile" command, you can delete index.dat at next boot.

From my work Vista laptop:

movefile "C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Low\Content.IE5\index.dat" ""

...

movefile "C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\index.dat" ""

There's quite a few index.dat files on your PC, you need to get them all the IE related ones.

Index.dat - more info here:

http://blog.wisefaq.com/category/internet-privacy/

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Stop

@Edward

Sshh! Don't tell. It's more fun when users don't know it and admins can review the proxy logs. Users find the best stuff, sometimes.

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