Thursday, December 23, 2004

SwitchProxy Tool for Mozilla

SwitchProxy Tool for Mozilla

This little Firefox goody caught my attention after a viewing of checking out waxy.org. It appears to be an extension that allows one to quickly switch between proxy servers (what is a proxy server you ask?) through a toolbar. There are two reasons I like this idea.

The first is that if I'm off-campus and want to use the MSU Library to download an article I have to go through a bunch of menus in whatever browser I'm using to set up a connection through the MSU proxy server. Once I've done that I can usually get the research articles I want, though there have been occasions were it still didn't work and I had to wait until I got to campus to read a research article.

The second reason this interests me is the idea of anonymity. I've had a passing interest in encryption, anonymity, and privacy on the net. This Firebird extension would seem to be an easy to use tool that improves access to anonymity.

I really don't have a need for any of those things as it comes to the 'net, as most of the things I find interesting or view on the web would be boring to the majority of people. Yet my Libertarian side gets all riled up when I think about the protection of privacy. I make a concious decision about my privacy as it comes to the 'net, but I worry that most people don't have a clue about the ability of others to monitor what they do online. Medical records, financial records, and personal writings can be of a very personal nature; why would one who worries about their records treat their online persona differently? I think the answer if they simply aren't aware of the risk to their privacy. This is why I think a simple browser extension is worth attention.

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