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Why can't I allow a blocked extension?

  • 6 ответов
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  • Последний ответ от XyZed

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Hello there. Some months back Firefox decided to block my Dragon NaturallySpeaking extension. This extension is needed so that I can properly control my browser using speech as I have severe repetitive strain injury through typing. The explanation given is that the extension violates some privacy rules that Firefox have put into place.

Whilst I fully appreciate how Firefox is looking out for us, I am really puzzled as to why I do not have the option to say that I am not concerned about this issue and want to continue using the extension. The Dragon NaturallySpeaking software costs several hundred pounds, and it has now been rendered much less effective, which prevents me from working properly in my browser.

I have of course contacted Dragon NaturallySpeaking who just said that they were looking into it, but nothing has been done (presumably I am running a version that they no longer actively support).

Could you please explain to me why it is not possible to allow the users to make an informed decision about whether or not to continue to use an extension? I find it very hard to believe that an extension which is well established as the leading speech recognition software is a serious threat to me?

Hello there. Some months back Firefox decided to block my Dragon NaturallySpeaking extension. This extension is needed so that I can properly control my browser using speech as I have severe repetitive strain injury through typing. The explanation given is that the extension violates some privacy rules that Firefox have put into place. Whilst I fully appreciate how Firefox is looking out for us, I am really puzzled as to why I do not have the option to say that I am not concerned about this issue and want to continue using the extension. The Dragon NaturallySpeaking software costs several hundred pounds, and it has now been rendered much less effective, which prevents me from working properly in my browser. I have of course contacted Dragon NaturallySpeaking who just said that they were looking into it, but nothing has been done (presumably I am running a version that they no longer actively support). Could you please explain to me why it is not possible to allow the users to make an informed decision about whether or not to continue to use an extension? I find it very hard to believe that an extension which is well established as the leading speech recognition software is a serious threat to me?

Изменено XyZed

Все ответы (6)

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You can change extensions.blocklist.enabled to false in about:config. Without the blocklist you will need to be extra careful what extensions you install.

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Many thanks for that. That may well solve my problem - though as you point out - at a price. I would still appreciate someone from Mozilla explaining if it might be possible for them to allow people to unblock the extension or not? If Mozilla knows that an extension is malicious then I appreciate that it would not be wise to let them do that. But if they are blocked an extension just because of some privacy issues, then it would be very helpful if they would explain the specific nature of these issues and allow people to make an informed choice.

It just seems wrong to me, for my browser to disable an extension that I need without giving any specific details as to why and without giving me an option to ignore a specific warning.

Изменено XyZed

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I found there are several options available under the extensions.blocklist. section including one that refers to the level, which was set at 2. I had a quick search and as a result tried changing the level to 4, which I presume is less severe but it didn't make any difference. However, I have now changed it to false and it has allowed me to use the extension.

It's not ideal as it disables this system, which I do appreciate is aimed at protecting us the users. But there are many people who are not overly concerned about "many privacy issues" so unless they are doing something blatant or malicious we should have the option to continue to use an extension, especially if it is for an expensive and vital piece of software. Many thanks. I will have to try and remember if I ever had any further extensions to change it back to extensions.blocklist.enabled

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The reason for why it was blocked https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/blocked-addon/dgnria_pro.firefox@nuance.com/ "This add-on violates Mozilla's add-on policies by executing remote code and collecting user data without disclosure, consent or control."

You have to comply with https://extensionworkshop.com/documentation/publish/add-on-policies/ in order to host extensions on addons.mozilla.org

Microsoft acquired Nuance in March 2022 and the extension was blocked on July 10, 2023. So given the new owner they may not care to fix/revert the issues that caused the extension to get blocked since.


from Bug#1854923

Status Update: Despite our best efforts we have not been able to get in contact with anyone at MS/Nuance that we could work with on this extension. We have tried contacting the extension developer, reaching out to personal contacts at MS/Nuance, calling their support lines, and filling out support forms online. None of the available status options on these tickets (FIXED, INVALID, WONTFIX, WORKSFORME, DUPLICATE) seem appropriate, so I selected WONTFIX for now. It's really more of a "CANTFIX" until we are able to get in contact with someone at MS/Nuance who is responsible for this extension. Thank you. Ed Sullivan

Please do not comment in this bug unless it is actually useful as pointless comments are considered spam and may be hidden at minimum. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/page.cgi?id=etiquette.html

The blocklist is a good thing as it has blocked a variety of things over the years as were for example malware, scams, fake plugins, and even ones that stole money (crypto) and such over the years. Mozilla used to list every extension that got added to blocklist at https://blocked.cdn.mozilla.net/ however they have stopped making this list updated for public to easily see since 2020.

Изменено James

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James said

Microsoft acquired Nuance in March 2022 and the extension was blocked on July 10, 2023.

Also note that Microsoft removed the OneNote Web Clipper extension for Firefox in 2023 and instead direct people to use Edge.

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Thanks for the information. Maybe Nuance take the position that users of Dragon Naturally Speaking give permissions when they install the software and use it?

Bearing in mind that many people using Dragon Natural Speaking cannot type - and can only use Firefox with speech recognition software. The only current options are have the extension of a £500 piece of vital software removed, or disable the blocklist for all extensions.

A good compromise woud be if a user disables the extensions blocklist altogether (which is currently the only option) for Firefox to disable the blocks, but still monitor new extensions added, and if one is on the blocklist Firefox could still warn the user.

But best practice for me would be that Firefox users should be able to decide whether or not to allow an extension to run on their computer once Firefox has warned them about it.