[EasyPrivacy] mod_pagespeed_beacon

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jefftk
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[EasyPrivacy] mod_pagespeed_beacon

Post by jefftk » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:38 pm

I'm a developer on the mod_pagespeed/ngx_pagespeed open source project. We make a webserver plugin for apache and nginx that rewrites pages to make them load faster. The EasyPrivacy list is blocking xhrs to /mod_pagespeed_beacon, and I'm trying to figure out if you could whitelist us? Here's how these beacons work:

First, someone visits a website where the site-owner has installed pagespeed. Pagespeed does many optimizations that are all-server side, like combining multiple css files into one to reduce round trips, and none of the blocklists interfere with these. There are other optimizations, though, where pagespeed needs to know something about how the webpage renders in a browser. For example, we have a filter "prioritize_critical_css" that looks over all the css on your page to figure out which rules are actually relevant, and it inlines just those rules at the top of the page. Because js can modify css we can't do this in the webserver by statically analyzing the css, instead we need to ask a real browser which css rules it ended up using. So on the first few requests pagespeed includes some js that computes which css rules applied, and sends a list of rules back via an xhr to /mod_pagespeed_beacon. Then on later requests the server-side code will use that information to make pages load more efficiently.

All of these optimizations are about making the site load faster for its users, they're open source, and they only send information back to the webserver you loaded the page from. If this sounds compatible with EasyPrivacy, I'd love it if you could whitelist our beacons. They are:
  • /mod_pagespeed_beacon? (on apache)
  • /ngx_pagespeed_beacon? (on nginx)
  • /pagespeed_beacon? (in the future, when we clean up the mod vs ngx distinction)
Let me know what you think!

(This was reported on our mailing list
https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/mod-pagespeed-discuss/b2005b7a-ad30-4231-a4b9-82b428356a4a%40googlegroups.com

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fanboy
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Post by fanboy » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:12 pm

By sending the information back to server, isn't that tracking the user?

RichieB
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Post by RichieB » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:10 pm

I second this request. It is very painful to see that when browsing my own sites (0% tracking policy!) uBlock is telling me it blocked several requests because I use mod_pagespeed. There is no actual tracking being done. As @jefftk pointed out: the browser makes a request to the server, and the javascript just reports back to the same server which CSS is actually being used for rendering the page. I can't see any privacy issues with that.

pagespeed
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Post by pagespeed » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:26 pm

Hi,

This mod_pagespeed_beacon is still being listed in your list as bad content. So causing uBlock,etc to block those requests

Could you please remove asap that false positive.

I believe the problem is that you have put in a very general URL block for the string '_beacon' due to some other ads etc but that string pattern means you are blocking valid request such as mod_pagespeed_beacon one from Google

Cheers
Jonathan

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