Beware Brave

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There is a lot of support for the Brave browser on this site but it’s worth noting that its entire business model is considered #problematic by many in the tech press. The latest example of its questionable ethics is rewriting URLs that have been entered by the user to include its own affiliate code:

https://davidgerard.co.uk/blockchain/2020/06/06/the-brave-web-browser-is-hijacking-links-and-inserting-affiliate-codes/

Comments (6)

6 responses to “Beware Brave”

  1. jimchamplin

    Well, this is Brendan Eich we're talking about. Since he was forced to leave Mozilla, he's apparently simply decided to become a fraudster. I'm not just saying that, it's the pattern of behavior that he shows whenever they get caught doing something. Weak apologies and promises to do better - as if they were collecting "donations" for online creators who weren't affiliated with them by accident - along with annoyingly self-centered screeds about anyone who dares to criticize him as if he's above that.


    He's a pretty sad story honestly. From creating one of the cornerstones of the Internet to becoming a pitiful little whiny fraudster. He's also a bigot, so that gives you some idea of the level of his moral turpitude.

  2. dftf

    Correct me if I'm wrong here but reading the article it essentially seems that if someone goes to a certain crypto website online (say via a Google search, or entering the URL directly) then Brave is changing the URL to pretend that if referred you to them, so it gets a payment. If so, then yeah, it's a little shady, sure, but ultimately not creating any security-risk... you're still going to the actual website.


    And the article only mentions it does this for crypto-trading and crypto-wallet sites, not, for example, that if you click on a link to an Amazon product on someone's personal website that Brave changes their referrer to its own. So if it is purely just cryto-currency websites then this issue is going to affect, what, 2% or-less of Brave's userbase who actually use crypto?


    I don't think this is on the same scale as (1) Opera browsers claiming they have a built-in VPN when it's actually just a secure proxy-server; (2) how Opera Mini breaks encryption for websites on their servers, then re-encrypts it before sending it to you, giving a window on their servers when a secure site is not encrypted; (3) how Firefox have run certain "studies" in the past, with users being unaware, including installing add-ons or browser changing settings (4) or how some anti-virus apps, like BitDefender Free, hijack your certificate-store and put their own certificate at the root-level so they can break encryption on secure sites to virus-check them before re-encrypting them.


    If you're that concerned, there's always Vivaldi...

  3. Tiny

    I would argue that there is not a lot of support for the Brave Browser on this site. A search reveals one article and two forum posts (one of which is this one). Paul has mentioned the browser two times in the Thurrott Daily. I read quite a few tech sites and don't remember any articles on questionable ethiics.

    • Paul Thurrott

      This is the first time anyone has questioned their motives. They offer the most private web browser there is, outside perhaps of Tor, and even this practice, while dumb, didn't impact anyone's privacy.
  4. wright_is

    entire business model is considered #problematic by many in the tech press.

    I've not seen anything about their business model being problematic in the tech press... :-S

    Altering the links you enter is however bad practice and they should stop.

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