I like Chromium, but Google's sweaty hands on it makes me nervous in using it. I'm not alone, it turns out: on github you will find ungoogled-chromium, a project to remove the Google integration from the browser and enhance privacy, control, and transparency, something Google seems to have forgotten.
A number of features or background services communicate with Google servers despite the absence of an associated Google account or compiled-in Google API keys. Furthermore, the normal build process for Chromium involves running Google's own high-level commands that invoke many scripts and utilities, some of which download and use pre-built binaries provided by Google. Even the final build output includes some pre-built binaries. Fortunately, the source code is available for everything.
ungoogled-chromium is a set of configuration flags, patches, and custom scripts. These components altogether strive to accomplish the following:
- Disable or remove offending services and features that communicate with Google or weaken privacy
- Strip binaries from the source tree, and use those provided by the system or build them from source
- Disable features that inhibit control and transparency, and add or modify features that promote them (these changes are minor and do not have significant impacts on the general user experience)
ungoogled-chromium should not be considered a fork of Chromium. The main reason for this is that a fork is associated with more significant deviations from the Chromium, such as branding, configuration formats, file locations, and other interface changes. ungoogled-chromium will not modify the Chromium browser outside of the project's goals.
Since these goals and requirements are not precise, unclear situations are discussed and decided on a case-by-case basis.
ungoogled-chromium is looking for contributors.
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