Several of you have emailed me to let me know of a Firefox and Thunderbird feature that you might not be aware of - both applications phone home on a daily basis.
Here's the info as posted on Reddit:
I found this out a few days after I decided to start using Thunderbird and created strict firewall rules as a precaution.
I noticed that Thunderbird would, for no reason at all, sometimes try to contact a server over SSL. I looked up the ip address 188.8.131.52 and found it belonged to Mozilla.
On researching the problem further I found that the cause of the connection is a feature that cannot be disabled from any menu, only the about:config configuration page.
Look up extensions.blocklist.enabled for more information. It's present in Firefox also and is enabled even if all the options are disabled through the menus.
What this tells Mozilla each day:
- IP address - What time you were using the product - What exact version number you were using - If you are using any of the plugins or addons sent in the disabled list - Total number of active users of their software
More info on this feature over on the Mozilla support site (this link also shows you how to disable this phone home feature). Seems that this is related to checking the extensions blocklist for malicious add-ons (won't a malicious add-on just disable the check feature???).
Personally, I'm not too fussed about this feature, but I can understand why some folks are getting hot under the collar.