Skip to content
master
Switch branches/tags
Code

Privacy Pass Extension

Privacy Pass

The Privacy Pass protocol is now being standardised by the privacypass IETF working group. All contributions are welcome! See the GitHub page for more details.

The Privacy Pass browser extension implements the Privacy Pass protocol for providing a private authentication mechanism during web browsing. Privacy Pass is currently supported by Cloudflare to allow users to redeem validly signed tokens instead of completing CAPTCHA solutions. The extension is compatible with Chrome and Firefox (v48+). An example server implementation that is compatible with this extension is available here.

The protocol we use is based on a realization of a 'Verifiable, Oblivious Pseudorandom Function' (VOPRF) first established by Jarecki et al.. We also detail the entire protocol and results from this deployment in a research paper that appeared at PETS 2018 (Issue 3).

In October 2021, we announced a new major version (v3) as mentioned in the blog post which makes the code base more resilient, extensible, and maintainable.

Build Instruction

$ npm ci
$ npm run build

After that, the dist folder will contain all files required by the extension.

Development Installation

Firefox

  • Build by following the Build Instruction.
  • Open Firefox and go to about:debugging#/runtime/this-firefox.
  • Click on 'Load Temporary Add-on' button.
  • Select manifest.json from dist folder.
  • Check extension logo appears in the top-right corner and 0 passes are stored (by clicking on it).
  • Go to a web page supporting Privacy Pass where internet challenges are displayed (e.g. https://captcha.website)
  • Solve CAPTCHA and check that some passes are stored in the extension now.
    • captcha.website cannot be bypassed (this is only for gaining passes)
  • Go to a new website supporting Privacy Pass that ordinarily displays a challenge.
  • Check that the website is displayed correctly without human interaction (more than one pass may be spent).
    • No interaction with a CAPTCHA page should occur, for instance.

Chrome

  • Build by following the Build Instruction.
  • Open Chrome and go to chrome://extensions.
  • Turn on the Developer mode on the top-right corner.
  • Click on 'Load unpacked' button.
  • Select the dist folder.
  • Check extension logo appears in the top-right corner and follow the same instruction as in Firefox. (If you cannot see the extension logo, it's probably just not pinned to the toolbar yest)

Test Instruction

$ npm ci
$ npm test

Directory Structure

  • public: Contains all the assets which are neither the business logic files nor the style sheets
  • src: Contains all the business logic files and the style sheets
    • background: The business logic for the extension background process
      • listeners: Contains all the listeners which listen on all the events happened in the browser
        • tabListener.ts: The listeners which listen on all the tab related events API
        • webRequestListener.ts: The listeners which listen on all the web request related events API
      • providers: Contains the provider-specific code of all the Privacy Pass providers in the extension. Currently we have only Cloudflare and hCaptcha
      • voprf.js: Legacy crypto code which is still in Vanilla JavaScript
      • voprf.d.ts: TypeScript declaration file for the legacy crypto code
      • tab.ts: Tab class to represent a tab and encapsulate everything which is Tab specific
      • token.ts: Token class to represent a token and contain all the code related to tokens
    • popup: The web app for the popup in the browser toolbar
      • components: Contains all the React components
      • styles: Contains all the style sheets which are shared among the React components
      • types.d.ts: Global Typescript declaration

Cryptography

Cryptography is implemented using the elliptic-curve library SJCL and compression of points is done in accordance with the standard SEC1. This work uses the NIST standard P256 elliptic curve for performing operations. Third-party implementers should note that the outputs of the hash-to-curve, key derivation, and point encoding functions must match their Go equivalents exactly for interaction with our server implementation. More information about this will be provided when the edge implementation is open-sourced.

Acknowledgements

The creation of the Privacy Pass protocol was a joint effort by the team made up of George Tankersley, Ian Goldberg, Nick Sullivan, Filippo Valsorda and Alex Davidson.

We would also like to thank Eric Tsai for creating the logo and extension design, Dan Boneh for helping us develop key parts of the protocol, as well as Peter Wu and Blake Loring for their helpful code reviews. We would also like to acknowledge Sharon Goldberg, Christopher Wood, Peter Eckersley, Brian Warner, Zaki Manian, Tony Arcieri, Prateek Mittal, Zhuotao Liu, Isis Lovecruft, Henry de Valence, Mike Perry, Trevor Perrin, Zi Lin, Justin Paine, Marek Majkowski, Eoin Brady, Aaran McGuire, and many others who were involved in one way or another and whose efforts are appreciated.

FAQs

What do I have to do to acquire new passes?

  • Click "Get More Passes" in the extension pop-up (or navigate to https://captcha.website).
  • Solve the CAPTCHA that is presented on the webpage
  • Your extension should be populated with new passes.

Are passes stored after a browser restart?

Depending on your browser settings, the local storage of your browser may be cleared when it is restarted. Privacy Pass stores passes in local storage and so these will also be cleared. This behavior may also be observed if you clear out the cache of your browser.