Disabling WebRTC (setting media.peerconnection.enabled to false) causing unexpected site failures #55

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Gitoffthelawn opened this Issue Jul 11, 2016 · 5 comments

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@Gitoffthelawn

I have noticed that _too many_ sites are not working properly in Firefox 47.0.1.

After hours of work, I discovered that the culprit is setting media.peerconnection.enabled to false. Doing this disables WebRTC, which is generally a good idea for both privacy and security reasons.

Interestingly, none of the failing sites actually use WebRTC.

This issue seems to be the result of incredibly poorly coded libraries that a number of popular sites use.

Just as an example, take a close look at Airbnb. When media.peerconnection.enabled is set to false, it becomes impossible to set the dates for reservations on their main page.

When WebRTC is disabled, one of the JavaScript libraries used by that popular site throws an error, and it does not handle the error condition gracefully. The result is a website that fails.

Although diagnosing the problem took a fair amount of effort, finding a solution may require even more effort. Globally enabling WebRTC is a bad idea for many reasons, but disabling it is breaking popular sites.

Looking forward to a good discussion regarding this issue.

@ekaris
ekaris commented Jul 25, 2016

This should be reported also on firefox bugzilla account

@Gitoffthelawn

As a stop gap measure, I recommend this extension add: media.peerconnection.ice.default_address_only directly under media.peerconnection.enabled.

For another discussion of this issue, see: ChrisAntaki/disable-webrtc-firefox#9

@schomery schomery added a commit that referenced this issue Aug 25, 2016
@schomery fixes #21 and #55 c87e3d4
@schomery
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Since the VPN leakage is still under question, I added both prefs. In full privacy mode, both prefs are changed. But in the compatible mode we are only alteringedia.peerconnection.ice.default_address_only

@Gitoffthelawn thanks for the report

@schomery schomery closed this Aug 25, 2016
@Gitoffthelawn

You're welcome. What you did sounds great. I'll take a look at it in a few days when I have a moment.

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