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Strollin' around
Status: New idea

Firefox should again respect the user's wish expressed by "xpinstall.signatures.required" and thereby allow manually permanently installed unsigned extensions.

As an addition to the signing process, the user could also be offered the following options in the addon settings:

  • signed (only)
  • unsigned, but intention of installation confirmed (e.g. by entering the user password (if available))
  • all

The arguments for this are relatively clear and in line with the principles of free and user empowering software original practiced by Mozilla and Firefox.

Users should not be prevented from making their own decisions and customizing the browser. The current approach represents a repressive opaque encroaching course of action that ultimately drives users into the hands of other browsers. While the browser should certainly provide helpful warnings to the user, it should not force the user against his will. Instead, an extension environment should be established, which allows access to sensitive data to be regulated through a fine-grained rights management.

Status changed to: New idea
Community Manager
Community Manager

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Not applicable

This is an exceptionally important feature to restore to Firefox for Android.

First, it would allow users to install add-ons not available on the Firefox Add-ons site, such as Bypass Paywalls Clean. After Mozilla took down that add-on from the Firefox Add-ons site in response to a DMCA complaint, the developer of that extension opted not to challenge the DMCA takedown notice to avoid facing a legal challenge in court. The extension is still being distributed independently on GitLab.

Second, there are plenty of add-ons created for personal or internal business/organization use that are not appropriate to be submitted to the Firefox Add-on site because they are intended to be private. Firefox for Android used to be able to install these addons by changing an about:config setting (xpinstall.signatures.required), but Firefox 79 (Daylight) completely removed the ability to install extensions outside of the Firefox Add-ons site.

Restoring the ability to permanently install unsigned extensions on Firefox for Android would allow Firefox for Android to be a serious browser for power users and corporate users again.