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Amazon Silk Updated with Private Browsing Mode

amazon-silk-icon-twitter[1]The ugly duckling of Android web browsers got an update today which is going to make it slightly more useful. Amazon announced on the Silk developer’s blog that:

In response to customer feedback, we are excited to announce support for Private Browsing. With Private Browsing, you can surf the web without saving a record of your visits. For example, if you use Private Browsing while researching travel destinations for a surprise trip or shopping for presents, these sites will not show up in your browsing history when someone else uses your device.

The new privacy mode is available on all Fire tablets except the original, and it’s also available on the Fire Phone.

The new private browsing mode can be found by tapping the 3 dot icon on the navigation bar (the same bar where you’ll find the search, home, and back icons), and then selecting Enter Private Browsing:


You can exit the private browsing mode by closing the tabs you opened during your browsing session. Silk will prompt you to delete the files you downloaded during the session, which you should probably do.

And now finally we can use the Fire tablets for their intended purpose (porn) without anyone other than your ISP and Amazon being the wiser.  (Silk offers the option of performance boosted by Amazon’s servers, and unless you turn that off you’re basically sharing everything with Amazon.)

Just so you know, this is called a private browsing mode for a reason. It’s not a secret browsing mode, by any means, and the sites you visit can still be tracked by your ISP, the websites you visit (cookies), and any sufficiently crafty individual who is using the same public wifi network.

Truly private browsing would require either a VPN or a TOR node, and even that may not be enough. Earlier today a researcher at Columbia University showed that it was possible to track TOR users through traffic analysis.

On the other hand, that requires a lot more work than the average hacker can bring to bear, so perhaps we shouldn’t get too alarmed over it.

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Ben November 18, 2014 um 4:15 pm

hahaha! Love the fact that Amazon’s copywriters tried to come up with plausible non-porn uses for porn mode. Bless.

Timothy Wilhoit November 18, 2014 um 4:27 pm

You have a low opinion of Amazon’s customers. For all you know, they WERE shopping…for pR0n. 😀

whateveragain November 19, 2014 um 4:09 pm

Cool. Now my kids can look at porn without me knowing.

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