Paranoid Browsing: anti-profiling plugin seeks feedback

Ben West read my novel Little Brother in tandem with the Edward Snowden leaks about NSA spying, and it got him thinking about a browser plugin called Paranoid Browsing to make it harder to profile your traffic based on surveillance. He's posted the source-code to GitHub and looking for critical feedback about the robustness of the system — remember, the only experimental methodology for validating a security system is public discussion, because otherwise, you never know if your system is secure, or just secure against people who are stupider than you.

Many systems have been proposed to create a "profile" of users based on their browsing history. A constant problem with these systems is that they have difficulty filtering out which pieces of your browsing history are "relevant" and which are noise.[1]

Paranoid Browsing exacerbates this difficulty by creating a background tab which browses the Internet, creating a false set of preferences. By default, it browses the most popular American web sites, but it can be configured to browse other, more niche sites to create a more targeted false profile.

When activated, PB will open a tab and start browsing the Internet at one of a configured set of pages. It will proceed to click on links in each page at random, pausing for various amounts of time as though it were reading each document. After reaching a certain browsing depth, it will restart this process, choosing another top-level page at random. By repeating this many times, your browsing history will become dominated by the false profile generated by PB, and your actual preferences will be hidden.

1. Sugiyama, Kazunari, Kenji Hatano, and Masatoshi Yoshikawa. "Adaptive web search based on user profile constructed without any effort from users." Proceedings of the 13th international conference on World Wide Web. ACM, 2004."

Paranoid Browsing [Chrome store]

Source-code [Github]