Continuing the discussion from The future of SAFE Launcher:
In the above topic I raised a question about the suitability of Electron for a privacy critical application such as SAFE Launcher (under heading Don’t Be Evil).
My interest in the question was prompted by a discussion with Alexander Hanff a well known privacy advocate who was unwilling to consider using Signal Desktop because it is built using Electron and consequently uses the Chromium codebase (from Google). I don’t know if others share this concern, so I raised the point to get opinions and have a discussion. I think it should be outside the other thread, even though at this stage it is potentially crucial to that discussion, because this is a topic in its own right.
To start I have nothing to go on so I have only read one article so far, which lead me to the official guide (link below). Clearly there are issues related to the architecture, some of which are more relevant to SAFE Beaker than Launcher, but it would be wise for us to go through them and satisfy ourselves as to the risks for different applications, including Launcher, Beaker, and third party. But since we are the security and privacy network, particularly for Launcher and Beaker Browser.
Regarding Launcher my initial concerns were related to use of the Google codebase, although I was not personally concerned about this - my respect for Alexander made me want to raise the issue here for consideration. My reading leads me to wonder if there aren’t otherv security issues introduced by this approach, so I suggest we don’t restrict ourselves to considering only the involvement of Google in the project.
Regarding SAFE Beaker I’m now more concerned (!), having read in the guide that the biggest security problems arise from building applications that run other people’s code: i.e.web browsers, which is why Brave forked electron, though no doubt Paul Frazee is also aware of this and may well have his own solution. So maybe I’m just being a scared newbie
Anyway, here’s the official Electron Security Guide for anyone interested in digging into this further.
I also found the following article a useful intro and think it is good background even though some of the issues it highlights have now been addressed (though not all).