/~/blog/: The internet on Lockdown mode

What is lockdown mode?

Lockdown mode is an optional, extreme protection mode that was introduced by Apple in iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and macOS Sonoma.

When Lockdown mode is enabled, your device won’t function like it typically does. To reduce the attack surface that potentially could be exploited by highly targeted mercenary spyware, certain apps, websites, and features are strictly limited for security and some experiences might not be available at all.

What does that mean?

As per the article, When Lockdown mode is enabled, some apps and features will function differently, including:

Web browsing - Certain complex web technologies are blocked, which might cause some websites to load more slowly or not operate correctly. In addition, web fonts might not be displayed, and images might be replaced with a missing image icon.

Should you enable it?

Most probably, you don’t need to enable it, but if you are someone (like me), who generally hates web tracking, has concerns about privacy, and uses browsers like Firefox (with enhanced tracking protection and container tabs or Firefox Klar/Focus), you might be interested in giving it a try. You’re probably familiar with an internet that looks dysfunctional anyway.

And that’s actually the point of this post.

The 2024 internet has mostly become just a marketing and tracking vehicle at best, and except for a handful of websites (usually programming-related, like StackOverflow or GitHub), the rest of the internet looks broken, and using the Lockdown mode, made it clearer.

Even without it being enabled, just disabling some tracking (with privacy badger or privacy possum, for example) breaks most of the social networking websites (including Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook).

It’s pretty scary while using Lockdown mode to see how many attack vectors are there. Technologies such as web fonts, tracking scripts loaded from remote sources, and link previews were previously weaponized; therefore, they are now largely restricted under Lockdown mode. The internet is now becoming less and less accessible and less and less usable.

What can you do?

If you are a developer, or managing developers, maybe you have the power to push back against unnecessary tracking, the overuse of web fonts and glyph icons, or at least, maybe you can push to have your website functioning under Lockdown mode, and screen readers.

It’s quite sad to see the internet like this.

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