Mozilla Plans To Remove FTP Implementation With Firefox 90

Mozilla has announced a major change with its upcoming update to the Firefox browser. With Firefox 90, Mozilla will remove the built-in FTP implementation.

Mozilla To Remove FTP With Firefox 90

In a recent blog post, Mozilla has announced plans to remove the built-in FTP implementation with the upcoming Firefox 90.

Mozilla first announced this decision in April 2020 explaining the insecure functioning of the file transfer protocol (FTP). As they explained,

FTP is a protocol to transfer files from one host to another. It predates the Web and was not designed with security in mind. Now, we have decided to remove it because it is an infrequently used and insecure protocol.

The implementation of the decision was initially delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the change of users’ browsing and file-sharing habits.

However, they are now back to implementing this move.

With the latest Firefox 88, Mozilla disables FTP by default. Whereas, it will entirely remove the FTP implementation with Firefox 90.

Nonetheless, users might still be able to use FT. However, the browser will then handle the requests differently. As stated,

“After FTP is disabled in Firefox, the browser will delegate ftp:// links to external applications in the same manner as other protocol handlers.
With the deprecation, browserSettings.ftpProtocolEnabled will become read-only. Attempts to set this value will have no effect.

Regarding how it’ll work, they explain,

Most places where an extension may pass “ftp” such as filters for proxy or webRequest should not result in an error, but the APIs will no longer handle requests of those types.
To help offset this removal, ftp has been added to the list of supported protocol_handlers for browser extensions. This means that extensions will be able to prompt users to launch a FTP application to handle certain links.

Google Disabled FTP Already

The latest move by Mozilla isn’t a unique one. Their rival Google has already made such an announcement even before Mozilla. And they even started disabling FTP with the release of Google Chrome 72 years ago.

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