So I went slumming on Slashdot (yeah, I know), and came across the ravings of a paranoid Apple user with a blog post titled “Your Computer Isn’t Yours” ( https://sneak.berlin/20201112/your-computer-isnt-yours/ ) laying out all sorts of evil and nasty things happening on you Mac with macOS Big Sur and OCSP and how this is what the great Internet gods Stallman and Doctorow foretold would happen many, many years ago.
In spite of my knowing better than to trust this, I let the paranoia in me run wild a bit and went off to Objective Development to download my very own 30-day try-it-out copy of Little Snitch (which is what this is actually all about and why I have their propellor beanie on the page) ( https://www.obdev.at/products/littlesnitch/index.html ). So how did that work out for you, Bill?
I’m glad you asked.
It didn’t work out well at all. After installing version 5.0.2, the anointed version for Big Sur, I would click on it and it would just sit and bounce in the dock for some indeterminate time, then stop bouncing. But nothing showed up anywhere on the desktop, not a window, nothing anywhere. I tried this twice (because I couldn’t believe it the first time). Both times I’d have to kill the instance in the dock. After the second time I just deleted it.
It wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t read in the first link about how Apple’s Mac applications just bypass network framework and go directly out to the internet. Which means if it did start up I don’t believe it would do any good if Little Snitch did properly start.
And while poking around Daring Fireball (the site I swore I’d never visit again), I came across a link to another post by a different author titled “Does Apple really log every app you run? A technical look” ( https://blog.jacopo.io/en/post/apple-ocsp/ ). This is a sane and clear explanation of what is actually happening, not the heated rantings coming from “Your Computer Isn’t Yours”. At the very end of the article there’s a three bullet list. The last bullet says “You shouldn’t probably block
ocsp.apple.com with Little Snitch or in your hosts file.” Which is what the author of “Your Computer Isn’t Yours” at least implies that’s something you might want to do. I guess it was a good thing Little Snitch refused to start on my MacBook Pro after all.
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