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Koby

Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome.

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37r5r1K.jpgGoogle engineers have proposed changes to the open-source Chromium browser that will break content-blocking extensions, including various ad blockers.

 

The drafted changes will also limit the capabilities available to extension developers, ostensibly for the sake of speed and safety. Chromium forms the central core of Google Chrome, and, soon, Microsoft Edge.

 

In a note posted Tuesday to the Chromium bug tracker, Raymond Hill, the developer behind uBlock Origin and uMatrix, said the changes contemplated by the Manifest v3 proposal will ruin his ad and content blocking extensions, and take control of content away from users.

 

Content blockers may be used to block ads, but they have broader applications. They're predicated on the notion that users, rather than anyone else, should be able to control how their browser presents and interacts with remote resources.

 

Manifest v3 refers to the specification for browser extension manifest files, which enumerate the resources and capabilities available to browser extensions. Google's stated rationale for making the proposed changes is to improve security, privacy and performance, and supposedly to enhance user control.

 

"Users should have increased control over their extensions," the design document says. "A user should be able to determine what information is available to an extension, and be able to control that privilege."

 

But one way Google would like to achieve these goals involves replacing the webRequest API with a new one, declarativeNetRequest.

 

The webRequest API allows extensions to intercept network requests, so they can be blocked, modified, or redirected. This can cause delays in web page loading because Chrome has to wait for the extension. In the future, webRequest will only be able to read network requests, not modify them.

 

The declarativeNetRequest allows Chrome (rather than the extension itself) to decide how to handle network requests, thereby removing a possible source of bottlenecks and a potentially useful mechanism for changing browser behavior.

 

"The declarativeNetRequest API provides better privacy to users because extensions can't actually read the network requests made on the user's behalf," Google's API documentation explains.

Whose privacy exactly?

But "better privacy" here means privacy as defined by Google rather than privacy defined by a third-party extension developer. That's fine in scenarios where Google is more trustworthy than a third-party developer; but if Google and its ecosystem of publishers and advertisers are the problem, then users may prefer allowing a third-party to filter network requests, even to the extent such intervention interferes with webpage functionality.

 

"If this (quite limited) declarativeNetRequest API ends up being the only way content blockers can accomplish their duty, this essentially means that two content blockers I have maintained for years, uBlock Origin ('uBO') and uMatrix, can no longer exist," said Hill.

 

The proposed changes will diminish the effectiveness of content blocking and ad blocking extensions, though they won't entirely eliminate all ad blocking. The basic filtering mechanism supported by Adblock Plus should still be available. But uBlock Origin and uMatrix offer far more extensive controls, without trying to placate publishers through ad whitelisting.

 

This is a key point to note: Google and other internet advertising networks apparently pay Adblock Plus to whitelist their online adverts, hence the special love for this particular plugin – and the middle finger to everyone else. Meanwhile, Google has bunged its own basic ad blocking into its browser.

 

Several other developers commenting on the proposed change expressed dismay, with some speculating that Google is using privacy as a pretext for putting the interests of its ad business over those of browser users.

 

Hill, who said he's waiting for a response from the Google software engineer overseeing this issue, said in an email to The Register: "I understand the point of a declarativeNetRequest API, and I am not against such API. However I don't understand why the blocking ability of the webRequest API – which has existed for over seven years – would be removed (as the design document proposes). I don't see what is to be gained from doing this."

 

Hill observes that several other capabilities will no longer be available under the new API, including blocking media elements larger than a specified size, disable JavaScript execution by injecting Content-Security-Policy directives, and removing the outgoing Cookie headers.

 

And he argues that if these changes get implemented, Chromium will no longer serve users.

 

"Extensions act on behalf of users, they add capabilities to a 'user agent', and deprecating the blocking ability of the webRequest API will essentially decrease the level of user agency in Chromium, to the benefit of web sites which obviously would be happy to have the last word in what resources their pages can fetch/execute/render," he said.

 

"With such a limited declarativeNetRequest API and the deprecation of blocking ability of the webRequest API, I am skeptical 'user agent' will still be a proper category to classify Chromium."

 

Google, however, may yet be willing to address developers' concerns. "These changes are in the design process, as mentioned in the document and the Chromium bug," commented a Google spokesperson via email. "Things are subject to change and we will share updates as available."

 

Source: TheRegister

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I use ad blockers simply because google IS the problem,,,,if a page takes over 2 mins to load or keeps crash due to the "ads" needing to load ,,,and load ....they ARE the problem,,,,and now they put into pages the floating king,,,,too intrusive...put them neatly it a side-bar or in a header banner,,though I will be honest anytime I did get hit with either malware or a redirect virus ,,it WAS from ads....

 

So we users are not always the persons at fault with bad surfing habits or lame Anti-virus programs ..the real problem is google and it ads..

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You HAVE to have ad blockers these days. Ads pop up on almost every site now and some are malware or hijackers, no matter what anti virus you have you still get that stupid 800 number crap that your infected and call blah blah, they even get past ad blockers. Why in the world Google would make this boneheaded move is beyond me, looks like opera or firefox will be better choices.

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Hopefully this all changes and if not a suitable alternative appears which gains traction. If there is no solution right now, there will eventually be a way. I can't imagine anybody wanting to deal with the bombardment of advertisements on the internet if they are able to avoid it.

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12 minutes ago, OMGosh! said:

Hopefully this all changes and if not a suitable alternative appears which gains traction. If there is no solution right now, there will eventually be a way. I can't imagine anybody wanting to deal with the bombardment of advertisements on the internet if they are able to avoid it.

There is a solution: FireFox. 🤣

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Just now, DawnShadow. said:

I've never used or needed an ad blocker in my life. Sounds to me like you guys are using some naughty websites 😮

Youtube, Facebook, trakt.tv, some other forums that utilize advertisements, Crunchyroll, MyAnimeList, etc...

Plenty of legit useful sites ----not porn sites---- still utilize ads today. =P

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Just now, Koby said:

Youtube, Facebook, trakt.tv, some other forums that utilize advertisements, Crunchyroll, MyAnimeList, etc...

Plenty of legit useful sites ----not porn sites---- still utilize ads today. =P

Not really ones that would motivate you to go to the effort to get an ad blocker surely? Or do you guys just hate ads in general? The posts here make it sound like you're getting completely inundated with advertisements.

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Just now, DawnShadow. said:

Not really ones that would motivate you to go to the effort to get an ad blocker surely? Or do you guys just hate ads in general? The posts here make it sound like you're getting completely inundated with advertisements.

The ones on MyAnimeList have occasionally been known to be infected with trojans, but otherwise I generally just don't like them and it's not really any effort to install uBlock extension in FireFox.

I also use filters that will block the "anti-adblock" messages.

 

adblockers can do more than just block ads though. You can utilize them to block all the social media icon / share feature stuffs, or make it block custom things on certain sites.

 

It's just in my experience, most times someone got infected with a virus, it came from a hijacked advertisement (of this this also is like you say, often due to visiting more shady places like porn sites, etc); since they're generally rendered 3rd party and the site you're visiting has no control over them. These adverts also put tracking cookies on your PC so they can "make their ads more relevevant to you" based on the browser history they've tracked or whatever. I generally have the "block all trackers" option enabled in my browser too.

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I use Chrome myself and use AdBlock, not AdBlock plus. AdBlock Plus doesn't Really work  at all, but Adblock seems to be working. When I land on sites to tell me to turn it off, I leave the site.

 

AdBlock is the first defense against Malware, Trojans, Viruses and Ransomware. 

 

It's going to be a battle. I can see Google's side they make money on ads, and want to have them shown. But, then if they do that, they'll need to be responsible for damages that are done from the ads.

 

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Saw that today through another source, idk how you keep up with all the news so fast Koby, you posted it a few days ago.

As a proud palemoon user with ublock installed I can say it won't affect me much. Firefox might gain some traction but I won't be rooting for it, as they also chose to take a dump on their users by breaking backwards compatibility with extensions, offered no help for the most popular ones, then pushing their update even though  it was explicitly disabled in the settings (yes I am bitter :D ).

Hey maybe vivaldi will take over or maybe opera. Who knows. It seems everything is through a transitional period right now, this forum included, and not in a good way :(.

Reminds me of this video, the ending in particular:

 

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Yea, this is really upsetting as a course for the future regarding Google's monopoly on the web but oh well, there's always Icecat and external DNS blockers on my side and I'm very glad I made the switch. I support what Firefox stands for regarding an open-standard internet but it's really unfortunate that Mozilla is slowly creeping to the same status with their sponsorship money and directly serving malicious add-ons and ads disguised as experiments to its vanilla users. I really hope that does come to an end.

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