Tuesday , November 24 2020

Changes below Chrome will stop ad blocking – unless you're a paid client

Plans to configure the webRekuest API might display popular extensions of privacy that failed

Google continues to make controversial changes to Chrome that would lead to the cancellation of ad blocking extensions – unless the user does not pay for their business package.

The tech giant has announced proposals to improve the Chromium Ektensions platform in January. Changes would result in ad blocking like uMatrix and uBlock Origin no longer working.

After users and developers expressed their concern over the move for several months, Google withdrew a bit – it allowed blocking opportunities to continue to work, but only for paying customers.

The previous suggestion has replaced the current API as the primary Content Blocking API, which means that these popular extensions based on them will no longer work for all users.

Under new plans, company members will continue to have access to API blocking capabilities.

A post from Simeon Vincent in Chromium regarding Manifest v3 draft (the specification that Google requires from the programmer to adhere) throws more light on the update.

He wrote: "Chrome discards blocking capabilities vebRekuest API in Manifesto V3, not the entire API (although blocking will still be available for implementation in the enterprise).

"Extensions with appropriate permissions can still observe network requests using the API. The ability of the API to observe the requirements is fundamental to extensions that modify their behavior based on the patterns they observe during execution. "

The announcement that only the payers can access the API, which may have been buried in the update, was a source of disagreement in the forums.

Not only Raimond Hill, the creator of the UBlock Origin, who addressed the news at GitHub.

He wrote: "The ability to block the API is still outdated, and the limited Google Chrome matching algorithm will be the only one possible, and the restrictions dictated by Google employees.

"It's embarrassing to keep saying" the API is not out of date, "as developers are worried about it – and as if they want to drown the real problem in a fictitious document that nobody made."

He also criticized Google's claims that he would reject the possibility of blocking to increase speeds.

Hill said: "Web sites are slowly burdened by bubbles, not because of the ability to block APIs – at least for well-made extensions."

Further victims

Changes will not only affect ad blocks, but also other widely-used blockbusters such as NoScript, which recently added Chrome support.

Giorgio Maone, the author of the scenario blocker, said plans would greatly affect enlargement.

He said The Daili Svig: "This, of course, will affect NoScript like this, even though I have Plan B to ensure that things continue to work when the change is in place.

"I will have to make big changes and maintain separate code paths for Chrome and Firefok, which (except for this extra work) means that there will be more code for maintenance, troubleshooting and storage. Less code means more security. "

"Adblockers will, however, be much more affected, as they rely on vast sets of rules on the blacklist, and among the things that this change makes limiting the size of these rules sets.

"This is less worrying for NoScript, which approves the permission access (important for security) and therefore requires minimal rules based on user customizations."

He also thought about migrating to Firefok, adding he hoped that a less popular search engine would create a "return".

Maone said: "As for Google's motives, I'd rather not speculate, although targeted advertising and tracking of their core business is very difficult to see the conflict of interest here.

"If they continue to go that way, I am sure and I hope that Firefok has a great chance of return based on trust and respect for the rights of end-users to privacy and customization."

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