Proposed Changes to Chromium Would Restrict Ad Blockers

Thomas Claburn, the Register:

If the overhaul goes ahead, Adblock Plus and similar plugins that rely on basic filtering will, with some tweaks, still be able to function to some degree, unlike more ambitious extensions, such as uBlock Origin, which will be hit hard. The drafted changes will 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.

Even though this change is probably not some transparently devious scheme to eradicate ad blockers in Chrome, one would think Google would want to do everything possible to avoid giving that impression. Especially, it should be noted, as Google is an advertising company, runs its own ad blocker, and — as pointed out by Julia Angwin — just recently prevailed in an antitrust inquiry in Germany over its coordination with Adblock Plus.