Google making Chromium block adblockers?



  • This morning I found this:
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/01/22/google_chrome_browser_ad_content_block_change/
    What's the plan from Vivaldi with this? Will we still be able to use adblockers if this change is made to Chromium, as Vivaldi uses Chromium?

    If this spells the end of adblockers for the Chromium, I am likely going to move to another platform that continues to allow adblockers. At the end of the day, Google only has their financial interests at heart, and they don't really care for the end user's privacy. If we're not careful, the tech industry as a whole is going to end up being controlled by a few huge companies, who will try as hard as they can to remove all freedoms the end user has in an effort to increase profits. I'm not sure I like the prospect of that.



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  • Moderator

    I'm hoping that as it's just removing a specific API, Vivaldi will be able to circumvent the change by just not removing that API



  • @LonM It's not that easy, when that happens affected extensions will cease to be developed for chromium and therefore the version we would like to use will disappear from webstore. In the best case scenario this means we load a crx from some 3rd party site (github), which means no automatic updates and manual install, but the problem is there is no point in maintaining such an extension for chromium in the first place, if it doesn't work on Chrome.


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  • @Gwen-Dragon The link to the bugtracker is in the article OP provided.



  • Loosing uBlockOrigin would lead me the first time to using Firefox. 😞


  • Moderator

    @luetage One could be optimistic and imagine that the users of uBO and other affected extensions would be bothered so much that they would switch from chrome to another browser.

    It's a stretch of the imagination, but not totally impossible.

    And besides, such extensions can continue to be built against the WebExtensions API, which would still be supported in Firefox and other browsers (so long as google doesn't mess that up too).



  • Response from Vivaldi: https://twitter.com/vivaldibrowser/status/1088021233738891264

    Manifest V3 seems to still be in the design stages and we expect that Chromium developers will take into account the needs of users and extension developers as they finalize this new manifest. We'll be following closely and come up with a plan based on their final decision. 🤔



  • OK, now that I have collected myself after having become aware of this intended change by the data hog / kraken Google (Alphabet Inc.) I am asking myself:

    What kind of concerted action can WE start WHERE?
    Please understand this as trying to support the (Vivaldi) developers so that we don't end up with devs shrugging and saying "Well, there is nothing we can do about it.".
    It needs to be well targeted and come as a massive flood of disapproval for it to stand a chance of succeeding against the Google.

    The days of the old Goolge motto "Don't be evil." are long gone.
    Without such extensions we'd totally be at the mercy of this -hyperbolically speaking- blood sucking, quasi monopolist in the browser market and it feels like being forced to use the internet without appropriate means to defend ourselves from the creepy tracking and exploiting us more and more and more.

    Principles matter! Otherwise we'd be (turning into) sheeple.


  • Moderator

    @MrGrimm said in Google making Chromium block adblockers?:

    i understand why opera created their own webstore

    But i saw Opera 5x did stop uBlockOrigin to block ads on search sites. And Opera webstore has old versions. Opera handled the extension policy different from uBlockOrigin on Vivaldi.



  • @Nicd "Relax, they are not shooting you, just loading a gun."



  • @RogerWilco I hope Vivaldi team will be lobbying their interests and the interests of their users.
    I came to Vivaldi from Chromium, but I'm going to setup Firefox just in case. I'd rather use something like Midori (which is underdeveloped) if it will support uBlock


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  • @tropo77
    Unless there is an outcry loud enough by the affected users which will be heard by the Google, I am afraid this is going to move forward. It has to be that loud that it can not be ignored by the kraken.

    So solely hoping that e.g. the Vivaldi team will have enough leverage (you do know the browser market share figures, don't you?!) to achieve this by themselves wouldn't reflect reality imho. Hence my question about a concerted action.


  • - Ambassador -

    @RogerWilco And I believe the best start is to stop using google, Search, Docs, Drive, YouTube, mail and any other of their services.
    I know goo has become so ubiquitous that we can't seem to live without it.... but what did we do before goo? Somehow we managed.
    It is an ongoing process for me. Downloading all my google drive back onto my computer and external drives.



  • @greybeard Unfortunately for me, that is impractical. I like the idea, but I'm not willing to completely ditch Google (yet, anyway).


  • Moderator

    I'm not going to freak out about this... yet. Google asked for feedback... and they got it... and (unsurprisingly) the technical experts didn't have any positive things to say about the proposed declarativeNetRequest API. Devlin Cronin (from the Chromium team) at least did acknowledge their concerns:

    The webRequest API offers much more flexibility than the declarative version, and there are some known cases that it won't properly address. Because of this, we are certain that we will need to keep the webRequest API around. We are discussing limiting its capabilities, though these exact limitations are still being discussed (and is the main reason we are gathering feedback about what can/cannot be accomplished today with declarativeNetRequest).

    So, it looks like they've conceded that webRequest needs to stay around... and that's good since the declarativeNetRequest API (in its current form) is basically next to useless. Now we'll just have to wait and see what the Chromium team decides to do next.



  • @greybeard said in Google making Chromium block adblockers?:

    @RogerWilco And I believe the best start is to stop using google, Search, Docs, Drive, YouTube, mail and any other of their services.
    I know goo has become so ubiquitous that we can't seem to live without it.... but what did we do before goo? Somehow we managed.
    It is an ongoing process for me. Downloading all my google drive back onto my computer and external drives.

    I don't, apart from Youtube. But that one without signing into it and cookies being disabled. And obviously not without uBlock Origin and uMatrix in both Vivaldi and Firefox, next to a limited few other extensions/addons. And yes, I do look at the extension's/addon's permission requests.

    Google's search engine? Rarely, very! Mostly DDG, Startpage, Searx, Metager.

    Cloud? No, thanks. Not for personal data.
    (Anti-) Social media? No, thanks. Not for personal data.
    Closed source software? I'm trying to avoid it in as many cases as possible.
    Windows 10? Until authority and sovereignty over OS is given back to users, they can keep that piece of cr*p.
    ... etc. pp


  • Vivaldi Translator

    Google may have started as a search engine with no adverts (why people originally used it), but now it is fuelled by adverts.
    They were just as good as many others until they bought go2net which provided many engines with results, thus gaining an immediate advantage over search results.

    They didn't release a browser because they had the best browser, they simply wanted a better way to track and deliver advertising.

    They didn't gain dominance by being the chosen browser, they paid Oracle and Adobe to bundle it with Java and Flash updates, in exactly the same way other adware and PUPs are delivered.
    The install-base of Java and Flash being higher than an an individual browser meant they could quickly boast an impressive install count.

    Google didn't make Chromebooks because they thought the world needed them, they simply wanted even more control over the users experience and total dominion over tracking and advertising within this portal to the googleverse.

    Google provide or gain from most of the adverts online.
    Tracker and advert blockers block google revenue, which is why certain blockers are already barred from google stores and only available from the home page or FOSS sources like F-Droid.
    Whatever changes and concessions they make over this topic, they will continue to come up with ways to avoid people blocking their adverts, because the use of blockers is still climbing.


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