back to article Google relents slightly in ad-blocker crackdown – for paid-up enterprise Chrome users, everyone else not so much

Google Chrome users will continue to have access to the full content blocking power of the webRequest API in their browser extensions, but only if they're paying enterprise customers. Everyone else will have to settle for extensions that use the neutered declarativeNetRequest API, which is being developed as part of a pending …

  1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
    Flame

    Mozilla take note

    As the Chrome engine is being altered to stop ad blocking - it is high time for Mozilla to abandon the plan to have Firefox being just a reskinned Chrome.

    Ad blocking and script blocking are requirements for safe and sane internet use - any browser without those capabilities is unfit for use.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Mozilla take note

      What plan is that? It is Microsoft that has switched to reskinned Chrome not Firefox.

      Is it possible Google is doing so many evil things I can't keep track of them anymore, and I missed/forgot this one?

      1. joeW Silver badge

        Re: Mozilla take note

        I guess he's referring to a conceptual reskinning - Firefox's overly-simplified UI being a good example of it trying to look and feel like Chrome.

    2. JLV Silver badge

      Re: Mozilla take note

      What are you talking about??? Firefox has just spent years reworking Quantum’s core, Servo, using as much Rust as possible.

      I mean, I get that Chrome is fast becoming toxic here, but that still doesn’t make your statement any more factual.

      I wonder what hay well-intentioned Chrome clones, like Vivaldi, can make of this. Can they just patch the offending functions back? Would even that give enough oxygen and market share for ad blocking extensions to flourish?

      Chrome is already very much my 3rd choice these days, barely ahead of Edge and Safari.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Mozilla take note

        I may have misunderstood Duncan Macdonald's point, but I think he was referring to the fact that it looks like Mozilla is making Firefox look and feel as much like Chrome as they can.

        Reworking Quantum's core and using Rust isn't relevant to that point.

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Re: Mozilla take note

          _This_ article however was very much about Chrome’s inner API and workings, not about look and feel.

      2. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: Mozilla take note

        Vivaldi's official statement on Twitter:

        "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."

        So, no substance, just fiffy-faff.

  2. PTW
    Mushroom

    Is it time....

    That PiHole became an application?

    There's no way I can convince friends and family to shell out for a RPi and then have time to provide, the albeit minor, maintenance.

    1. Gerard Krupa

      Re: Is it time....

      There are already solutions available for various platforms that either modify your hosts file or proxy DNS requests to block ads. You could even set up a Pi-Hole server on a cheap cloud provider and have your friends and family configure their machines to use it as their primary DNS; it will, after all, run on any Linux-based system, not just Raspberry Pi.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Is it time....

        That's exactly the route I went, though I set it up for DNS-over-HTTPS rather than running an open UDP resolver.

        Means my mobile devices get ad blocking at the DNS level wherever they go as well as a modicum of privacy in the sense that no bugger on the local network can view (or change) my DNS lookups

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Is it time....

      I run my PIHole in a centos7 ESXi VM.... works great!

      1. Borka

        Re: Is it time....

        I run my pi-hole on a RPi-ZeroW powered by the USB port on my BT hub .. Works fine for my house

    3. David Shaw

      Re: Is it time....

      all of my friends are getting a "christmas" pi-hole, it did take me an hour to install the first time as my first choice of address range for the DNS-sink turned out to be outside the range available from my router. (needed to plug into a TV to re-adjust the fixed piehole IPv4)

      it has a high WAF as I have shown the family how to allow the odd blacklisted CDN that slows down pie-holed ecommerce sites like GAP & Boden. One click on the local management page and full speed shopping is available again.

      the 'best' Pi is officially the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Quad Core CPU 1.2 GHz ('used' on AMZN warehouse deals at £24 today), best OS 2019-04-08-raspbian-stretch-lite.zip 300MB on a class 10 £8 32GB microSD, I added a £1 heatsink to both the Pi CPU & i/o chip, as it was running at about 50 celsius. (the 3B+ would be a bit hotter, and there were some mentions of it being a bit less reliable than the Pi3B, when running pi-hole)

      many of my Mozilla installs have started to delete Privacy Badger as soon as I reinstall an 'approved' version, so feck'em , pi-hole the whole house it is! [and I have professionally met representatives of the spooky CABF, certificate authority & browser forum, they are (a bit) more open now - but I think suggesting that everyone should start using pi-hole will simply help CABF in speeding their openness, a big improvement to the local useable internet]

      other wins from my first week of pi-hole install, I now notice so many microsoft pipes from Samsmug devices that have had outlook allegedly removed, that I know I have to dig deeper!, perhaps eventually moving from android to ARK OS when it is released.

      i'm not using it to counter state surveillance, [you're always welcome chaps/chapettes with a mission], but I think I could easily notice a particular pwned device in the house with the new pi-hole data

      more install data here https://github.com/pi-hole/pi-hole/#one-step-automated-install

      do I need a pfsense appliance as well?

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Is it time....

        do I need a pfsense appliance as well?

        Might be a good idea, but I would install Unbound first, will make it a lot more difficult for your ISP to track your internet usage and block URLs it (or your government) thinks you shouldn't visit.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Is it time....

          pfSense uses Unbound when set as a DNS server also. The package pfBlocker-ng works alike piHole (and integrates with Unbound)

      2. quxinot Silver badge

        Re: Is it time....

        You do.

        Running pfsense gives you flexibility to basically make it do whatever you want. It's absolutely lovely.

    4. dca1

      Re: Is it time....

      Anyone that can't/won't shell out the cost of a Pi for this is likely not interested (yet) in their privacy. The time will come when using things like Pi-hole is the norm for a home network and people understand that they should control where their data goes to from their house.

      For now though your friends could run a docker container quite easily, I'm sure that pulling together a .bat to install and launch the container then to create a service and set dns isn't too much.

      I'm not going to bother suggesting to people though, everyone is still of the mind that I'm paranoid.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Borka

          Re: Is it time....

          Ph-hole can be run on a £12 RPiZeroW powered by the routers USB port so not that expensive

        2. Elregouk

          Re: Is it time....

          Vote me down all you want, tories

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Is it time....

        If it hits critical mass, app-writers will just hard code the IP address. App-updates are easy and often enough that an IP address change wouldn't be a problem.

        Mutiple addresses/geolocation could be done client side if they wanted, too.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Is it time....

          "If it hits critical mass, app-writers will just hard code the IP address."

          That's fine -- it's just as easy to block IP addresses.

          "App-updates are easy and often enough that an IP address change wouldn't be a problem"

          Plenty of people, including myself, don't allow apps to update themselves. Updates have been shown to be too problematic to automatically accept them or to have no way to roll them back. If apps started relying on updates to evade people's defenses, I suspect the number of people blocking them will increase.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it time....

      It already is,

      I'm running it on an old Acer A1 netbook with Mint 19 XFCE for the OS and it works perfectly.

      Just sits there in a cupboard doing its thing, If the OS needs the occasional update I just remote in from another PC, likewise with updating the Pihole, just run "Pihole -up" from the command line once you're in there.

      I had considered binning the netbook long ago as it was getting too slow to use, glad I didn't.

    6. bpfh Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Is it time....

      Just thinking about Pi Hole as a service? Rather than hosting your pihole, point your DNS to a managed DNS service that pre-filters your list, set your dns to that?

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Is it time....

        Rather than hosting your pihole, point your DNS to a managed DNS service that pre-filters your list, set your dns to that?

        Thanks, but I have some trust issues. That Pi-Hole I can easily verify and control, that managed DNS service less so. And how about a change in management?

        1. bpfh Silver badge

          Re: Is it time....

          Certainly understand the trust issues :) I was just thinking about those who may not have the know how of setting up their pihole on their own - or who (my personal case), my wife does not want another box plugged in the wall at all times and then complaining when internet does not work after going on another “stop wasting electricity” mass unplugging.... out of sight out of mind, just change the dns on your WiFi box and off you go...

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Is it time....

            complaining when internet does not work after going on another “stop wasting electricity” mass unplugging

            "If you want internet, you plug it back in."

            I long ago learned that sometimes the solution to problems is to make it the problem of the one who created the problem in the first place.

    7. Steven Raith

      Re: Is it time....

      Has to be said, this comment thread made me dig out my Raspberry Pi, throw an image of DietPi on it, and bop PiHole on it.

      It's not perfect (uBlock origin is damned seamless when it comes to removing ads - PiHole obviously can't do some browser based stuff, etc) but it's pretty straighforward once you get into it and once it's up and running, just bang it as your DHCP servers default DNS assignment and you're away - zero client side config.

      So on Monday, I'll be replicating that in the office, on a VM, and blocking all ads at the network level in there too, methinks.

      Good shout, Commentards. Good shout.

      Steven R

  3. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    Just use an ad-blocking hosts file. Or one of the free DNS providers (not Google's obviously) which block not only ad-spammers but known malware sites etc. That way it doesn't matter what Google do!!

    1. asdf Silver badge

      alternative

      Put privoxy on your router and then even locked down phones can get ad blocking when point at proxy. Also that way don't give 3rd party DNS services your browsing history.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      "Just use an ad-blocking hosts file"

      While you can. The usefulness of doing that is going to decrease as DNS-over-HTTP gets more widely adopted. Ad agencies are positively ecstatic about the introduction of DoH because it lets them easily avoid a whole ton of ad-blocking, including hostfile-based blocking.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        O? The hosts file is checked before a DNS request is sent out if there is no record in the hosts file.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          With the current implementations that I've seen, the hosts file is completely ignored when using DoH.

  4. KittenHuffer

    I'm suffering from deja vu!

    I seem to remember roughly two decades ago a company that obtained a near monopoly on browsers, but chose to write that browser for the benefit of others, rather than for the benefit of the end user.

    This persisted for a couple of years until the community got together and showed what they thought of that idea by developing a new browser called Pheonix. Most of you know it by its new name of Firefox.

    My guess is that what will happen is that there are enough of us IT techies to switch ourselves, families, and friends across to browsers that do allow ad blocking. And that this will start to migrate into businesses as well. Eventually Google will end up with a nice bullet shaped hole in their foot.

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: I'm suffering from deja vu!

      I seem to remember roughly two decades ago a company that obtained a near monopoly on browsers, but chose to write that browser for the benefit of others, rather than for the benefit of the end user.

      This persisted for a couple of years until the community got together and showed what they thought of that idea by developing a new browser called Pheonix.

      Well, not exactly, though I agree in spirit with your message.

      Netscape 4.x was regarded by a lot of people as a mess, so Netscape gave in to temptation and threw it all out and started with a new code base. That caused a long delay between Netscape 4.x and the next major upgrade, at a time when Netscape could ill afford to be banking on an old, crash-prone product while they wrote something better from scratch.

      That new product became Netscape 6. As MS was busy killing Netscape, they (Netscape) took the unusual step of open-sourcing their software, while continuing to pay developers to work on it. That became the basis for Mozilla Suite. AOL purchased Netscape, apparently for the purpose of using the threat of including Netscape with their AOL client to push MS into a favorable licensing arrangement with IE, which formed the basis of their AOL browser. Once that was accomplished, AOL closed Netscape. Mozilla Suite, with its browser component, lived on.

      Some people didn't like how "bloated" Mozilla Suite's browser was, with all kinds of features that they thought most people would not want (a lot of the same complaints leveled at Netscape 4), so Mozilla began work on an experimental version of the browser as a standalone, and with all but the most universally-desired features removed. The idea was that people who wanted those features could add them back with extensions, and no one would end up with a browser that was bulkier than it had to be because of features they would not use. It was to be lean and mean, and fast.

      That was Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox, which held to the idea of allowing users to add back the features that Mozilla had lopped off all the way until the "Quantum" leap backward with v57. By that time, Mozilla had been copying Chrome for years. The classic UI was ditched in favor of Australis, which strongly resembled Chrome. Feature after feature was removed with little reason listed in Bugzilla other than that "Chrome does it that way." Mozilla copied Chrome's rapid release schedule and numbering system. They removed the status bar, since Chrome didn't have one. They removed the ability of the browser to selectively accept or reject cookies because Chrome didn't do that. They even copied Chrome's addons-- and the limitations engineered into them.

      While Mozilla had battled MS by making a browser that was better than IE in every possible way, with many distinguishing features not found in IE to show people that there was a better way, they've chosen to "battle" Google by removing, one by one, all the features that make it different and better than Chrome. Chrome has more market share, so that means that Chrome must be exactly what users want!

      By copying Chrome, the idea is that Firefox will be it so familiar to Chrome users that they'll migrate, for some reason, even though they're already using the Chromiest browser in existence. Mozilla will have made it as painless as possible for the people least interested in changing browsers to switch to Firefox, while alienating all of the users that want something other than Chrome. They will have made the move to Firefox as pointless for Chrome users as it is painless.

      The naysayers will point out features that Firefox has that Chrome does not, but that only means Mozilla hasn't gotten around to removing them yet. They seem to think that there is some magic number of features that must be removed before suddenly the Chrome users come flooding in! Even after years of shedding market share as quickly as they shed features, they keep at it, seemingly as convinced as ever that making Firefox as bad as possible will eventually pay off.

      Firefox is still better than Chrome, but that's a testament to the lack of redeeming features of Chrome more than the ongoing excellence of Firefox.

      1. gormful

        Re: I'm suffering from deja vu!

        > Mozilla will have made it as painless as possible for the people

        > least interested in changing browsers to switch to Firefox, while

        > alienating all of the users that want something other than Chrome.

        > They will have made the move to Firefox as pointless for Chrome

        > users as it is painless.

        Brilliantly put.

        I've been using Firefox since the Phoenix days, even though Mozilla has always worked hard to discourage me. Fortunately Google is doing their best to push me away from Chrome.

        I know Microsoft has adopted Chrome, but they should be financing Mozilla as a hedge against Chrome becoming even suckier.

      2. Esme

        Re: I'm suffering from deja vu!

        Thank you for the precis, Updraft102. So THAT's why Firefox has been getting more and more crap over the years. I loved it when it was lean, mean, and user-friendly!

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: I'm suffering from deja vu!

          Try Waterfox or Palemoon.

  5. Dwarf Silver badge

    My eyes, my bandwidth, my choice

    Let’s not forget who’s eyes they are and who is paying for the bandwidth to pull down the irrelevant adverts for stuff I’m not at all interested in. Also remember who is paying to clean up the infected machines when malicious adverts do something bad to the machine. This is why we block adverts.

    Seriously Google, rememberer that we have real work to do, so we are not interested in your ad platform, ad revenue and the like.

    My response will simply be to move to a browser that doesn’t try to control what I do and to close any web page that manages to get an advert on screen.

    You’ve already broken YouTube on IPad with the adverts, did you notice how many people just close what they were watching when a forced advert comes up ?

    People don’t like adverts - get the message, it’s a really simple concept.

    1. PerlyKing Bronze badge

      Let's not forget who's paying for...

      ...the development costs of Google Chrome, the web servers and the content we all look at. People may not like adverts, but nor do they like paying directly for content - how much do you pay The Register for access to this web site?

      The current state of advertising isn't perfect (to put it mildly) but without any advertising, web sites would have to find other sources of revenue.

      I'm against what Google is doing with this, but I can understand why they're doing it, and it's another reason to support Firefox (who are still, I believe, largely funded by Google).

      The phrase "panem et circenses" springs to mind.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Let's not forget who's paying for...

        Most people are not against ads - people are against what ads became today - the invasiveness , the associated personal data slurping and security risks.

        The ads market took a very nasty turn, and not surprisingly, people are trying to defend.

      2. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: Let's not forget who's paying for...

        "...the development costs of Google Chrome, the web servers and the content we all look at. People may not like adverts, but nor do they like paying directly for content - how much do you pay The Register for access to this web site?"

        There are two issues. Firstly, as others have already noted, people generally don't have a problem with adverts in principle, they have a problem with the extremely invasive and disruptive adverts that have become far too common. If a site takes up more than half the page with massive flashing banners (yes, I'm looking at you El Reg), why would any of us be willing to put up with that? When they're taking up huge amounts of bandwidth, far more than the actual content, grinding page loading to a crawl and causing big problems for people on mobile and or with limited data, why would we put up with it? When they're collecting as much personal information as possible and selling it on to, or having it stolen by, any random who wants it, why would we put up with it? When they're hilariously insecure and one of the biggest routes for malware, why would we put up with? Adverts are fine in principle, and can even actually be useful. But the state of adverts on the internet has reached the point where it's simply not reasonable to expect people to just shut up and accept them.

        The second point is - how much is content actually worth to people? There is a huge amount of content on the internet, and most of it isn't particularly interesting or valuable. That's not a comment on the youth of today or anything like that, it's a simple economic statement - the vast majority of content is considered to be worth exactly the time it takes to view it and nothing more. People might be willing to read shit like Buzzfeed to get a few seconds of entertainment, but even the lowest common denominator isn't stupid enough to actually pay for it. Without advertising, yes, websites would have to find other sources of revenue. And the majority of them would fail to do so because they're not offering anything worth paying for. But the ones offering content with actual value would find that people would pay for it. People watch stuff on YouTube for free, but somehow Netflix is able to make a ton of money by offering curated, higher quality content. Even many Youtubers are able to be paid directly by viewers via things like Patreon if they produce content people actually value.

        Paying for content and paying for software are not archaic ideas that no-one is willing to embrace in the modern world. Even with the mess of adverts we have today, people are still perfectly willing to pay for things. The problem is producing something they're actually willing to pay for. And, of course, not pissing people off with such offensive advertising that they'll avoid giving you any money out of spite.

      3. emullinsabq

        Re: Let's not forget who's paying for...

        ...but without any advertising, web sites would have to find other sources of revenue.

        That some expect to put out garbage content and get paid isn't my problem. They deserve to die, and they will without ads. Some do a very good job for a living, and they will find alternative revenue because their content is worthwhile. But those who know nothing and write junk, I'd rather not even get hits to. Enthusiasts who put up a pages to help others might not even expect to get paid. And they actually knows what they're doing.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Let's not forget who's paying for...

          "Enthusiasts who put up a pages to help others might not even expect to get paid."

          I've been running a couple of useful and reasonably popular sites for a couple of decades now, and have never carried ads or solicited payment. And I not special or unique in this.

      4. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

        Re: Let's not forget who's paying for...

        Funnily enough, this recent post on Blokada's site addresses your exact points.

      5. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Let's not forget who's paying for...

        > The current state of advertising isn't perfect (to put it mildly)

        The current state of advertising is so horrific that the only reasonable stance is to treat it as an active attack.

        > but without any advertising, web sites would have to find other sources of revenue.

        That sounds great to me!

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Let's not forget who's paying for...

          > but without any advertising, web sites would have to find other sources of revenue.

          That sounds great to me!

          There is fairly wide acknowledgement that the old ad-funded model for websites is pretty terminally broken but the MBAs in charge at most of the big content companies lack the experience and brainpower to think of how else it can be done.

          Plus, ads bring in lots of (largely free) money so, at the moment, there isn't an incentive to change. Once the use of ad blockers goes mainstream, that will change. And sites that block you if you are using an ad blocker will fade into irrelevance.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Let's not forget who's paying for...

            "the MBAs in charge at most of the big content companies lack the experience and brainpower to think of how else it can be done."

            This is true, but personally, I couldn't care less about what the big content companies do. I'm not going to their sites anyway.

    2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: My eyes, my bandwidth, my choice

      I don't mind ads per se but with a few important caveats (caveant?)

      1. I loathe tracking and personalisation. I am not unhappy to receive random ads.

      2. I loathe ads that suck up bandwidth and screen-space. Ads that are not obtrusive are OK.

      3. I don't want ads loading last — and I'm looking here at you Bing — which cause me to click on the ad rather than the first returned entry. It just makes me annoyed.

      4. I don't want third-party websites knowing that I'm visting your site. I don't care about fancy typefaces and I do care about having my usage data harvested. As with point 1, I don't want to be profiled and I intend to make it as hard as I can for those who want to do it.

      5. I regard third-party scripts as creepy men jotting down who is attending where and when. Kafka and Communist East Germany spring to mind.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: My eyes, my bandwidth, my choice

      "My response will simply be to move to a browser that doesn’t try to control what I do"

      Move to? Why? Why aren't you there already?

      It's the Round Tuit effect that allows these abuses to continue.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My eyes, my bandwidth, my choice

      People don’t like adverts - get the message, it’s a really simple concept.

      Ah, but that doesn't matter, and woe betides anyone getting in between users and any US company's God given right to milk them for all they're worth, irrespective of pesky laws.

  6. sabroni Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Strange, if this was MS I'd have seen at least one "embrace, extend, extinguish" comment.

    But because it's Google forcing ads on the plebs we just get suggestions on how to install a firewall.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Strange, if this was MS I'd have seen at least one "embrace, extend, extinguish" comment.

      Sad how many Google apologists there are, no matter how evil they get.

  7. xyz

    Translation

    "to create stronger

    security, (stop anyone else nipping at the heels of our business model)

    privacy, (keep even more of your data without you realising)

    and

    performance (lob you even more of our best shit advertising)

    guarantees."

  8. Chris Hills

    This is a massive f*** you

    This is a massive f*** you to all the people who have contributed to all the open source projects that makes up Chrome. It began with KHTML, then WebKit, now Blink. I am not surprised because Google is all about the money. I am glad I made the switch back to Firefox.

  9. cyberdemon
    Devil

    Chromium?

    So what about the "open source" version of chrome? Will that remain anti-feature free?

    1. Graham Dawson

      Re: Chromium?

      Nope.

  10. Augie
    Big Brother

    Oh well... Fuck 'em

    Pihole it is..

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Oh well... Fuck 'em

      Where "''em" is every human being who isn't technical enough to set up a pihole.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Oh well... Fuck 'em

        Where "''em" is every human being who isn't technical enough to set up a pihole.

        In that case they can ask that nephew, that is so good with computers. Or they can acquire a pre-installed one. When they are technical enough to operate a computer, they should be technical enough to buy a Raspberry Pi with the necessary equipment and set up Pi-Hole.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Oh well... Fuck 'em

          We really shouldn't have to do this to fend off every US company who wants to slurp. Nobody has to slurp data to put an advert on a web page, but it turns out that some websites preferred to shut off access to European countries when GDPR came in than give up their right to slurp.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Oh well... Fuck 'em

            I agree, we shouldn't have to. But we do. That's just the world we live in right now, and it won't be changing in the near future. So, I say, defend yourself as best you can right now and work toward making the future be at least a little less terrible.

  11. JimPoak

    I's a disgrace.

    About a year ago I experienced a pop-up forced through chrome. This was not a benevolent advert but a paid for scammers advert. Chrome was promptly dropped. I’m quite sure the impetus is driven by large financial institutions to get their adverts through and stop people using ad blockers which would make them utterly useless.

    I can envisage a time when all other browsers will be damaged or banned from google except Chrome for not complying with Googles ethics.

    Google has replaced Don't be evil with evil,immorality,wickedness,nefariousness,vileness and anything else found in a thesaurus.

    This is only the beginning they won't stop now.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: I's a disgrace.

      Google has replaced Don't be evil with evil,immorality,wickedness,nefariousness,vileness and anything else found in a thesaurus.

      If only, Google just replaced "Don't be evil" with "Make profit, no matter what". The whole rest of your list is just a logical consequence, not a considered decision.

  12. Steve Graham

    Address-based blocking isn't enough

    I regularly download a hosts file which black-holes ads, spyware, shock sites etc. (http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/hosts)

    But without Ublock Origin and ScriptSafe, I'd still get online annoyances from inline scripts, CSS & HTML. I particularly use the cosmetic filtering of Ublock Origin to keep unwanted stuff out of my face.

    So if/when Google break Ublock Origin, I'll have to migrate to a browser that does support full filtering.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Address-based blocking isn't enough

      Hoping Opera + Privacy Badger + Privoxy stays viable for the near future. Works well so far.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Migrating back to firefox

    Like many I suppose, I moved to Chrome when it was the new kid on the block. Have its spin offs like Vivaldi and Brave installed too.

    Recently I went back to firefox and noticed that it's a lot better than when I started with Chrome, so I guess I'm back to doing more with Firefox now again. Which is not a bad thing.

    I do find that some of the SAAS offerings with rich web UIs are now chrome specific though :(

    Hopefully projects like Brave [ I know they have/had their issues ] can continue to spin out Chrome(ium) based browsers with security in mind.

  14. John Savard Silver badge

    Consequence

    I would think that one consequence of this would be a gain in market share for Firefox, because many people like to block ads.

    Also, if this is a feature of the Chrome browser, it's not clear that other browsers using the Chrome engine must follow suit.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google engineer: "Our product is asking for concessions!"

    Google manager: "It's fine, they'll find something else to whine about before too long. And most of them will probably believe that the limited concessions we granted to enterprise users are for them too."

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FU Google, I hope the EU competition commission fines the shit out of you.

  17. whitepines Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Open source?

    What stops someone from building Chromium packages with the required API turned back on and offering them for download? Say in conjunction with UBlock, and maybe with the Google stuff removed and the DRM module an optional pain in the neck download?

  18. tcmonkey
    Paris Hilton

    Why does anyone still use this god-awful POS? I migrated away from Chrom(e/ium) browsers donkey's years ago. It was obvious that something like this was going to happen.

  19. Nick Gisburne
    Mushroom

    Ads were fine - once

    Ads used to be just that, something to display information about a service or product. They were boxes with basic information. You clicked if you were interested. That was it. Then they became horrendous 'suck the life out of every page' monsters, where on some sites you have to fight to know where the actual original web site's content is being displayed at all. Refresh, refresh, pop under, pop over, track, auto-video-play, spy, send data, follow to other sites... how does any of that translate to something any casual visitor of a web site really wants?

    I get it, you want to fund the content, because content isn't free. But you made the experience so damned impossible to bear, and that's why we use ad blockers. Now Google, you want to take that away? Well let's see... can you just leave us with a popup which says 'this site is so plastered with ads you really don't want to go here'? We'll all be happy with that. We already get it - the anti-ad-blockers which tell you you can't come in unless you view the ads. If I see a site which says 'you absolutely cannot view this site without ads', I give it one try. If I can read the page and still ignore the ads (if they don't take over the whole experience), then I'll stay. If they crawl over my screen like a bad infection, I just won't go there again.

    Come for the content, stay for the experience, leave because the ads take over and spoil everything..

    We don't really need ad blockers, we just need something which tells us 'this site is impossible to use because the ads have taken over like a virus'. Either way, Google seems to be saying 'no chance' to that.

  20. fredesmite2

    If a web site doesn't like my AdBlockers

    I leave ; Fuck them ; The advertising has more content than most news sites anymore .

  21. amarnold

    Goodbye Chrome?

    Years ago I was the Director of IT at a midsize regional company. The default browser for all new computer users was Yahoo (tells you how long ago that was). Then one day someone at Yahoo thought it would be a good, revenue-enhancing, idea to introduce pop-up ads. After all, they were the dominant browser on the Internet. I switched the entire company overnight to the new Google browser and never looked back.

    And now we have someone at Google thinking it would be a good idea to kill ad-blocking for non-paid users. After all, they are the dominant browser on the Internet....

    Yes, if that happens, I'll be switching once again....

  22. Where Did All The Usernames Go

    Bye, bye, Chrome

    See title.)

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