CyberTech

Level 22
Verified
The Google Chrome development team is working on making some changes to the Chrome Extensions platform that would end the functionality of ad-blockers like uBlock Origin and uMatrix, if implemented as defined in the current draft document.

Extension capabilities are restricted through a mechanism called extension manifest, currently at version 2. In the next revision, Google plans to limit the blocking capabilities of the webRequest API, which these extensions utilize.

Breaking content filtering functionality
"In Manifest V3, we will strive to limit the blocking version of webRequest, potentially removing blocking options from most events (making them observational only). Content blockers should instead use declarativeNetRequest," reads the provisional document.

This modification would not cover all use cases and the webRequest functionality may end up being preserved in some form, the document states.

Developer Raymond Hill says that phasing out 'webRequest' API in favor of the 'declarativeNetRequest' API would mean the death of uBlock Origin, his highly popular extension for filtering web content, used by over 10 million users.



uMatrix, his other extension that enables the user to define which class of requests made by the web browser should be blocked, would share the same fate.




"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," he says on the bug tracking page for Manifest v3.

One argument in favor of the declarativeNetRequest as the primary content-blocking API in extensions is that it performs better. Another is that it offers better privacy guarantees because it allows extensions to tell Chrome what to do with a given request rather than have the browser forward the request to the extension; this way, the extension does not have access to the network details.

Filtering limitations
Hill explains that his extensions are incompatible with the proposed declarativeNetRequest API because it allows only one specific filtering engine, whereas uBlock Origin and uMatrix rely on various filtering designs to do their job properly.

The proposed modification would promote static filtering capabilities that are compatible with AdBlock Plus and would limit the number of filters to 30,000.

Hill gives the example of the EasyList filters with rules for removing unwanted web content, which is larger than 30,000 entries and is not sufficient for a modern user's filtering needs.

The rule set is used by AdBlock Plus and uBlock Origin and it is much larger than the limit imposed by the 'declarativeNetRequest'.

Hill's comments remained unaddressed by the developers, but they got the vote of Chrome users chiming in. Some of them say that they would switch to a different browser should the proposal make it as it is into the final version of the manifest.

However, discussions are ongoing and the draft document for manifest version 3 states that declarativeNetRequest would act as the primary content-blocking API in extensions. This suggests that secondary methods may be available.


Source: Chrome Extension Manifest V3 May Break uBlock Origin Content Blocker
 

Kuttz

Level 12
Verified
Another is that it offers better privacy guarantees because it allows extensions to tell Chrome what to do with a given request rather than have the browser forward the request to the extension; this way, the extension does not have access to the network details.
Privacy talks by google :ROFLMAO: The only real intention behind this development is to remove Ad blocker functionality I can't see any other valid reason.
 

Deletedmessiah

Level 22
Verified
Content Creator
No, it wont impact the desktop version in any form; AdGuard for Windows uses a proprietary engine that is much more powerful than APIs, there is praticaly no limitation for what it can modify.
Thanks. It won't affect me since I use Firefox, unless Mozilla does something stupid... But if I have to move to Chrome again, I'm happy Adguard desktop will work.
 

LDogg

Level 29
Verified
Another alternative is Brave, which is Chromium based. If they remain true to their principles they will accommodate users. And their long term goal is to have there own Brave Store. Support Brave. I use the Beta and it is quite good.(y)
I currently use Brave. However they're Adblocking capabilities need a slight tinkering, but I am not complaining, better to have some blocking than none at all.

~LDogg
 
The Google Chrome development team is working on making some changes to the Chrome Extensions platform that would end the functionality of ad-blockers like uBlock Origin and uMatrix, if implemented as defined in the current draft document.

This will cause a mass migration to Firefox :emoji_beer:
 

Windows_Security

Level 23
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
It will affect all AdBlockers on Chrome, some info in other thread
Extension - The Death of webRequest API & uBO? Not likely, at least for now.

Extension - The Death of webRequest API & uBO? Not likely, at least for now.

Extension - The Death of webRequest API & uBO? Not likely, at least for now.

Running Adguard with Simple DNS filter would still be possible and as I explained in post below it is posible with black and white list rules to block thirdparty with old fashioned AdbLock like rules (only more hassle to create them).

Q&A - [Updated 29/12/2018] Browser extension comparison: Malwares and Phishings
 
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Azure

Level 23
Verified
Content Creator
Well if this is implemented say bye bye to adblocking functionality in Chrome.

I'm moving to Firefox if this is implemented by Google, this is why we can't have nice things.

~LDogg
Thanks. It won't affect me since I use Firefox, unless Mozilla does something stupid... But if I have to move to Chrome again, I'm happy Adguard desktop will work.
Yeah....about that. I don't know if anyone else saw this post but....

Chrome extension manifest v3 proposal: The death of uBlock Origin and uMatrix?

Doesn't seem Firefox is out of this controversy either.
 

Vasudev

Level 29
Verified
Well if this is implemented say bye bye to adblocking functionality in Chrome.

I'm moving to Firefox if this is implemented by Google, this is why we can't have nice things.

~LDogg
Thanks. It won't affect me since I use Firefox, unless Mozilla does something stupid... But if I have to move to Chrome again, I'm happy Adguard desktop will work.
Firefox might include it as well since most of the features look like Chrome and chrome extension( atleast some of them) run decently on FF. They might push FF Focus product line into FF for builtin adblock.
 

oldschool

Level 30
Verified
Man, this has users and developers up in arms. Google Groups

A veritable firestorm, with the likes of F-Secure even involved! This will be an interesting issue to keep track of as Google continues its development phase. So many people could be affected adversely. Google moderators are stressing that devs raise specific issues that such proposed changes impact.
 

silversurfer

Level 49
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Trusted
Content Creator
Malware Hunter

oldschool

Level 30
Verified
It is in dev and feedback process with no set timeline for change. V2 Manifest will continue for some time, and may co-exist in some fashion alongside V3. The Google group discussion ( see above link) and links from the other thread on this subject are worth checking out.
 

Local Host

Level 17
Verified
Man, this has users and developers up in arms. Google Groups

A veritable firestorm, with the likes of F-Secure even involved! This will be an interesting issue to keep track of as Google continues its development phase. So many people could be affected adversely. Google moderators are stressing that devs raise specific issues that such proposed changes impact.
Wouldn't be the first time Google ignores the majorly of developers and do whatever the hell they want. Google is pretty much in control of the Web APIs, another reason I don't support Microsoft move to Chromium.

We need more browsers and competition outside the Chromium Base.