It is feared that the measure will also reach Chromium -based browsers such as Microsoft Edge , Opera and Brave.
Google maintains its plans to hinder the development of extensions dedicated to blocking ads in its browser, Google Chrome , which will disable them from January next year.
The Mountain View company controls your browser through a so-called Manifest , a text file that lists some of the specifications of the supported extensions.
In this document, the company defines which system resources are available, the permissions it grants to the extensions or the application programming interfaces ( APIs ) to whose functionalities they have access.
Google’s plan that will go against ad blockers
The company published a proposal for changes to its open source browser base, Chromium , in which it detailed a series of measures applied to a specific API, WebRequest. Due to these changes, most ad blocker features would be removed.
So, Google justified that, with this action, it sought to improve the speed of the browser by not having to depend on these extensions to filter network requests. He also said that this would protect the privacy of users.
In September 2021, Google published a timeline of support for Manifest V2 , a roadmap that pointed to January 2022 as the starting point for its discontinuation.
In relation to its action plan for 2023, this roadmap contemplated that in January 2023 developers would no longer have the opportunity to update their extensions in Manifest V2 and that in June 2023 they would stop running in Chrome .
In this way, Manifest V3 overrides the WebRequest API for developers, a format that allows the integration of these extensions in the browser and expand their blocking functions.
In reality, this API allows you to observe the traffic between the browser and a website and then modify or block requests to certain domains, as Chrome explains on its developer page.
However, this feature also allows hackers to hijack user credentials and even modify and add additional advertising to web pages, as The Verge points out , which is why Google would have disabled it.
In this way, in Manifest V3, the WebRequest API has been replaced by Declarative Net Request, the operation of which was already advanced by Google in its blog in June 2019. Unlike the first, the new interface reviews the request to the blocking extensions and they record rules that tell the browser what to do if certain types of requests are filtered.
This change coincides with the company’s filings filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the end of Podcast wrestling 2021. They cite “new and existing technologies” as a “risk factor”. that block ads online.
The developers of these ad blockers have expressed concern about the possible consequences of this change in other browsers that are based on Chromium , such as Microsoft Edge , Opera and Brave , according to the US media.