Google's plan to ban chrome extensions used to block ads

Removing local VPN ad blockers from the Google Play Store is not the only attempt to reduce ad-blocking software capabilities, Google is also planning on making radical changes to the way extensions operate on their browser by launching Manifest V3.

What is Manifest v3?

Manifest V3 was first introduced in 2018 and Google has been working on it ever since. According to the company, its primary goal is to make Chrome extensions more secure, privacy-friendly and performance optimized. Disallowing remotely hosted code to be present in extensions uploaded to the Chrome Web Store. This will presumably make it easier to identify potential threats in the review process.

How does Manifest v3 impact adblockers?

In Google’s opinion, ad blockers and similar extensions have too much control over and access to the pages you’ve got open in the browser. The extension could harvest all kinds of privacy-sensitive data from these pages as you visit them. MV3 will impact the capability to intercept and rewrite requests for pages.

In the process of limiting how many entries an extension can have in order to prevent abuse by malicious ones, Google is literally crippling the very function that allows adblockers to exist on Chrome as Raymond Hill (author of uBlock Origin) says:

“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.”

Final words

Blokada will not be affected by these changes since it operates on the DNS level, which is a lower level than browser extensions.