I'm really getting quite tired of Google gaslighting people about the direction Chrome is going in the past years.
"You're hysterical if you abscribe any monopolistic intent to these changes! This is _clearly_ being done for security reasons! Those extensions are risky! Performance is a concern!"
Meanwhile Alphabet directly mentions the risk from ad-blockers to their revenue in their SEC filings.
It's one thing to be monopolistic and another to gaslight people about it.
I especially hate the subtype of this gaslighting, the deliberate fuzziness.
Any criticism is met with "those changes are still under development/discussion, stop assuming a bad outcome!" but without ever committing to any clear and easy goals like "all ad-blocking extensions will continue to work as before".
It allows Google to float plans and see the amount of pushback. If little, they can just bulldoze ahead. If a lot, they can pretend to have arrived at a mild version.
So when Google backtracks on something due to outrage, then they turn around a few months later and ask, "what was the big deal? Why were you crying wolf? we said all along that those were changes under development!"
This is gaslighting and absolutely is a strategy to keep pushing Chrome in the direction that's favourable for Google.
It's throwing changes against a wall and seeing what sticks and what distinguishes it from true experimentation is how one-sided it is.
If we zoom out to the big picture, everyone, literally EVERYONE in the infosec community knows that ads are a huge security, privacy and performance risk, to the point that if you're an enterprise security person it's actively negligent not to roll out ad-blockers to corporate desktops.
Google has one of the best security teams in the world, they know this.
The bottom line is that ad-blocking would be something core Chrome provides under reasonable risk analysis.
Google is an ad company so they won't do this, but it's worth acknowledging this explicitly instead of just accepting it as a given.
That still leaves ad-blockers as extensions. Removing ads via extensions brings tremendous security and performance benefits. When Google is talking about the performance impact of extensions, this doesn't get factored in, especially in the context of those "rule caps". Why is it reasonable to have 30-50k rule caps at all?
Surely, extension performance should be looked at not just by how much time/resources those extensions take to run, but the benefits they provide!
If an extension installs a million rules, but still comes out as a net benefit overall, then what's the point of a rule cap? So why do we accept the framing that there has to be a "to be determined" rule cap in the first place?
The browser should only give users information to make informed choices about extension performance.
google as a public company
@szbalint Google’s business model is to display ads on web. Google developing a market dominating web browser was just to get control of their business-critical platform. Now that Chrome is practically ubiquitous they can start to leverage the control they’ve gained.
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