Google has announced making some changes in their Chrome API that (in a way) threatens user privacy. As per its planned API update, it will restrict ad blockers. In fact, the upcoming Chrome API update will not only limit ad blockers but may also kill numerous other plugins and extensions.
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… The new declarativeNetRequest API will be used as the primary content-blocking API in extensions.
Beside causing uBO and uMatrix to no longer be able to exist, it’s really concerning that the proposed declarativeNetRequest API will make it impossible to come up with new and novel filtering engine designs, as the declarativeNetRequest API is no more than the implementation of one specific filtering engine, and a rather limited one.
The proposed change will be even more crippling to all ad blockers… there’s another serious change that needs attention.
The proposed change to hosts permissions (either using activeTab or requesting access on every new website) basically means that every time users navigate to a new website, nothing is blocked there. Ok, maybe something is blocked by declarative rules, but blocking web requests is just a tiny part of what ad blockers do.
The webRequest API is not going to go away in its entirety. It will be affected, but the exact changes are still in discussion.
This design is still in a draft state, and will likely change. Our goal is not to break extensions. We are working with extension developers to strive to keep this breakage to a minimum, while still advancing the platform to enhance security, privacy, and performance for all users.