Google is straight up killing 3rd party ad blockers with Manifest V3 due in October. 3rd party ad blockers will no longer be able to access the webRequest API. This effectively is stopping over 2 billion free Chrome users from being able to block ads at all. uBlock, Ad Block Plus, Privacy Badger etc, will be completely ineffective without a paid enterprise level subscription to Chrome.
The implementation of the new rules would effectively negate extensions such as uBlock Origin and the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Privacy Badger, both of which use the webRequest API to block ads and other content before it even reaches the browser. Google wants extensions to instead use a different API called declarativeNetRequest, which lets Chrome decide whether to block content based on a set of up to 30,000 rules.
Is it all about the money?
Google's argument is that the extensions using the webRequest API slow performance because the browser has to wait for the extensions to decide whether to display content. declarativeNetRequest is arguably faster because the browser can start loading content while it decides what to block.
"Currently, with the webRequest permission, an extension can delay a request for an arbitrary amount of time, since Chrome needs to wait for the result from the extension in order to continue processing the request," states Google's current draft of Manifest V3. "This can have a significant effect on every single network request."
One of the best-known ad blockers, AdBlock Plus, already use rules to block ads and should have little trouble adjusting to declarativeNetRequest. But AdBlock Plus is widely seen as less effective than some other ad blockers. So is Chrome's built-in ad blocker, which blocks only ads that Google finds too obtrusive or annoying.
Is it all about the money?
Raymond Hill, developer of uBlock Origin, argues that Google, a dominant player in the online ad market, is making this change so that more ads show up in Chrome.
"Google strategy has been to find the optimal point between the two goals of growing the user base of Google Chrome and preventing content blockers from harming its business,"
"The blocking ability of the webRequest API caused Google to yield control of content blocking to content blockers. Now that Google Chrome is the dominant browser, it is in a better position to shift the optimal point between the two goals which benefits Google's primary business.
Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at the EFF, summed of the feelings of many Twitter users following this news: "This is a really disappointing decision by Google. I will be switching to Firefox."