This is sort of a last straw for me. I’ve been watching this build up over the past few years and decided it was time to just ditch anything based on Google’s Chrome browser engine, called Blink (WebKit on Mac). That includes Chrome, Chromium, Opera, Slimjet, Vivaldi and a bunch of other stuff based on WebKit and Blink.
Here’s the deal: Google’s development team is aggressively handing more and more control of your browser to advertisers. Right now there are tools you don’t get to see that allow websites to disable adblocking and force you to see the more nasty forms of advertising, for example. It just so happens that same kind of control means miscreants can more aggressively plant malware on your computer through these enforced vulnerabilities. In more blunt terms, Google’s browser is becoming more and more like malware itself. It’s a tool that deceptively works against your interests, granting to third parties control over your computer.
The latest increment of this campaign was revealed by someone who develops an adblocker, of course. It’s referenced in a discussion thread on a Mozilla forum. You can find further meaningful discussion on the Hacker News forum. And maybe you didn’t quite understand why the Tor Browser is still based only on Firefox? It’s because Blink browsers disable way too many user defenses.
If you worry that Firefox is slow, the upcoming release #57 this fall should fix that. Current beta testers for that release have affirmed it’s just as fast as Chrome.
Really, it’s your decision, but you should at least be aware of what it costs to ignore this issue. So I now recommend Firefox, Seamonkey and Pale Moon, along with the Tor Browser package.
Addenda: The Register offers this solid explanation of the battle behind the scenes. I want you to notice that The Register is ad-supported, yet reports rather objectively about the matter of user ad-blocking. It’s a fairly popular news source for techies.