Google makes it harder to block ads and trackers in Chromium

Claudiu Andone
by Claudiu Andone
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Google's Web Bundles aims to speed up page loading and make things easy for web developers.
  • This technology, however, may cause serious security issues when browsing the web.
  • If you're interested in more information about browsing tools, explore our Browsers section.
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Google Web Bundles makes it harder to block ads and trackers in Chromium browsers

Google wants to change the way we browse the Internet forever. Their new proposed standard, the Web Bundles aims to at least speed up page loading by including a whole web page in a file.

Currently, when you open a web page, all its elements will load individually regardless of which browser you’re using.

Besides page loading times, Google also points out other advantages of the new technology on their description of Web Bundles:

  • Creating your own content and distributing it without being restricted to the network
  • Sharing a web app or piece of web content with your friends via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Direct
  • Carrying your site on your own USB or even host it on your own local network

What is Web Bundles and how does it work?

Google explains Web Bundles on their website:

A Web Bundle is a file format for encapsulating one or more HTTP resources in a single file. It can include one or more HTML files, JavaScript files, images, or stylesheets.

Web Bundles, more formally known as Bundled HTTP Exchanges, are part of theWeb Packaging proposal.

The HTTP resources from the Web Bundle are indexed by request URLs, and can also carry signatures that vouch for the resources.

And that is the key protection method from threats because the signatures help browsers verify where each resource came from.

Web Bundles may do more harm than good

Google’s proposal sounds excellent, but security-wise, it can cause havoc really fast.

Brave’s company privacy researcher Peter Snyder explained on a blog the possible issues that Google’s technology may cause for content blocking and browsing in general:

This threatens to change the Web from a hyperlinked collection of resources (that can be audited, selectively fetched, or even replaced), to opaque all-or-nothing blobs (like PDFs or SWFs).

Organizations, users, researchers and regulators who believe in an open, user-serving, transparent Web should oppose this standard.

Obviously, the content inside the bundle will be harder if not impossible to analyze. This leads to the fact that websites will be able to avoid privacy and security tools.

Web Bundles are already integrated into all developer versions of Chromium browsers but they are disabled by default.

To activate the feature in Chrome, look for Web Bundles after accessing chrome://flags.

What are your thoughts about Google’s Web Bundles? Please write them below in our Comments section.