Google is intensifying its efforts against ad blockers, with YouTube attempting to detect and block ad blockers, and Chrome planning to roll out the ad block-limiting Manifest V3 extension platform in June 2024.

Manifest V3 makes significant changes to Chrome's extension platform, particularly targeting the "WebRequest API" that ad blockers use. It replaces it with a more limited filtering API that gives Google more control.

The new declarativeNetRequest API imposes limits on the number and effectiveness of filtering rules, hindering the ability of ad blockers to respond quickly to changes in ad delivery systems.

Ad block rules can no longer be updated quickly, as Manifest V3 limits "remotely hosted code," requiring all updates, even filtering list updates, to go through the Chrome Web Store and undergo a review process.

The article highlights the constant cat-and-mouse game between ad blockers and YouTube, with block lists needing frequent updates to counteract changes in ad delivery and ad blocker detection.

The implementation of Manifest V3 is criticized for seemingly targeting ad blockers more than other extensions, raising questions about the need for limitations on filtering list updates.

Firefox is forced to support Manifest V3 extensions due to Chrome's popularity, but its implementation does not come with the same filtering limitations as Chrome's, ensuring users can still access effective privacy tools.

Concerns are raised about the potential future scenario where YouTube can roll out new ad blocking updates at will, while ad blockers' responses are slowed down by the Chrome Web Store review process.

Google claims Manifest V3 will improve browser privacy, security, and performance, but critics, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Mozilla, dispute these claims, calling the communication "deceitful and threatening" and the project "ultimately user hostile."

While Chrome currently works as usual, Manifest V3 is set to become mandatory in June 2024.