Google's service policy 'inhibits the development of a wide variety of browsers'


Neon Tommy

Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox account for three-quarters of the share of web browsers, but the share is small, such as the Linux desktop environment GNOME browsers ' Epiphany ' and ' Eolie ', and the text-based browser ' Browsh '. However, it is also true that there are a wide variety of browsers. Michael Catanzaro, a member of the GNOME development team, points out that such browser diversity can be lost by Google's policies.

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Catanzaro's issue is Google's announcement on August 28, 2020, 'Blocking logins to Google accounts from embedded browsers and other unsupported browsers after January 4, 2021. The policy is to do. Google explains that its main purpose is to prevent

man- in-the- middle attacks using embedded browsers such as the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) .

In addition to prohibiting access via a proxy server and rewriting of HTTP headers, this announcement also prohibits access using ' user agent compatibility mode'. You may not be able to use Google services such as Gmail and Google Drive from blocked browsers. 'If the compatibility mode of the user agent becomes unavailable, Google's website will not be compatible with the browser,' Catanzaro points out a problem with Google's policy.

If Google uses only the 'user agent header' as a judgment factor when blocking the browser, it is possible to avoid Google's blocking by compatibility mode. However, if Fingerprint technology including hardware information such as screen resolution and number of CPU cores is incorporated, the influence of blocks is unavoidable.

In Google's announcement, CEF is the main block target, but Catanzaro speculates that it will also affect browsers such as Epiphany that use WebKit other than Safari, and browsers installed in PlayStation. ..

Catanzaro is most afraid that 'the browser will be blocked on January 4, 2021 and the compatibility mode of the user agent will not be available'. It's very difficult to stop users from leaving a browser that doesn't have access to Google's web services. However, regardless of the impact of Google's blocking, 'January 4, 2021 will be a day that casts a dark shadow over browser diversity,' Catanzaro commented.

in Software,   Web Service, Posted by darkhorse_log