Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Mar 2013 10:26 UTC
Google In all honesty, this has taken far longer than I anticipated. Google, the world's largest internet advertising company, has removed several popular ad-blocking tools from the Play Store. While they are technically in the right to do so - they violate the Play Store developer distribution agreement - it's still a bit of a dick move. Luckily, though, unlike some other platforms, you can easily sideload the adblockers onto your Android device.
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It's well known that ads are a popular attack vector for malware. So for me, adblockers are a security measure first and foremost.

On PCs sure. But I've yet to hear about Android malware spreading via adverts (if you have any evidence to the contrary then I'd be interested to read it ;) ).

Furthermore, preventing advert-based malware from spreading on the PC can be largely mitigated by disabling a few things like Java plugins from auto-starting. Plus doing so will prevent other drive-by download attacks as well (eg hacked legitimate sites) where as using adblockers will not.

So I really don't agree with adblockers as security precaution. At best, it prevents one niche of attacks which would be prevented anyway if you took the precautions required to prevent the other forms of drive-by download attacks. In laymans terms, what you're proposing is snake oil.

As for Android, I do not demand free content; if there's an ad-based 'free' version and an ad-less paid version, I am happy to pay for it.

Sadly you're in the minority there. Which is exactly why I said I'd rather have seen Google trusting users than removing the opinion, but trusting users to "do the right thing" is rarely every going to work.

If Google wants to pull adblockers from the Play store, that is certainly their right, but I wish at the very LEAST they would clearly mark the apps that are infected with adware, so I'll know which ones to avoid in the future.

It's not too hard to work out:
* If it's free and it looks like some effort has gone into it, then it's ad funded.
* If there's a free version and a "premium" version, then the free version will be ad funded.
* And if the former two points don't help, then just read through the comments before installing.

People rarely pay any attention to the permissions list when installing new applications as it is, adding other things like whether it's ad supported would just create an even bigger wall of text and encourage more people not to bother.

Edited 2013-03-14 23:44 UTC

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