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> Their adblocker is just a fork of uBlock Origin,

This does not appear to be true. Here is the github repo for their open source adblock engine written in rust:

https://github.com/brave/adblock-rust

Here is a (somewhat dated) article describing it by the authors:

https://brave.com/improved-ad-blocker-performance/

> Google will take decisions that benefit their advertisement business, like making impossible to use adblockers on any Chromium based browser.

Because the brave adblocker is integrated directly into the browser (ie. not an extension) the Manifest V3 limitations don't apply.




There are more lies in that article. This one for example is so often repeated but untrue:

> Rewards is their shitty program that will replace ads displayed on websites with their own.

Brave doesn't replace ads with their own. Brave ads are displayed as desktop pop-ups. They can also be easily disabled (which, surprise, the author doesn't mention because of his bias). And the idea behind Brave ads is to give you tokens which are then distributed to the content creators you engaged with. This is the default setting. Their idea is not to shovel you with ads or offer you "get rich with crypto" schemes. Idea is to block ads but still provide revenue to the content, based on how many users engage with that content.

When I see people saying "Brave replaces ads with their own" I have to wonder if they have tried using Brave themselves before writing these critique articles.


I still don't really get how brave is supposed to work:

You watch significantly fewer ads than before, these ads are then supplied to whoever you yourself engage with. That seems like watching these fewer ads directly on the site, just with a few hoops in between.

The difference is that now you watch fewer ads in total, and you have the Brave-browser as an inbetween, which also somehow has to survive. This means that you get potentially even less money, since less ads are watched and the ones that are watched are more diluted (even if brave currently doesn't take a cut at the moment: At some point they have to pay their developers, too).

Also, why do they pay out in BAT? (other than the fact that they cooperate with "uphold" a crypto-exchange and that they also really really want to jump on the crypto-bandwagon)

Somehow there has to be money going into the system that supports its own existance. If brave had something like a subsciption service or other way to get additional funds into the Network, then it might be more understandable, but even then: Why should I support someone by using BATs instead of paypaling/patreoning/whatever-elseing him the money directly?


I recently did a 5 minute video on the history of digital advertising, with an introduction to Brave's model: https://youtu.be/LsrrT502luI.

Per https://brave.com/rewards and https://creators.brave.com, users opt-in to Brave Rewards and begin participating with privacy-preserving Ads. Each ad nets you, the user, 70% of the associated revenue.

Rewards come in the form of BAT, which moves more easily and comes with considerably less friction. The blockchain enables users to effortlessly and anonymously participate. This also means that everybody with attention (and not necessarily disposable income) can support the content they love online.

As for paying out in BAT, creators can choose to have BAT auto-converted into Bitcoin, US Dollars, etc. Users can also have their rewards converted into another type of asset or currency via Uphold too. BAT is simply a utility token, whose utility is currently best demonstrated within the Brave ecosystem.

To your last point, the "money going in" comes from advertisers. They pay in fiat currencies, or via BAT. If they pay us in dollars, we purchase BAT as needed from the market. Users can also self-fund their wallet, if they have disposable income.


I understand that money goes in through the advertisers: But how is that money sufficient to maintain the current websites?

You watch fewer ads than before, which means (if the ads pay the same) that each website gets on average (i.e. if the split is the same as before) less money. As you describe it, only 70% of the ad-revenue actually reaches the user, meaning even if you watch the same amount of ads, websites get 30% less money, and that ignores that many people just opt-out of ads. (BTW do you know where that 30% go to?)

> The blockchain enables users to effortlessly and anonymously participate.

That actually makes sense. But if you want to get money out of BAT, don't you have to pay a transaction fee? And if you don't, then how does Uphold make any money to pay their developers?

For me it seems that there's money vanishing at every point and very little or nothing to replace it.

Also, wouldn't brave have a quasi-monopoly on ads in this configuration? Even if brave is an honorable company (and I have no reason to doubt that), it makes me uneasy to know that we are breeding another potential "too-big-to-fail" giant like Facebook/Amazon/Google.

Edit:

Rereading your comment again and noticing the "users can distributed bought BAT directly" part: Then the monetization system makes a little more sense. Do you have stats on how much people are paying in? Is the ultimate goal to get rid of ads entirely or at least shift over to a "pay for what you use" model? In that case I can understand that. (though the monopoly on website monetization part still makes me kind of uneasy)


I think you're conflating the user with the publisher here; the user received 0% of the ad revenue in the past. With Brave, the user receives 70% of the ad revenue (the other 30% goes to Brave, which builds and maintains this apparatus).

You're correct that publishers lose revenue when ads are blocked on their sites, but not blocking ads means users are at an increased risk of being abused by malicious third-party actors. This is one of the main issues with ad and content blockers: they keep users safer, but they take revenue from content creators.

Brave is working on a model that reduces fraud, increases rewards for content creators, and rewards users for their attention. This won't be built overnight, let alone over a few short years. That said, we are making tremendous progress, now settling over 8-figures each month for verified content creators.

As Brave matures and develops, more options will become available for users and content creators to earn more.

As for transaction fees when converting BAT, you are correct. There are often transaction fees involved. But those often depend on how much you're moving around, if you're buying or selling, etc. Uphold and Gemini (our other partner in this space) may also differ between each other.

You're right about heavily centralization around Brave too. This is why we're working on THEMIS (https://brave.com/themis/), a protocol for decentralizing the Brave Ads ecosystem. We recently wrapped-up an effort in that space and blogged about progress: https://brave.com/themis-rfcc-wrap-up/.

We don't have stats to share on how many Brave users are self-funding their wallets vs earning with Rewards. That said, the latter category is naturally going to be much, much larger. It is also not an either-or thing either; many people opt-in to Brave Ads and also buy BAT to supplement their attention-based earnings.

I don't think the goal is to get rid of ads entirely, but rather to yield power to the user. Not everybody has disposable income, and therefore many people would prefer to opt-in to privacy-respecting ads, earn rewards for their attention, and support the Web by those means. For those who wish to self-fund, that is possible. They don't need to opt-in to Brave Ads either.


Even if a site made significant effort to have "non-malicious ads" I don't think brave would not block them with and put in their own.

I.e Brave is bootstrapping on manipulation of the intent of the publisher.

A cleaner aproch may be to approach publishers offer them a "better way" and decuple it from the browser marketing privacy / reduced ad load.

Likewise standards bodies, NGOs and Gov agencies need to protect users in the web and app ecosystems making it a more level in respecting user privacy / reduced harm. To control publisher / advertising / user relationship in a fair way.

But we live in a time of fast pace asymmetrical software mediated warfair and a few eggs are going to be cracked along the way in to trying to build something better.


Brave does not touch first-party ads; you can do all of the first-party advertising you like. Unfortunately, whether the third-party ads are malicious or not is not up to the publisher. The publisher is simply asked to add a bit of JavaScript to their page, and that's it.

Brave doesn't inject ads onto webpages; so there is no scenario where you (as a publisher) would have our ads displayed on your page (unless you, yourself displayed them).

Please see this 5-minute overview of the problems facing digital ads, and Brave's proposed model: https://youtu.be/LsrrT502luI


Nice video, but it almost completely misses the point:

Even if all ads on all websites were made in a privacy-respecting way, people would still use adblockers.

This is because people simply hate ads in their browser. It is because they make browsing experience miserable. They add bloat. They distract from the content. They add cognitive overhead. They slow down browsing. They are literally unwanted guests in our browsers.

So Brave’s model replaces one set of ads with another, basically achieving nothing to mitigate the problem itself - very existance of ads in the first place. What makes Brave’s ad model worse is that it offers people a monetary incentive for doing an activity (watch ads) that we know they are trying to avoid (by using a browser with an ad-blocker). So the very premise of this setup seems to be that people hate ads just because they are not privacy-respecting. But reality is that people normally simply do not want to be exposed to ads.

(btw the only ad based business model that would align all incentives is one in which users would be paying to see the ads)


Different people want different things; many people install ad-blockers because they don't like ads, period. Others install them because they aren't comfortable with the security and privacy risk. Quite a few people are conflicted when it comes to blocking ads, knowing that it cuts off the funding for content creators. Brave is for everybody; no ads by default, and privacy-respecting ads for those who would like to support content creators on the Web.


The argument is akin to saying you are working for a company that sells cigarette quitting kits but also sells cigarettes because "different people want different things".

And the content creator argument has long been debunked as smoke screen planted by companies in the ad business (and Brave qualifies as one), because monetizing any content through ads is the least efficient way to monetize creative work. What this model actually does though is incentivizes the creation of large quantities of low quality content.


This step in the chain of progress may require people to adapt to the idea of making less money in exchange for a healthier web.


if user buy BAT directly than distribute to the content creator, the story sounds similar to likecoin


I started using it. Found it fast. I get many 4 ads a day. They don't appear on the website they appear near the button to the side. Really small ad, just text. It is so out of the way.

The model for profit is around the bat coins gaining popularity. The payouts are extremely low for everyone.


> The model for profit is around the bat coins gaining popularity

Incorrect. Their revenue is in USD, and their payout is calculated using the revenue in USD. The price of the token does not affect them in any way.

Their model from profit is unbelievably simple. They are an ad network that uses the browser as a distribution vehicle. More people using the browser, more advertisers will be buying ad space, more revenue for them.

They do have a published roadmap about offering more services in the crypto-space (built-in web3 wallet with direct connection with crypto exchanges, use of NFTs to access features and services on different websites, etc) which are very interesting and it might even become a bigger play than the existing ad network. At the end of the day however, they can have a solid and sustainable business just with the ad distribution network.


I think the idea is this:

- Most people won't paypal/patreon/send money directly

- The current system uses ads as a shorthand for attention. If you're able to get attention you get more ad traction and more money.

- Ads suck and are a corrupting influence on everything, if there was a way to directly award attention without ads that would be better.

- Brave replaces ads by tracking attention directly and attempting to reward it directly with BATs. These is done instead of cash because (I'm not really sure why) - I suspect because it's easier to manage and easier to split into tiny amounts.

- Flattr from the late 2000s (2007?) was similar, but with cash (Flattr = Flat Rate) the idea being you'd put in $XX/month and it'd distribute it depending on what pages you viewed. It was created by some of the Pirate Bay founders iirc. It never got much traction.

The issues I have with these services:

- Ads are bad, but the attention economy is the underlying problem. Removing ads is good, but still incentivizing attention for $$ isn't great.

- In the case of 'privacy' Brave has now inserted themselves as the tracker of all attention, this is very high risk and not a lot better than the ad companies. Sure you don't see ads but a lot of the bad slot machine incentives around content remain.

- I don't want to necessarily pay everyone based on what I view, what if what captures my attention is crap? What if I'm reading something for context, but don't support it?

---

I get what they're trying to do, reward people without ads and without making users pay - but I'd rather the ad model just die and if some businesses can't survive without it we probably don't need them. I recognize this isn't super realistic because companies compete on a global stage.

A business truly operating in the interest of users would make a browser that had ad blocking built in without tracking - and worked on subverting ads full time (what users actually want). This includes real privacy by not being a new middle man tracking attention. Apple is the closest to doing stuff like this with their new onion router VPN, making it easy to block tracking from apps in the store, etc.

Brave pretends its interest is privacy and browser users, but it feels like a rationalization to me. Brave's core business is attention tracking and taking a cut of that, if not now - when they have more power. Its user's attention is what they monetize - those incentives don't lead some place good.


You seem to have missed a critical point: The “attention tracking” Brave does stays completely on device.

The browser is sent a list of ads, and the browser decides which ads to serve based on its metrics. Brave doesn’t see this data and the user can choose to participate or not.

There are no easy answers, but this is an interesting model and a reasonable compromise for many.


> That seems like watching these fewer ads directly on the site,

The ads from Brave are completely separate from the website. They are presented as an OS notification pop-up.

> Somehow there has to be money going into the system that supports its own existance.

Yes, of course. Their revenue coming from the advertisers that get to place ads on their notifications. They only pay to the users a share of this revenue. If for some reason they stop getting advertisers, they will stop paying the users. Simple as that.

> This means that you get potentially even less money.

This is making the very bad assumption that they have a fixed revenue. As their user base grows, more advertisers will be interested in placing ads on their network and their revenue will increase.

> Also, why do they pay out in BAT?

Primarily, because it simplifies the logistics and allows them to escape the regulatory hurdles of having to become licensed money transmitters, and lets them outsource all of that crap to the crypto exchanges. A second-order but also important effect is that it attract users who want to speculate on the token.

> Why should I support someone by using BATs instead of paypaling/patreoning/whatever-elseing him the money directly?

Whynotboth.jpg?

Patreon is not bad, but they are not in a business that can fight surveillance capitalism. Patreon does not have a way to block Facebook from tracking my browsing. Brave does. Patreon does not block the Youtube ads from the people that you want to support. Brave does.


To play devil advocate.

On one side, Brave come with an adblocker that will remove any ads from the website you're visiting. On the other, they provide their own ads through the reward program.

So it can be seen as "replacing website ads by its own".

I approve that line of reasoning, but I think that what the author meant.


To play the devil's devil's advocate :)

Brave allows you to do whatever you want. You can see publisher ads without Brave ads. You can see Brave ads without publishers ads. You can see both. Or you can disable both.

Since individual users can achieve any configuration of ads they like, to me it seems that some people are only unhappy with this because they want to push their moral stances on everyone else. Like, for example, stating that the ability to block publisher ads while enabling Brave ads is immoral and shouldn't be allowed.


The idea that the experience is equivalent as a result of substitution is incorrect, though, and the author's original heavy implication that Brave's substitution is malicious and selfishly designed does not hold up.

Brave basically aligns advertising incentives to match with viewer incentives. A Google served ad is not the same thing as a Brave served ad from the perspective of a viewer, because Brave ads are optional and some of their value accrues to the viewer.

Is the alignment perfect? No. But I do view it as a substantially better starting point than the currently centralizing, adversarial model that currently exists.


Edit: I don't approve that line of reasoning, but I think that what the author meant.


You can disable seeing ads in settings though. if you choose to see ads however, the website doesn't get anything, you get crypto from it.


In Brave, by default, when a user opts-in and earns rewards from Brave Ads, Brave will enable the user to tip verified sites and content creators (even making automatic, pro-rata contributions possible). This is currently how content creators benefit (indirectly) from Brave Ads. Their users earn rewards, and forward them along. We're currently settling more than 8-figures each month to website owners and more. See creators.brave.com for more information. Further options will come in the future as well.


I'd prefer it if I could contribute cash monthly, and let the browser distribute the funds based on my browsing.

The notion of getting paid to view a separate stream of ads seems bizarre. It's the 'Ad Buddy' model, but with crypto.


You can do that today with Brave. Brave Rewards enables users to self-fund, and contribute automatically to the sites they visit, proportional to the time spent on those sites. See https://brave.com/rewards and https://creators.brave.com for more information. The beautiful thing about Brave Ads, however, is that everybody can support the content they love. Even if they don't have the ability to self-fund; they can convert attention into substantive support for content creators.


Okay, but, how do I give them actual money, instead of BAT? Will you redeem BAT for dollars?


Within the Brave ecosystem, BAT is the unit of account for attention and support. Those who receive BAT, however, do not have to hold BAT. We offer creators and publishers the option of automatically converting their received tokens from BAT into various other types of assets and/or currencies. Many keep the BAT, others auto-convert to Bitcoin, and a large portion auto-convert to their regional currency (USD, CAD, etc.).


Possibly what you're looking for, though less browser-dependent: https://coil.com/


I think people are misremembering or misunderstanding a recent controversy where Brave was adding their own affiliate links to the user's browsing session without the user's knowledge or consent: https://www.coindesk.com/brave-browsers-affiliate-link-contr...


I don't think this is it because the article has a separate section about affiliate link controversy.


These points had been true at some point though... Also, brave is constantly astroturfing, so you should always take whatever you read online with a grain of salt.

I used brave's android browser a long time ago as well (at that time these claims were true - but they didn't replace the ads on all pages). I cannot speak about whats the current situation however, as I'm not up to date on the topic.


The long term play might be that, but they would probably never get the market share to exploit it fully


> If earning half a penny in a month is okay for you, in exchange of your privacy, because of course, they’re tracking you with Rewards, then enjoy your money.

Lie. Brave doesn't track you. Your ad data never leave your machine (a bit like your bookmarks). The ad engine works privately on your computer and not on Brave server.


If it's fetching ads, it has to 100% be sending some data to someone, who is likely able to correlate it and track you. It doesn't take much.


A regional catalog is downloaded routinely. The only "data" going out is your region (e.g. the United States). This returns a protobuf catalog of ads for your region. Your device privately studies this catalog for relevant entries. When an ad is shown, it's presented as a native notification on the OS. This means the user sees a title (text), and a body (text). Screenshots of these notifications are on https://brave.com/rewards. I also covered this model in brief detail recently https://youtu.be/LsrrT502luI (skip to about 3:22 if you like).


> The only "data" going out is your region (e.g. the United States).

Every request Brave makes "home" will transfer private data like IP address of the user and browser fingerprint, regardless of the payload. Can you clarify what is done with this data?

Also if it is true what says in the article that some requests "home" can not be disabled, why is that the case?


What browser fingerprint are you seeing in your research? I don't believe Leith et al found any such issue in their review at https://www.scss.tcd.ie/Doug.Leith/pubs/browser_privacy.pdf, nor did I in https://brave.com/popular-browsers-first-run/.

I'm happy to discuss any requests you like; we also document all of this to the best of our ability on GitHub as well (https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/wiki).

As for disabling requests, this is a valid petition. Our goal is to have no extra requests when and where possible. We've worked hard to keep them to a minimal. There are some requests (e.g. product update requests) that we've been hesitant to make more easily blockable, since this could potentially leave large swaths of Brave users disconnected, and increasingly vulnerable.


Thanks for the attempt to clarify. My question was, what do you do with the IP address of the user that you get through these “phone-home” requests and I think it is left unanswered?

> We've worked hard to keep them to a minimal.

How is 80 requests minimal? (source: your own above-mentioned article). It seems to me that 0 requests would be minimal.

What is preventing Brave from being a zero-telemetry browser by default?


We drop the IP address. When needed, we'll convert it to a regional identifier (e.g. United States) so that we can have a count of how many users are in the US, UK, etc.

I'm not sure where you saw 80 request; my network analysis post (https://brave.com/popular-browsers-first-run/) shows Brave issuing 70 requests over a 10-minute period. Compare with Chrome (91 requests), Firefox (2,799 requests), Edge (367 requests), and Opera (106 requests).

0 requests is not realistic, IMHO. When you launch a browser you want to make sure the user has a fresh local DB of known-malicious URLs (so you don't have to pipe each request through a look-up service, like Opera does) for client-side checking. You also want to make sure the client has an updated list of blocking rules for other types of content. There's quite a bit of setup needed when you launch a web browser.

Zero telemetry is unwise, assuming you want to build a product that works for a diverse set of users, devices, and environments. The main issue here is not whether you collect telemetry, but [how] you do so, and what that looks like. Brave is careful to preclude abuse from the design phase; see https://www.brave.com/p3a for more on how we handle Privacy-Preserving Product Analytics.


  >0 requests is not realistic, IMHO. When you launch a browser you want to make sure the user has a fresh local DB of known-malicious URLs (so you don't have to pipe each request through a look-up service, like Opera does) for client-side checking. You also want to make sure the client has an updated list of blocking rules for other types of content. There's quite a bit of setup needed when you launch a web browser.
It is quite realistic and possible. Both examples you gave can be opt-in. Perhaps I do not want my browser to arbitrarly show a malicious URL warning. Updating content blocker can and should be opt-in as well. Maybe particular rule set work well for my setup and I do not want the update to break it.

And maybe I just do not want the browser to send requests home.

And even if both of these are enabled these should be just two requests - what is going on in the remaining 68? It just looks like a very high number even if it is smallest among other test browsers (which doesn't make Brave good, just makes every tested browser broken in this regard).

  >Zero telemetry is unwise, assuming you want to build a product that works for a diverse set of users, devices, and environments.
This is based on what? You should really provide an argument when making a bold claim like this.

Zero telemetry should be the corner-stone of any privacy respecting product. Only zero telemetry ensures and guarantees that user privacy will be 100% respected. Everything else, even sending just one unwanted request "home" or anywhere else, can and should raise valid questions about what is done with the data including IP address since this will be closed source even in an open-source browser like Brave.


A browser which doesn't update security features upon install, startup, and on a regular interval, is an unsafe browser. Such an application might be okay for a power-user who understands the risks, but not for a popular browser built for all types of users.

Telemetry is crucial to understanding how your product is used, as well as understanding what works and what doesn't. You cannot have one-on-one conversations with 30M+ users, which is how you learn, develop, and improve.

Brave needed to find privacy-respecting ways to achieve similar "conversational" insights. That's what we've done with Privacy-Preserving Product Analytics (https://www.brave.com/p3a/). P3A doesn't collect any user data, operates on a set of published "questions", and uses vague, range-based "answers". We also split up the requests to avoid developing a "fingerprint" from the answers.


The browser should be a secure app to begin with, without making any automatic external requests (if anything, theses can make it less secure). Almost every other application behaves in this way.

Besides, malicious URLs directory and content blocking hardly qualify as 'security’ features.

Telemetry can be useful, and totally feel free to have as much of it as you want, as long as users opt-in into it. You seem to be making a lot of choices on the behalf of the user, when your default setup has whopping 70 requests “home".

There is a way to achieve everything you want, and for a privacy respecting product (or one claiming to be one) these choices absolutely need to be users' and not yours (by the very definition of the term privacy)


The browser is secure "to begin with" because it is designed to adapt to the moving threat landscape of the Web. Attackers aren't static; we don't want to their targets to be static either. A browser that doesn't adapt rapidly, dies.


This is what the automatic update mechanism is for (and which should be opt-in as well like an OS would do it).


You don't want to tie everything to one, single update. That means you have to delay smaller filter-rule updates until you deliver larger app-based updates. Or, you have to force a restart of the app to apply changes to filter lists, which is also not idea. Having a component-based system, where items can be updated and managed individually, is far better for everybody.


> private data like IP address of the user and browser fingerprint

Presumably it would send the same data whenever it checks for software updates too.

I can't think of a threat model where downloading updates and downloading ads are different in terms of user privacy (except, of course, that a malicious update can do far more harm).


How does it report the ad was viewed?


When the notification pops on screen, you are granted the rewards. If your OS is not able to show the notification (due to Focus Assist, DND, or some other reason) then you are not rewarded (a future update to Brave will let users control visibility from within the browser entirely).


I believe the question was about the mechanism by which you viewing the ad is reported to Brave, not how the ad display was implemented. (A weird interpretation of "reported".)


Our Rewards server distributes virtual tokens to the instance of Brave (which has an associated Payment ID). These tokens can be exchanged when ad notifications have been viewed, and when other ad-related events occur. The tokens aren't tied to any user information.


Not to nitpick, but you still didn’t answer the question. I don’t think anyone is confused over the concept “view ad -> get token”. The parent comment was wondering how you determine an ad was viewed.


Apologies, I thought I did address that. Here's a deep-link to the process of "confirmation," which means a user has viewed an ad: https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/wiki/Security-and-pri....


NP, I appreciate the follow up, thanks!


and how do they prevent users from faking ad views to accumulate bat?


The entire ad catalog is sent on your machine and some ad engine running inside the browser decides which ads to show you. It's funny seeing all these folks nitpicking at Brave but who are fine using Google or Microsoft every day


Do you have to download the chosen ad or is it already on your system? If you selectively downloaded ads, your ip address could give you away and you get a floc like situation


The ad catalog for your region is downloaded; it comes with click-through URLs, titles, body text, and some other information. There is no connection made beyond this to retrieve any other ad-related data. You can see what your own regional catalog contains by visiting https://sampson.codes/brave/ads/my_region/.


Thanks for clarifying!


I don't really care about brave either way, it's just dubious that the ads are somehow untrackable when you apparently get credit for seeing them some how?


We use zero-knowledge proofs and blinded tokens to track when an ad has been viewed by a user. But there is no user data involved here. The magic of cryptography is that you can prove you viewed the ad without telling us anything about you


Do you have any reading material about how you achieved this?

I can't really see how zero-knowledge proofs could solve this. There is no cryptographic way to prove that software executing on a clients machine triggered a notification. Especially on Linux where an open source notification manager could be modified to reject it.


Assuming you have gone through this [0] and it did(n't) click for you.

I'm equally not so convinced on this anonymous ad system they claim to have built. The browser claims to generate an adID based on your history but encrypt this info to the advertiser. Maybe someone who has actually interacted with the ad platform can provide more insight on what information is exposed.

Zero-knowledge advertising sounds practically like an oxymoron to me, but hey they claim to have made it work.

[0] https://brave.com/themis/


Certainly! Check out the resource detailing our Ad Confirmation process at https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/wiki/Security-and-pri... (it's a little old, but should be helpful). We leverage the Privacy Pass approach too, so reading https://www.petsymposium.org/2018/files/papers/issue3/popets... will also help understand our process. I hope this helps!


Perhaps I am misunderstanding what you sent, but isn't this just a way for the user to report that they viewed an add, not prove that they viewed it?


The cryptographic proofs are baked-into the confirmation and reporting process.

A sufficiently-capable attacker could conceivably trick the browser into thinking a native OS ad-notification was displayed, we do rely on the OS to inform us at this point (though preview versions of Brave do not have this dependency), but we have considered this as well.

The main threat here would be an attacker who attempts to automate the confirmation process, and potentially duplicate it across various VMs or OS instances. Fortunately, we've considered this too. For reasons I hope are obvious, I can't go into greater detail here.


Ah, I hadn't noticed you declaring your financial interest before and was wondering if you were a Brave employee.


You misunderstand. The sensitive data here is your browsing history (and all that it infers). Brave never sees that.

But yes, when you view an ad, that gets recorded somewhere (so that you can get rewards, and the advertiser can be billed).

You decide if you’re comfortable with this or not. The feature is easily turned on or off.


The Epic Privacy Browser Team is integrating uBlock into Epic in their next update and didn't find a significant degradation in performance from any Chrome limitations, nor a significant performance improvement in Brave's implementation.

Epic's mobile browsers were built on Brave/Chromium, but now that Brave has endpoint and other dependencies as mentioned it doesn't explain, it isn't possible to continue to build on them or even test them since Brave features don't work in outsider builds.


> HTML filtering is the ability to filter the response body of HTML documents before it is parsed by the browser.

> For example, this allows the removal of specific tags in HTML documents before they are parsed and executed by the browser, something not possible in a reliable manner in other browsers. This feature requires the webRequest.filterResponseData() API, currently only available in Firefox.

https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/uBlock-Origin-works-b... I'm going to trust Gorhill on this one. If a significant feature _does not exist_ in Epic then the only way that it couldn't hurt performance is if it was somehow useless. I suspect the Epic people (accidentally?) didn't measure that aspect.


"…now that Brave has endpoint and other dependencies as mentioned it doesn't explain…"

What unexplained endpoints/dependencies does Brave have? I believe I demonstrated otherwise (with links to external resources) here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27552530.


Why not just use Ungoogled-Chromium?


I tried this a year ago. Had some trouble first downloading this (afaik the project only provided sources, not binaries, so you had to trust some random guy's website to download the .exe), then it randomly crashed within 5 minutes every time I launched it, then I deleted it.


I switched because Google removed the ability to log in and sync settings, history, password, etc. (I realize that in this case I'm directly giving Google my data) but it was a super nice feature.

Brave's Sync v2 works decently well.


It doesn't seem to include an automatic updater.


Simply use a package manager.


[insert link to infamous HN Dropbox comment here]


This is the second reference to that in this thread. It's getting pretty old and I don't even think it's relevant


Yeah just download it over FTP bro!


Use GNU GUIX to manage it. It's been packaged for quite a while now


Third party untrusted binaries last I checked


You can build it yourself, but even with a midrange desktop it'll take you at least an hour to build. A laptop would probably take 2-3 at least.


Are you going to read the source to confirm nothing malicious was added?


There's around 4.9k lines of python code and 15.9k lines of patches. That doesn't seem that hard to scrutinize. From a threat model point of view you should be more worried about supply chain attacks from all the third party programs/libraries you have installed on your computer.


You can pull trusted binaries from OpenBuildService now.


I am curious why doesn’t Brave block Google ads on its standard (default) ad-blocker settings?


Does integrating it into the browser have any performance benefits over using an extension?


Brave ad blocker is written in Rust and browser extensions in JavaScript, so it should be faster


Not only faster, but we aren't beholden to the APIs offered by Google and others. Manifest v3 threatened the existence of popular content-blockers like uBlock Origin. Since we are the browser, we aren't so limited. A recent example of how we are able to do more was with the introduction of CNAME blocking, which allowed us to identify when a third-party tracker had managed to be requested from a first-party URL: https://brave.com/privacy-updates-6/.


Hey, thanks. One of my favorite computers is a Surface 3 running a Cherry Trail CPU. I tried Brave out and it's noticeably snappier on the old hardware than Firefox or Chrome.


uBlock Origin is using Web Assembly now for certain critical code. Anyway performance differences between the two have always been negligible and often fluctuating.




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