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Ad blockers get slammed but malicious ads exist

An “unethical, immoral, mendacious coven of techie wannabes” – that is how Randall Rothenberg, president of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, describes ad-blocking companies, reports the Financial Times. “In a speech to his members, which include Google and Yahoo, Rothenberg described Adblock Plus, maker of the most popular software for blocking ads, as ‘an old-fashioned extortion racket, gussied [dressed] up in the flowery but false language of contemporary consumerism’. The barbed speech is the latest sign of anxiety in the media and marketing sectors over the rapid adoption by consumers of technologies to prevent advertising from appearing on web pages.” More than 200 million people worldwide use ad-blocking software, which is double the number two years ago, according to estimates by PageFair, the anti-blocking service, and Adobe, the software company. “Advertisers and media companies are angry that ad blocking groups want to take a cut of their business. Many have focused their ire on Eyeo, the company behind Adblock Plus, which accepts payment from companies including Google and Microsoft to allow some ads through its filters. German media groups including ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL have sued Eyeo, alleging that it is guilty of anti-competitive behaviour. However, they have failed to win in court, and Eyeo says its activities are entirely lawful.” See Meanwhile a news item in Ars Technica reports: “Mainstream websites, including those published by The New York Times, the BBC, MSN, and AOL, are falling victim to a new rash of malicious ads that attempt to surreptitiously install crypto-ransomware and other malware on the computers of unsuspecting visitors, security firms warned.”

  • Monday, 21 March 2016

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