Free, a French ISP, is now blocking ads by default

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Crits
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Free, a French ISP, is now blocking ads by default

Post by Crits » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:56 pm

Interesting...
English article: http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/01 ... re-update/
Best French articles can be found on Clubic, LesNumériques.com or PCImpact.

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Long story short:
Free is a French ISP with more than 5 millions of users, also known as "le trublion d'Internet" ("the Internet troublemaker") because of its aggressive pricing strategies that every other French ISPs have been forced to follow over the years.

An update of the Free router firmware of today happens to enable ad-blocking by default for all its users, through DNS filtering - it seems that Free is using its own filter list. As always, critics are being raised about this feature (see #AdGate and #FreeAdGate on Twitter), also because there isn't any support for the user to manually whitelist websites.

It's apparently also a way to put some pressure on Google, in order to solve their issues concerning the bandwith restraint from YouTube on Free's network.

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Any attempt to shake things up cannot but be applauded, especially if it belongs to the ad-blocking field, but it seems to me that this decision has been taken point blank, this being released live even if it's still labeled as a beta and lacks a lot of features. Enabling it by default doesn't quite help the users to behave and think in a responsible way about advertising (same goes for tracking when Microsoft enabled DNT by default in IE).
What's more, Free users seem to be mainly playing the role of pawns here as this ad-blocking feature eventually boils down to the conflict between Google and Free. Nothing says that a future update may not change that, by making this feature not enabled by default for new users.

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Any thoughts about this?

On a side note: funnily enough, Xaviel Niel, the founder, CEO and iconic character of Free, recently investing in an ad-serving company (AdYouLike) via its venture capital firm, Kima Ventures :?

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Post by MonztA » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:40 am

Interesting stuff. I do not believe this will stay default in the future though.

Do you know if ISP in France are required by law to have 'net-neutrality'?

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Post by Crits » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:25 am

MonztA wrote:Do you know if ISP in France are required by law to have 'net-neutrality'?
It's what is being discussed right now. Free claims it's legal but that would kinda set a legal precedent in that field.
The government will soon meet Free and different web publishers to find a agreement.

http://www.rudebaguette.com/2013/01/04/free-adgate/ is interesting too


Btw, Google analytics is also blocked.
Last edited by Crits on Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by MonztA » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:34 am

Crits wrote:Btw, Google analytics is also blocked.
Hello false positives! :-)

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Post by simn » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:25 pm

Yeah I saw this story and posted about a device called Adtrap being developed which does the same

This is more significant for the tablet/phone over wifi because these offer much less user control of what comes in and more importantly what goes out of your device

Way to go..

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Post by Crits » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:42 pm


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Post by Spacefish » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:11 pm

why not :) thats somehow cool, if you can disable it easily and if its local in you own router :)
But DNS blocking won´t get you that fine granularity of adb :)

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