Brave introduces feature to bypass 'harmful' Google AMP pages

Google claims that the purpose of AMP is to enhance website performance in order to create 'user-first experiences'.
Written by Julian Bingley, Contributor

Chromium-based browser maker Brave has introduced a new feature called De-AMP which allows users to bypass Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages framework (AMP) to allow them to instead visit websites directly.

Brave was scathing in its assessment of Google's AMP framework, claiming in a blog post released on Tuesday that the framework is "harmful to privacy" and "helps Google further monopolize and control the direction of the web". 

"An ethical web must be a user-first web, where users are in control of their browsing, and are aware of who they are communicating with. AMP (along with Google's upcoming, actual name still to come, 'AMP 2.0') is incompatible with a user-first Web. De-AMP adds to the long list of Brave features that put users first on the Web," Brave said in the post.

"Where possible, De-AMP will rewrite links and URLs to prevent users from visiting AMP pages altogether. And in cases where that is not possible, Brave will watch as pages are being fetched and redirect users away from AMP pages before the page is even rendered, preventing AMP/Google code from being loaded and executed."

Brave announced that the De-AMP feature is now available in its Nightly and Beta versions and will soon be enabled in the upcoming 1.38 Desktop and Android versions before being released on iOS.

Google claims on its website that the purpose of AMP is to enhance website performance in order to create "user-first experiences".

This is not the first time the privacy browser maker has gone after Google, with Brave previously accusing the search engine giant of breaching one of the EU General Data Protection Regulation's principles surrounding consent for data collection, whilst a coalition of 10 US states filed a lawsuit against Google in 2020 alleging the company used the AMP framework to throttle advertisements.

"Google's internal documents belie the public image of brainy Google engineers having fun at their sunny Mountain View campus while trying to make the world a better place. Rather, to cement its dominance across online display markets, Google has repeatedly and brazenly violated antitrust and consumer protection laws," the coalition said in its legal complaint [PDF] at the time.

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