Snowden claims it is ‘your duty’ to block ads

snowden 2Edward Snowden has waded into the debate about ad blocking software, insisting it is web users’ duty to protect themselves from potential malware attacks which avoid detection by running in ads using the likes of Flash and JavaScript.
In an interview with The Intercept, the former National Security Agency contractor recommends that Internet users should sign up for encrypted communication app Signal, and to encrypt the contents of hard drives.
He also believes a password manager should be used to create ‘unbreakable’ passwords, and two-factor authentication should be used whenever it is available.
Snowden said: “Everybody should be running adblock software, if only from a safety perspective. We’ve seen Internet providers like Comcast, AT&T, or whoever it is, insert their own ads into your plaintext http connections.
“As long as service providers are serving ads with active content that requires the use of JavaScript to display, that have some kind of active content like Flash embedded in it, anything that can be a vector for attack in your web browser – you should be actively trying to block these.
“Because if the service provider is not working to protect the sanctity of the relationship between reader and publisher, you have not just a right but a duty to take every effort to protect yourself in response.”
Snowden’s comments follow a report published by the IAB last week, which showed nearly one in five consumers have now downloaded ad blocking software.
The Ad Blocking Report, conducted online by YouGov, shows that 18% of people now use the software – up from 15% in June – although if this increases at its current rate it will reach 25% – a quarter of the population by next year.

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