Monday, November 22, 2021 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Chromium’s URL Blocklist Can Now Prevent Viewing Page Source

Thomas Claburn:

Future Chromium-based browsers under administrative control will be able to prevent users from viewing webpage source code for specific URLs, a capability that remained unavailable to enterprise customers for the past three years until a bug fix landed earlier this week.

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Evidently, tech savvy students were viewing the source code of web-based tests to determine the answers.

Nick Heer:

The rationale for this bug seems pretty weak. If exam software is revealing answers in the page source, it should be rewritten. In this case, it was Google Forms, which makes this bug fix from Google’s Chromium project look especially hinky.

[…]

If the web were still primarily a venue for document viewing, as I naïvely believe it ought to be, I would see this through a more debilitating lens. But the web is basically an operating system and viewing the source tells you little these days. I think that is a bigger regression, but it is only tangentially related to this bug.

2 Comments

"Evidently, tech savvy students were viewing the source code of web-based tests to determine the answers."

That's not a problem that can be solved by preventing people from viewing the page source.

"viewing the source tells you little these days"

Presumably, this also disables the Inspector, and all other dev tools, which tell you everything.

Alexander Browne

@Plume: Managed Chrome admins (i.e for school- or business-issued devices) have been able to disable the dev tools for some time. This change makes blocking view source work the same as that.

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