Cloacked links (Google chat and perhaps elsewhere)

Various discussions related to Adblock Plus development

Cloacked links (Google chat and perhaps elsewhere)

Postby Exceter » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:07 pm

I use google chat a lot both personally and professionally and I really dislike how Google rewrites the URL's that I send to family and colleagues. It's really nosy of them to track what links we click. It shouldn't be any of their business and I consider it to be a violation of our privacy. Here's a concrete example. I sent myself a link to the AdBlockPlus website from one of my other google accounts and what you see below is how Google constructed the hyperlink.
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<a rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://adblockplus.org/&amp;sa=D&amp;source=hangouts&amp;ust=1551362671051000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEFySHczplshi84HQvqE_SctNnWrQ" class="Xx" tabindex="-1" dir="ltr" data-display="https://adblockplus.org/" data-sanitized="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://adblockplus.org/&amp;sa=D&amp;source=hangouts&amp;ust=1551362671051000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEFySHczplshi84HQvqE_SctNnWrQ">https://adblockplus.org/</a>


The original link has been rewritten from this: https://adblockplus.org/

To this: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://adblockplus.org/&sa=D&source=hangouts&ust=1551362671051000&usg=AFQjCNEFySHczplshi84HQvqE_SctNnWrQ

Interestingly, Google doesn't do this for their own URL's. For example, if I share a youtube video in Google chat the URL does not get rewritten as can be seen here:
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<a rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ujgMjMnLd8" class="Xx" tabindex="-1" dir="ltr" data-display="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ujgMjMnLd8" data-sanitized="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ujgMjMnLd8">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ujgMjMnLd8</a>


My proposal: When the hyperlink text is a url and the hyperlink text does not match the href attribute of the hyperlink then the href attribute of the hyperlink should be replaced with the hyperlink text. I'm willing to help develop this feature if there's any interest in it.
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Re: Cloacked links (Google chat and perhaps elsewhere)

Postby Exceter » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:17 pm

They do the same thing, even if the URL appears in the middle of a sentence so my proposed detection method would still work unless they started putting additional text within the hyperlink label:
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<span id=":15b.co" class="tL8wMe EMoHub" style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr">This is <a rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://adblockplus.org/&amp;sa=D&amp;source=hangouts&amp;ust=1551363338597000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHFS4o4QDRDwWberpX5sANoALUvKw" class="Xx" tabindex="-1" dir="ltr" data-display="https://adblockplus.org/" data-sanitized="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://adblockplus.org/&amp;sa=D&amp;source=hangouts&amp;ust=1551363338597000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHFS4o4QDRDwWberpX5sANoALUvKw">https://adblockplus.org/</a> a test</span>
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Re: Cloacked links (Google chat and perhaps elsewhere)

Postby Exceter » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:50 pm

That's a great extension! Thanks! However, I would still prefer that this feature were part of AdBlock Plus. Is there a reason why it isn't?
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Re: Cloacked links (Google chat and perhaps elsewhere)

Postby mapx » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:58 pm

maybe it seems to be an easy task but in the end this code (or similar) should be integrated in adblocker (which has more general goals)
https://github.com/Rob--W/dont-track-me ... tscript.js
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