Software

AdBlock replaced blocked ads with ads for Amnesty International

You should control your computer … except when we feel political says AdBlock CEO

AdBlock has replaced blocked ads with ads it wants you to see.

The advertising-blocking company on Saturday continued to block ads but replaced them with “banners linked to articles written for Amnesty International by prominent privacy and free speech advocates like Edward Snowden, Ai Wei Wei, and others, instead of the peaceful, blank spaces you’re accustomed to not noticing.”

The Amnesty ads protest censorship and “click through to content from people who governments have tried to silence.”

Amnesty's not keen on government control of the Internet because secretary-general Salil Shetty says “Some states are engaged in Orwellian levels of surveillance, particularly targeting the lives and work of the people who defend our human rights – lawyers, journalists and peaceful activists.”

“Free speech online is under serious threat as governments seek ever greater powers - through new laws and more intrusive technologies - to control the internet. When they are not shutting down websites and arresting bloggers, they are carrying out mass surveillance of our internet use. That is not the internet we want.”

AdBlock CEO Gabriel Cubbage wrote in support of Amnesty's campaign, and added the following:

But regardless of how Web content gets paid for, no one except you has the right to control what shows up on your screen, or who has access to the contents of your hard drive. Not the websites, not the advertisers, not the ad blockers. And not your government, either.

Note the “not the ad blockers” in the statement above, as it appears to come with a qualifier that the ad blockers can, from time to time, grant themselves the right to control your screen if they think a campaign is worthy of the exemption. ®

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