Google has reportedly removed 'Ahoy' which is an anti-censorship extension from its Chrome web-store. It appears that with this decision the company is going against its own motto of 'Don't be Evil'. The 'Ahoy' anti-censorship extension is open-source software and its source code is available on GitHub.
The extension was developed by a Portuguese anti-censorship group, Bytes' Revolution (Revolução dos Bytes). The 'Ahoy' extension helps to bypass blocked websites with the help of group's own proxies. This allows a user to navigate freely on an uncensored internet platform.
Henrique Mouta, from the Portugal-based anti-censorship group, had claimed in an interview to TorrentFreak that Ahoy had approximately 185,000 users on Chrome. This figure is prior to the extension's takedown by Google. He said that "Google decided to remove us from Chrome's Web Store without any justification."
It is being reported that the major reason for the removal of this extension could be the falling footfall of the users on the extension with each passing day. As per Mouta, the extension was recording an average of around 500 installations per day. However, the extension is now actually loosing around 500 active users on a daily basis which was quite disappointing. Mouta also added that "Right now, we have 174k active users on Chrome, quickly dropping ... I can tell you that we've noticed a web traffic drop on our API of about ~25."
The major cause of disappointment for the team here is the Google's silence on the matter. According to the group, Google is unwilling to even reply to their queries as to why the tech giant has removed the extension from its store. Also, there is no response from Google as to how they can fix the extension so that it complies with the company's rules and regulations.
"The source code is 100% open source, so it's easy to see that we're not doing anything sketchy, we really care about our users' privacy and security. If we're doing something wrong, we don't know what."
Notably, the 'Ahoy' extension is also available on Firefox. The extension can be downloaded from Mozilla's Firefox add-on repository without any difficulties. Now, the developers have introduced a new site from where the users can download the extension manually on Chrome.