The controversial Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), also dubbed the DRM for the web, will cease to be optional in the next version of Chrome.
The latest version of Chrome and all Chrome related products (for example, Chromium), has removed the option to disable plug-ins via the usual chrome://plugins page. This means that the Widevine Content Decryption Module, Chrome's implementation of EME, can no longer be disabled.
The Widevine plug-in already comes pre-installed with every copy of Chrome, and now, users will have no option but to have it activated.
The DRM plug-in has been used for a variety of browser based video distribution services, including Netflix, and this isn't the first time that the controversial plug-in has made the headlines. In June last year, security researchers found a bug in the Widevine implementation, one that has existed for the better of five years, that allowed hackers to gain download access to previously thought protected videos.
The flaw remained undiscovered because existing copyright laws make it illegal to tamper with DRM, thus leaving researchers studying security flaws open to lawsuits and even criminal prosecution.