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WebRTC is designed for real-time communication, with a direct audio and video connection between user endpoints. I have encountered use of WebRTC on web sites where there is no obvious application; there is no real-time audio or video communication taking place. The only possible audio or video on the web page is present in advertisements, and this should be static content.

What is the application of WebRTC in this context? Is it for surveillance purposes?

With only a single CNN tab open in chromium on OpenSUSE 42.2, the KDE battery and brightness widget can display the following message: /usr/lib64/chromium/chromium is currently suppressing power management: WebRTC has active peer connections. Closing the tab removes the message, as expected. However, the behavior to reproduce this message is not consistent; it is not sufficient to have CNN open. I can reproduce this message by browsing around the site for some minutes (~5), but the behavior is nondeterministic.

From chrome://webrtc-internals:

http://www.bbc.com/ [27453-1]
http://www.bbc.com/ [27453-2]
http://www.bbc.com/, { iceServers: [], iceTransportPolicy: all, bundlePolicy: balanced, rtcpMuxPolicy: requireiceCandidatePoolSize: 0 },

Stats Tables
googLibjingleSession_3474869089593256218 (googLibjingleSession)
Statistics googLibjingleSession_3474869089593256218
timestamp   6/9/2017, 10:39:36 AM
googInitiator   false
  • An example website would help us to answer you overly broad question. – DavidPostill Feb 1 '17 at 17:55
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Web-sites as usual use new technologies to show their spam or ad content - most likely that's it. If you use such web-site for simply reading and watching news then definitely it's their misuse of technology.

To view information about what specifically the web-site is doing you should navigate to chrome://webrtc-internals/ page in your Chromium browser. Then using AdBlock plugin you can add the offending URL (or craft a URL using some pattern) and you will no longer have a problem with Chrome suppressing power management.

Alternatively you may be simply running into the known issue #612294.

0

WebRTC is not just limited to real-time audio and video communication. It can also be used for data transfers and any kind of peer-to-peer communication. Here's some information on different verticals in WebRTC, for reference.

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