Google begins rolling out encrypted searches

Some of our members have noticed that the Google Chrome browser has begun using https://encrypted.google.com as default in the United States, instead of the unencrypted http://www.google.com site.

While this might not affect everyone using Chrome, the service can be used by navigating to the above web address by anyone residing in other countries and it doesn't appear to be browser dependent.

Google notes that only Google web search is available over SSL, other search products like Google Images and Google Maps are not currently available over SSL. When you're searching over SSL, these properties may not appear in the left panel.

With Google search over SSL, you can have an end-to-end encrypted search solution between your computer and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party. This provides you with a more secure and private search experience.

Google has recently come under fire for its sketchy handling of third party data, with a Consumer Watchdog accusing the company of using Google Street View cars for the collection of emails, passwords, web traffic and other potentially revealing personal information. In any case, this move by the search giant will certainly be welcomed by concerned groups.

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43 Comments

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Fabulous! It effectively renders the filtering system of Iran useless for blocking access to certain search results.

Thumbs UP Google!

I changed my homepage. Now only one corp knows what I am searching and they have the slogan "Don't be evil". One home page change and i lost a few snooping govs and isp.

Xerax said,
Maybe to stop MS from "stealing" results.

I was just logging in to post, "What a coincidence, the announcement of Bing stealing search queries from Google, then this shows up."

I think it's more likely that the mudslinging against Bing and this rollout were simply timed by Google. (1) Point out some apparent bad thing about Microsoft and quickly (2) make some announcement that's seemingly connected to it.

It's the same pattern with the alledged IE6 hacking incident and subsequent pullout from China.

Maybe I'm making too much from this but I am starting to wonder...

DonC said,
I think it's more likely that the mudslinging against Bing and this rollout were simply timed by Google. (1) Point out some apparent bad thing about Microsoft and quickly (2) make some announcement that's seemingly connected to it.

It's the same pattern with the alledged IE6 hacking incident and subsequent pullout from China.

Maybe I'm making too much from this but I am starting to wonder...

Yeah, makes sense to me. What happened to Do no evil, Google? =/

Waiting to see how many companies block encrypted Google for their employees as it prevents IT departments from snooping on what's being searched.
And Educational institutions etc.
Basically anyone ELSE who is paying for YOUR internet.

outspoken said,
Waiting to see how many companies block encrypted Google for their employees as it prevents IT departments from snooping on what's being searched.
And Educational institutions etc.
Basically anyone ELSE who is paying for YOUR internet.

i doubt they would block it. IT departments would just force unencrypted search

jwoodfin09 said,

i doubt they would block it. IT departments would just force unencrypted search

That's what I meant. They would block, <b>encrypted</b> Google search.

outspoken said,
Waiting to see how many companies block encrypted Google for their employees as it prevents IT departments from snooping on what's being searched.
And Educational institutions etc.
Basically anyone ELSE who is paying for YOUR internet.

How would this prevent IT departments from 'snooping on' searches? It makes absolutely no difference. Either way the request is logged.

-Alex- said,

How would this prevent IT departments from 'snooping on' searches? It makes absolutely no difference. Either way the request is logged.
But would the _content_ be logged?

Kirkburn said,
But would the _content_ be logged?

Pretty much all web filtering solutions intercept https traffic, https really makes very little difference if someone is sitting on the line between you and the destination site.

Whether you use encrypted or not, google still ends up collecting all your search data. I think that is more of a privacy concern then third parties snooping in on the connection.

giantpotato said,
Whether you use encrypted or not, google still ends up collecting all your search data. I think that is more of a privacy concern then third parties snooping in on the connection.

+1

Neobond said,
And the other (major) search engines don't?

I think it's more along the lines of people thinking this feature keeps your searches private from even Google which it does not. Fair enough point when most people don't read into the feature details and see the headline. That's why I think it's a rather hollow feature from Google. More PR than a worthy feature.

As for your point, they do collect search data as well but to different degrees and different polices are applied.

OceanMotion said,

I think it's more along the lines of people thinking this feature keeps your searches private from even Google which it does not. Fair enough point when most people don't read into the feature details and see the headline. That's why I think it's a rather hollow feature from Google. More PR than a worthy feature.

As for your point, they do collect search data as well but to different degrees and different polices are applied.

So then what is the real benefit of using these SSL searches?

OceanMotion said,

I think it's more along the lines of people thinking this feature keeps your searches private from even Google which it does not. Fair enough point when most people don't read into the feature details and see the headline. That's why I think it's a rather hollow feature from Google. More PR than a worthy feature.

As for your point, they do collect search data as well but to different degrees and different polices are applied.


Of course they collect usage data - all big web sites do.

If people don't understand what https connections are, then that's their problem.

I think it's more to do with potential Google competitors being able to see Google traffic on the mainstream pipes. I don't think it has anything to do with personal privacy at all.

este said,
So then what is the real benefit of using these SSL searches?
There is ZERO benefit to any Google search user.

There is 100% PR benefit to Google.

Choto Cheeta said,
I think this move is to counter the issue of Bing stealing Google Search results ?????

Bing steals the results from user's computers, not from in-between on the web.
They do it via a)Bing Toolbar and b) IE Suggested Sites.
Both of which get the de-crypted part of the results..

outspoken said,

Bing steals the results from user's computers, not from in-between on the web.
They do it via a)Bing Toolbar and b) IE Suggested Sites.
Both of which get the de-crypted part of the results..

It doesn't steal results period. It gathers anonymous data on what links a user clicks on, it is also opt-in. You can't really call it stealing. Google is just trying to start drama.

Is it just me or is this a bit of a hollow gesture? Email, fair do but this, seems rather pointless in the big scheme of things. Nice to have the option of course.

OceanMotion said,
Is it just me or is this a bit of a hollow gesture? Email, fair do but this, seems rather pointless in the big scheme of things. Nice to have the option of course.
You are right. This is absolutely pointless. Who the **** needs private search? Google is the only party that wants to store your keywords and **** you search about. Also, they give you advertisements based on those keywords. And they get it each time you use Google whether encrypted or unencrypted.

This is not new I've been using this for almost 2 months now.. Only works for regular searches so far...

Yeah, the point of the article was that Chrome browsers are being redirected to it now, I knew it existed a couple of months a go.

Neobond said,
Yeah, the point of the article was that Chrome browsers are being redirected to it now, I knew it existed a couple of months a go.
oh sorry, I missed that. I dont use Chrome as well so..

I am from India and I was also getting Google SSL as default since a few days while using Chrome. Am getting the usual unencrypted page in Opera.

nithinr6 said,
I am from India and I was also getting Google SSL as default since a few days while using Chrome. Am getting the usual unencrypted page in Opera.

Then use Chrome? who uses Opera?

Faisal Islam said,

Then use Chrome? who uses Opera?


I use IE, FF and opera.
I mostly use opera on my phone but use it sometimes on my comp as it sync what I have viewed on my phone.