Google to encrypt searches globally in reaction to Edward Snowden revelations
New privacy standards will make government snooping more difficult - but not impossible
Google says that they have begun encrypting users’ searches on a global scale as part of a broader effort to frustrate surveillance by governments and hackers.
The move will be particularly effective in countries where censorship is enforced on a national level. In China for examples citizens will be able to search for sensitive search terms such as “Tiananmen Square” without the authorities being automatically alerted.
However, Google holds only 5 per cent of the search market in China, with most users choosing to use the country’s Baidu search engine. Other Western companies such as Microsoft censor their results in accordance with the wishes of the Chinese government.
Countries also have the option of blocking Google altogether, but in nations where the search giant is still available it will be a boon to citizens. Google has plans to roll out the encryption globally but the schedule is not yet public.
Privacy advocates have long criticized Google for failing to routinely encrypt its searches, with Charlie Smith of censorship watchdog GreatFire writing in the Guardian last November that the company could “end online censorship in China, not in ten years, but in just 10 days.”
Despite these changes though Google’s routine monitoring of users’ searches and web history for targeted advertising will still remain an issue for users’ concerned with their privacy online.
A Google spokesperson told the Washington Post that the new encryption standards had been introduced in a reaction to the revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden as to the pervasive nature of government surveillance.
“The revelations of this past summer underscored our need to strengthen our networks. Among the many improvements we’ve made in recent months is to encrypt Google Search by default around the world,” said spokeswoman Niki Christoff in an e-mailed statement.
“This builds on our work over the past few years to increase the number of our services that are encrypted by default and encourage the industry to adopt stronger security standards. ”
Life & Style blogs
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
The secret to a great sex life revealed: Two cups of coffee a day
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Teenager tries to buy elderly homeless man breakfast at McDonald's but is told homeless people cannot be served under 'new policy'
Masturbation: the health benefits
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
- 1 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 2 Art Garfunkel: Paul Simon is a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...