With their reputations on the line after the revelations of NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden, U.S.-based service and content providers have begun toughening their security to meet allegations that they are in cahoots with the American electronic spy agency.
Google’s actions including encrypting user searches, rolling out the protection in countries around the world. Canadians already have the capability – when you go to Google.ca, the address starts with HTTPS.
Now comes word from the Washington Post that Google is extending encryption to China. That raises the possibility that the so-called Great Firewall of China, which filters searches done within the country, could be defeated by Google users.
As the article notes, authoritarian nations that sensor the Internet could still block all Google search services. But for them daily filtering of searches for unwanted topics or names will be very difficult.
The question is whether there is a technological counter- move available – and given how cunning and imaginative hackers are, the odds seem to be on the government’s side.
But encrypting searches will be a welcome move wherever it is added, and the more search engines that adopt it the better.