Not so long ago, Google reversed its “Real Names Policy” on Google+ (and, by extension, every other freakin’ Google service). Too little, too late, in my opinion; G+’s brand is now so incredibly tarnished after years of mismanagement, it’s hard to see it ever gaining traction in the way that, for one brief moment circa 2011, it looked like it might (disclaimer: I was a hella Google fangirl back in those days; I even loved Wave!). Not to mention Google’s announcement of the change was… decidedly lacking. So Skud wrote them a better one.
It’s really hard to decide who to root for here…
Obviously, now that [Google is] my ISP, they will be able to garner more information about my house. Basically they now have visibility into anything we do online that’s not an encrypted transaction, such as the movies we stream from Netflix, the products we browse on Amazon, what songs we stream over Rdio, every website we visit, and who knows what else. It sounds creepy when you put it like that, but it’s also no different than any other ISP relationship I’ve had (AOL, Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T). It’s just that none of the others were in to Big Data as much as Google is.
–Shawn Blanc trusts Google as his ISP… would you?
I mean, don’t get me wrong; I’d love love me some FttP. But I’m not sure if it being owned by Google of all companies would be quite the price I’d be willing to pay…
Incidentally, Blanc is also wrong when he states that
our most sensitive information is still safe because it’s transferred over encrypted connections. Here’s the thing about “encrypted connections”; they’re extremely easy to break if you happen to be inline between the two encrypted points. I’ve mentioned this before, but decrypting, inspecting, and then and re-encrypting SSL traffic on its way to the user is pretty de rigueur in the corporate world. ISPs could, if they so wanted, do this to their customers, too. Doing it invisibly is a little trickier, but doing it in such a way as to be invisible to Joe Average User is extremely easy, given how no one understands SSL anyway.
So… yeah. Do you still trust Google as your ISP?
So those of you who keep up with computer news may know that Apple is beefing up search in the next release of OS X,
Weed . If anyone still thinks this isn’t because the latest round of the Computer Wars are going to be between Apple and Google, remember that Apple has announced Bing as its default search provider for this new service.
It’s true I use Google (or, well, DuckDuckGo nowadays) for a lot of simple, single answer questions. Things like “1201/3012”, or “USD 9.99 in AUD”, or “current time in UTC”. Because I always have a browser open somewhere, and it’s generally easier than launching some kind of dedicated app. Being able to type these same questions into Spotlight and get the same instant answers?
Yes please. Do want.