GoogleNet: All your Internet are belong to us

John Paczkowski and Andrew Orlowski speculate about Google’s supposed Wifi plans, with some interestinf developments today.

Update again: Seems I didn’t need to do some stuff. Try this. Wired have a good piece too.

Update: Following Bernard’s tip I downloaded Google’s new Secure Access program, (that they ‘took off’ their site today) which connected on my wired connection to vpn.google.com. It is a small and curious little program, that directed me to the google.com page rather than google.ie. It also showed an ad for Gmail that I haven’t seen on a Google page before, but maybe that’s only meant for US users.

The official Google link to the software is here.

I share concerns expressed by other bloggers, as Bernard points out. Act of Dog notes:

Well, by using Google as a VPN, every single little bit of data that passes from me to the Internet and back is going through Google’s servers. Some speculate that Google is using this data to learn even more about people’s browsing habits. Still, I’d rather take the miniscule risk with Google VPN than the bigger risk of sending bits over the wire unprotected.

Then again I guess it’s never really safe using an openWifi access point, you don’t really know who is looking at the logs. Which is somewhat similar to concerns expressed by Orlowski in the article linked below:

Orlowski:

Five months after announcing its first Google-branded hot spots, covering San Francisco’s Union Square and main public library, Google is enhancing the service. The ad giant briefly made a beta of a proxy server, Google Secure Access, available for limited download today before withdrawing the link.

Which leaves us in little doubt that Google deadly serious about network infrastructure, and is thinking not only beyond search but even beyond the web, too.

And Paczkowski:

The company is said to be reviewing bids for the development of a national DWDM fiber network and while it’s conceivable that it intends to use that network to cost-effectively manage its ever-growing traffic loads, vendors who’ve reviewed Google’s demands say its far more likely that the company is looking to become a competitive communications network provider. Now comes news that the search juggernaut is preparing to roll out a WiFi network along with a Virtual Private Network client to access it. According to documents prematurely posted to Google’s Web site – an FAQ and privacy policy – the service is a beta available only at certain locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether the company plans to further extend the service remains to be seen. Certainly, it’s a daunting task. “Becoming a service provider would be quite a stretch for Google, but considering the billions of dollars Google could throw at the problem it could become a reality,” Ovum analyst Roger Entner wrote a few months back when rumors of such a service first began to circulate. “Depending on how Google can adapt to these challenging areas and how committed it is to the space, it could become a home run or could break the bank.” Still, a move into the communications space would be in keeping with Google’s mission to promote universal access to the Internet for users. And it would do much to keep Google at the center of our Internet experience and in prime position to do what it does best: Serve us targeted advertising, in this case geographically targeted advertising.

5 thoughts on “GoogleNet: All your Internet are belong to us”

Comments are closed.