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