Google Encrypts Web Searches To Fight Spying, Censorship

Search giant Google is expanding the encryption of searches that are placed on its search engine in light of last year's revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) was spying on U.S. citizens, according to published reports.

By encrypting the traffic, it will be more difficult for an agency like the NSA to see what people are looking up. When the rollout of encryption begins -- a timeline has not yet been released -- Google will be looking at countries like China first, since those governments actively censor search results. The Washington Post is reporting that Google has already started encrypting searches in China.

Google's decision to encrypt searches falls right in line with the thinking of whistleblower Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor responsible for stealing secret agency documents, who has continued to suggest that encryption would go along way toward safeguarding privacy.

Following the release of those documents in 2013, GoogleEUs name was tarnished as the company was accused of helping the government agency. Since then, it has tried to salvage its reputation by publicly railing against the NSA and announcing that encryption is one of the ways that it will protect user data.

Fighting Government Censorship

The so-called Great Firewall that has been constructed in China is possibly one of the most complex Internet censorship systems in the world. Despite the massive growth in ChinaEUs economy and its vital relationships with countries in the West, Chinese citizens are still not allowed to access content that the government deems harmful.

Blocking Google altogether is still an option for the Chinese government if it chooses to fight back against the new search encryption. Until then however, Google should be able to help citizens within the country look for things that would normally be blocked. And because searches like EUDalai LamaEU are not...

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