Saturday, May 07, 2005

Google Web Accelerator Part II: Worries and Concerns

Since the introduction of this service two days ago there have been a lot of feedback mostly negative in the form of complaints concerning bugs and privacy issues, one user reported that when visiting his discussion group page he saw the name of another group member and he was identified as that member, apparently this is due to a bug in relating cookies to IP addresses, Google recognized the issue and they’re working on a fix.

Also this service sparked a lot of debates and complaints about privacy issues and what is allowed to be used in the sake of accelerating the internet, as Google not only will have info about the user similar to his ISP but also its servers will contain some of the data that normally stays on the user’s machine and I mean here Caches and Cookies.
No one denies that Web history, Caches and Cookies are one of the most feared things among Internet surfers, they represent a log of every user’s action in the internet and for that reason there are more than a dozen of programs that is designed to completely delete them and remove any trace of them.

But now they’re being moved to Google’s servers, and although they’re protected and secured according to Google representative, no one can guarantee that they will always stay this way, and not be exploited later by some script or hack.

In another word this service is moving another function that browsers usually handle to servers on the internet, and IMHO it’s just a step in transforming everything to the net.
I see the future as browsing the net through online browser (or interface) that does everything on distant servers (Google’s maybe?); and your browser will be a mere plug-in in your computer, more on that in Part III.

Another thing noted by Benjamin Adam, is that when he mistyped the name of his blog he got a Google branded Error page instead of the usual page that one gets from IE or Firefox, not only that but that page suggested doing a Google search to clear up the problem, Well… it seems like Google has outdone Microsoft in its own game as in IE you still get the same old error Page you always have.

You tell me it’s no big deal; I agree in this particular case, but in the general sense this is a taste of what Google can do with this kind of power and control over one’s connection, maybe someday it’ll act as a proxy, blocking access to certain sites or giving the advantage of speed to certain websites and services, or maybe not. But this kind of power sounds scary.

The next post will be the last episode (and the most exciting one) in the Google Web Accelerator series, and it will be about conspiracy theory and the hidden objectives behind Google moves, till then.

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Blogger Hasan Bazerbashi said...

Hey there ;)

Nice to see people blogging from Syria :) especially on Technology stuff.

Nice blog you have there man ;)

About this new Service from Google, I hope that we will be able to use this service .... maybe when ADSL gets cheaper after like 40 years here in Syria :P

Take Care.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Omar said...

I can't wait to read the last episode. Thanks Baher for keeping me updated on such issues :)

I think your prophecies maybe correct on Google's microsoftizization.. althought I will stay an optimist :|

7:24 PM  
Blogger Baher said...

Thanks hasan for the kind words, I'm a bit optimistic about cheaper ADSL.

Thanks Omar, 'm glad you liked my post, hopefully the last part will be the best, I'm saving all the exciting speculation for it.

8:30 PM  

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