SSL Protected Google Search Moved to a New Domain
Article by George Norman
On 05 Jul 2010
The SSL protected Google search engine has been moved from https://www.google.com to https://encrypted.google.com, the company recently announced. Back in May, Mountain View-based search engine giant announced the launch of a Beta version of an SSL protected, encrypted web search engine. Browsing the web on an SSL protected connection makes things a lot better from a security point of view because the data you send over the web is encrypted. If the data is intercepted by a third party, it cannot be easily accessed.

All things went well until June, when Google announced that it would move the encrypted search from https://www.google.com to a new domain. That new domain is https://encrypted.google.com.

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Why did Google do this? As it turned out, students used the encrypted Google search engine to bypass content filters at their schools. The encrypted search allowed these students to access material that was unsuited for their age – mainly adult content.

The schools themselves could have taken measures to prevent students from accessing adult content, but they wouldn’t have been efficient. For example schools could have used the SafeSearch lock, which basically locks Google search in SafeSearch mode. But doing so would be impractical, considering how many computers some institutions have. The schools could have blocked encrypted search – but this would block access to Gmail for example, which uses HTTPS as default since January. The safest bet is to move SSL search to a new domain.

"We moved encrypted search from https://www.google.com to https://encrypted.google.com. The site functions in the same way. However, if school network administrators decide to block encrypted searches on https://encrypted.google.com, the blocking will no longer affect Google authenticated services like Google Apps for Education. We are continuing to explore longer-term options such that we could return encrypted search to https://www.google.com without introducing issues with school content filters," President of Google Enterprise, Dave Girouard commented.



Tags: Google, SSL, Encryption, Google search
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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