Last year shocking revelations were made when top secret documents were leaked by Edward Snowden. The National Security Agency’s electronic spying programs came into the spotlight, this caused trouble for major internet companies, some of which were even named in those leaked documents. Since then most companies have publicly stated their opposition to state backed spying, Google is one of them. The company says those revelations underscored the need to strengthen its networks, which is why it will be actively encrypting Google Search by default around the globe.
It started encrypting Google Search in China since February, presenting a bold challenge to the country’s Great Firewall. China is believed to have the world’s toughest internet censorship laws, its Great Firewall allows the country to monitor and keep out content not in line with its point of view. Google’s move to encrypt searches aims to reduce threat of surveillance by spy and law enforcement agencies, while making it easier for users in those country to access the information they want to.
Niki Christoff, a spokeswoman for Google, says that the move to encrypt Google searches builds up on the company’s work to increase number of its services that are encrypted by default and “encourage the industry to adopt stronger security standards.” For countries that censor the internet at a national level, alternative option would be to block Google services altogether.