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Thread: Google Proxy

  1. #1
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    Google Proxy

    Here is an excert from. boing boing.
    "Wednesday, May 4, 2005
    Google's new web accelerator doubles as proxy -- NOT
    Reader polymorf says:
    Google has just released their own web accelerator. Coming from a third world country, it has at least doubled my web browsing speed. Basically, it works by proxying all traffic, except personal/dynamic stuff, through their servers. The undocumented benefit is that, by using their accelerator service, they are unintentionally offering users an anonymous proxy. Looking through my http logs, instead of seeing my home address (In Grenada, West Indies), I see google address space

    (undef.net 64.233.173.74 - -
    [04/May/2005:20:05:06 -0700] "GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.1"
    200 870 "http://undef.net/~ss7/"
    "Mozilla/4.0
    (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; en) Opera 8.0" )

    Not only has google expidited my web browsing, but additionally given me anonymous proxying, which usually slowed down beosing by orders of magnitude.
    Link.

    It should be made clear, however, that the service is not an anonymizer. My colleague Cory Doctorow astutely observes:
    But of course you're not anonymous to Google, which knows about your search history (if you've got cookies on), your email address (if you register for Groups, etc), your friends (if you use Orkut), your email (if you use gmail), and even has your credit card (if you use AdWords or Answers). Anonymity from everyone except Google is nice, but it's not really anonymity, given how easy it would be to subpoena information from them (everyone knows where Google is), and given how much info this allows Google to collect and correlate on you.

    This is an amazing service, without a doubt -- I'll use it for lightweight proxy-evasion, etc, but caveat surfer. It would be great to see Google setting up a Tor node with similar resources to this, though, and enabling some more robust anonymity.

    Update Debunked. BB reader Nik says the service provides zero anonymizing benefits at all.
    BB recently had a story about GWA and how it acts as a quasi anonymizer because the source address shown to the visited server is one from Google. Note that this is totally wrong since Google still passes on the clients IP address to the server via the X-HTTP-FORWARDED-FOR header which the server can easily see. More about this on my weblog: link.

    I have written a test script that is linked from my post that extracts your originating IP (simple stuff). The only true anonymous proxies are those that do not pass this header on (which is a tweak in most proxy servers), do no caching what-so-ever, do not log your requests and last but not least strip out any JS/ActiveX/Java/Flash that could run on your client and send back your true IP (*catch my breath*).
    I am wondering how it works and if it is worth using and if it simply is another way to gain info from us.

    your thoughts most welcome.

    Doc
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  2. #2
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    Google Releases Web Accelerator May 5, 2005

    Google launches beta software that the company says will speed up the time it takes to search the Internet and to load Web content.
    By Antone Gonsalves
    InternetWeek

    Google Inc. has launched in beta software that the company says will speed up the time it takes to search the Internet and to load web content.

    Web Accelerator, which is available at no charge, runs alongside a browser and directs all searches and page requests through Google's servers. The software supports Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer and the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox browsers.

    In improving performance on the web, the application makes use of a cache, or data store, on the local computer, as well as caches on Google's servers, Marissa Mayer, director of consumer web products for Google, said Thursday. The software is only available for broadband users.

    The desktop cache is for web pages that are pre-loaded based on a person's web activity. The software uses mathematical formulas to try to determine what web content the person is most likely to seek, based on prior behavior. The cache on Google's server is populated with popular web content based on the activity of Web Accelerator users as a whole.

    Feeding web pages either from a desktop cache or a Google server is normally faster than getting the content from the public Internet. In addition, Google compresses the data for faster movement to the browser.

    Google estimates that people who spend 20 hours to 30 hours a week on the Internet, could shave off about two to three hours a month in the time spent searching and loading web pages.

    Privacy advocates, however, expressed concern over storing people's web browsing activities. Such information could be subpoenaed later by law enforcement agencies investigating criminal cases or by lawyers in civil cases.

    "Google promises never to rent or sell the information to third parties, but it's still subject to handing over information through the subpoena process," Kurt Opsahl, staff lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy-rights group in San Francisco, said.

    For consumers, the question is whether use of the software is worth the privacy risk, Opsahl said.

    Under Google's privacy policies, the company does not track an individual's web activity, but does collect aggregated data from people using its services. Data collected from Web Accelerator users as a whole won't be used in Google's advertising services for now. The company, however, could decide to use it later.

    "When you proxy your web surfing to Google, it does mean we will see the requests (for web pages and content)," Mayer said. "We have to, in order to optimize your web experience."

    The software does not cache encrypted secure web pages, which, for example, are used in online banking sites and retail sites. The application also can be shut off, and users can clear its desktop cache at anytime.

    Mayer argues that the benefits of the software outweigh any privacy risk.

    "It's a product that can save you minutes everyday, and that adds up to hours over time," Mayer said.





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  3. #3
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    It can be used as an anonymous proxy, but in a test surfing about 20 pages on my site - my real IP did show up in my logs on one page
    Also, even without GWA you can send anonymous email via Gmail as the Google IP, not your IP, shows up in the headers.

  4. #4
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    It seems as if it full anyway. Seems a little silly introducing a product that you can't use because it is already over subscribed.

    Thank you for your
    interest in Google Web Accelerator.
    We have currently reached our
    maximum capacity of users and
    are actively working to increase
    the number of users we can support.
    Doc
    www.doctorhill.com.au
    Need help? just ask The Doctor
    House calls a specialty
    If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy ?

  5. #5
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    Question.

    If I enter googles proxy server details in my browser will that work without downlaoding the program

    127.0.0.1:9100

    also what is the "9100" is that the port ??

    Doc
    www.doctorhill.com.au
    Need help? just ask The Doctor
    House calls a specialty
    If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy ?

  6. #6
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    I've not taken a look at this in detail. But for the above details (127.0.0.1:9100) to work you would have to have a program running on your local machine looking for things on port 9100. (IP 127.0.0.1 points back to localhost).
    Steve

  7. #7
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    http://google.blognewschannel.com/in...s-accelerator/

    ow, pull out your microscopes. That murkiness? It's not confusion, or paranoia. No, your internet just got a little darker, because someone has decided to crap on it.

    See, Google isn't serving web pages faster, its serving other people's versions of the web page faster. What does that mean? Try using Web Accelerator on a forum site, one with lots of geeks who love Google and probably already have Web Accelerator installed. Why, if you're lucky, you'll be logged in as someone else, as the folks at SomethingAwful.com discovered. The posters in that forum discovered that most of the times they refreshed the page, they were logged in as a different person, seeing their friend's control panel for the forums.

    They were even kind enough to provide screenshots.

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