non-ssl Google Search

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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I was surprised by the recent change in Covenant Eyes that redirects Google Search users to the non-ssl search interface. I had assumed that because Covenant Eyes runs as a locally-installed, trusted application, it could monitor/block web content whether it was accessed via an SSL connection or an unencrypted connection.
The nature of our work (Christian missions) is sensitive in some regions of the world and some of our colleagues in these regions use Covenant Eyes. In many parts of the world, ISPs have strong ties to government or are entirely state-operated. My concern is that our colleagues may have their searches via Google unnecessarily exposed, and depending on the nature of their searches, could attract unwanted attention from governments or others hostile to Christians.
Our colleagues in sensitive regions have varying levels of technical abilities and awareness of sensitivity concerns. Some already use VPN technology to keep a degree of online anonymity. Some don't, and I'm concerned they may understand neither the warning displayed when redirected to Google's non-SSL search, nor its implications.
The need for some of our workers to maintain a degree of anonymity and the desire to use CE for accountability seem to be at odds, sometimes.
How will Covenant Eyes consider the concerns of Christian mission workers in sensitive regions in the ongoing development of CE? Have these types of concerns come up before?

Thank you!
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Posted 6 years ago

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John, Official Rep

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Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We have dealt with situations like this before and  take the privacy of our members very seriously. 

The implications of SSL within Google was that we were unable to fully fulfill our promise to our members about maintaining their integrity online.

The no-SSL version of Google is a step towards maintaining this promise to our members, while we continue to investigate additional options on how to deal with HTTPS.

We want to be sensitive to your needs however, and there are some options that are available that should allow for the best of both worlds. (Covenant Eyes protection with SSL still functioning on Google)


- John