About me
About me

Google Web Accelerator


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 15 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 15 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 15 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

I fully understand why some people will find Google Web Accelerator scary… after all, you are effectively routing all of your surfing through Google’s servers, which gives them an enormous amount of information about you. But it’s very useful, and given how many people already know about almost every aspect of my life anyway, I have no problem with Google knowing a little more about me. So I’m using it. And recommending that you do too.

Edit: I’ve stopped using it again now – read through the comments to see why, paying particular attention here.

This 562nd post was filed under: Technology.

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Random posts from the archive

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Photo-a-day 37: You are being watched / 06 February 2012

A worm’s eye view / 01 March 2005

English / 05 March 2005

St Mary’s Lighthouse / 09 February 2019

Photo-a-day 132: Apostrophe catastrophe in Marks and Spencer / 11 May 2012

Comments and responses

Comment from Anon E Mouse

    09.39, 06/05/2005

Have you thought about sending Google a copy of your tax return as well, since you appear not to care about your privacy?

Comment from sjhoward

    11.17, 06/05/2005

As it happens, I don’t file a tax return… But that’s hardly the point. I don’t mind revealing to them information about the websites I visit – information which is already available to my ISP, and (on demand) to the police, not to mention university when I’m online there. It’s hardly secret stuff, and should I want to exclude Google from any of my web surfing, I’m free to do so – as is not the case with the other institutions. My tax return, on the other hand, is not public knowledge in the same way as my surfing habits are, and so I wouldn’t publicise it.

Comment from Anon E Mouse

    15.20, 07/05/2005

“I don’t file a tax return… But that’s hardly the point.”

But that is the point!

If you do file a tax return online, as more and more people are doing, and as the IRS prefers people to do, are you (and all the other people) using this spy in the browswer, going to remember to turn off the Google spyware before connecting to the web site to file your tax return?

And when you buy goods and services through your browser, do you want Google to know what you are buying, and presumably your credit card details which will pass through their software?

Comment from sjhoward

    18.03, 07/05/2005

I don’t file a tax return – and if I did so online, it would be via a secure connection, as would shopping with a credit card, which does not pass through Google’s servers, whether the program is switched on or off.

Comment from Pathologically Paranoid Coward

    23.04, 07/05/2005

“it would be via a secure connection .. which does not pass through Google’s servers”

How can you be sure of that?

Comment from sjhoward

    00.59, 08/05/2005

I could use software to trace the connection between my PC and the host servers, but I’m not that bothered. Which only goes to show that they could indeed be watching my secure connections without my knowledge. So you probably have a good point – but I’m not going to stop using it.

Comment from Ethelred the Unready

    02.49, 08/05/2005

Maybe you should read this article, and worry about who might be logging in as you on various accounts and forums —


Or there again, maybe you just do not really care, in which case you deserve whatever happens …

Comment from sjhoward

    09.56, 08/05/2005

Now that’s a bit of a worry – but, presumably, it would only affect sites whereby passwords are cached, which means it could only affect forums and the like, not banking accounts. However, I’ve removed it for the time being anyway, at least until I hear that this glitch has been fixed (though, in fairness, I think it may already have been fixed, since my version numbers appear to have increased).

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