Last month, Google rolled out a new feature allowing users to search the web using a new encrypted search feature. While this innovation is good for users in countries where censorship dictates, this encrypted search feature is not so good for the education community.
This new search tool had educators scratching their heads as to how this would affect their CIPA compliance, an important certification that E-rate applicants must make in order to receive federal funding for telecommunications and Internet service. While privacy groups triumphed this latest innovation, schools and libraries were left wondering how their internet search filters could regulate these new encrypted searches. Educators were left with a simple solution…block Google, Gmail and Google Docs. However, how can you block the Internet’s search engine version of Walmart?
Well have no fear. At the risk of losing its market share, Google announced last week that it would be moving the secure search feature to a domain that school and library administrators could easily block, without interfering with other Google applications. The encrypted search feature has moved from https://www.google.com to https://encrypted.google.com. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that CIPA remains intact and students can continue using the Internet’s largest search engine.