Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
"be consistent"
 
PerlMonks  

[OT]: Google browser(Updated!)

by BrowserUk (Pope)
on Sep 03, 2008 at 12:35 UTC ( #708735=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

BrowserUk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Is anyone else entirely suspicious of the content of the traffic generated by the Win32 Chrome installer?

The links posted in this thread have led me to see that others have deep reservations about this thing (which is enough justification for me to have posted). The talk of "open source" made me think it might be okay, but the installer doesn't seem to be open source, so they could be gathering whatever info they like at install time.

Suffice it to say, I have not allowed (and have no intention of allowing) the install call home. And given the EULA, I won't be building from source either.


Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: [OT]: Google browser (Chrome) (win32)
by Corion (Pope) on Sep 03, 2008 at 12:41 UTC

    To pull this a bit more into Perl land:

    I haven't seen any such traffic in the web logs of my webserver. But I recommend Net::Pcap to monitor your network traffic from Perl. If you're convinced that it is TCP or even HTTP traffic, you can go to more specialized modules like my Sniffer::Connection or Sniffer::HTTP, or do post-mortem analysis through Net::TcpDumpLog or libpcap itself.

Re: [OT]: Google browser (Chrome) (win32)
by shmem (Chancellor) on Sep 03, 2008 at 13:47 UTC

    If it was the installer only. They are trying to get from you what they can.

    • When you type URLs or queries in the address bar, the letters you type are sent to Google so the Suggest feature can automatically recommend terms or URLs you may be looking for. If you choose to share usage statistics with Google and you accept a suggested query or URL, Google Chrome will send that information to Google as well. You can disable this feature as explained here.
    • If you navigate to a URL that does not exist, Google Chrome may send the URL to Google so we can help you find the URL you were looking for. You can disable this feature as explained here.

    Yeah, you can disable it. Who does? And even so, the installer might have gathered enough information from you to feed google's database a good initial profile (this is speculation, I don't know if it does; don't have Windows).

    All pretty nasty, and reminds me of Microsoft's "default policy". The default for those settings should be off for a browser which isn't as well spyware out of the box. I.e. opt-in instead of opt-out.

    See also Nicolas Carr's take on the Google Chrome Browser on his blog.

      Thanks shmen for the interesting links.

      I read the comic

      I was a strong Google fan up until then but I have now changed my mind, they too seem to be looking for world domination like Microsoft.

      The latest EULA and the copywrite implications also mentioned by FunkyMonk are very worrying.

      I have never opted in to the any of Google's usage stats in the past and I won't be installing the new Browser with that end user agreement

        The EULA really bothers me. On one hand, I like the product. Better memory management for the browser and better garbage collection and performance for Javascript? That's great. On the other, there is no way in heck I can stomach that EULA.

        Edit: The register is reporting they changed the EULA. Still, what I'm really hoping for from this is it makes the other browser creators step it up in terms of offering excellent JavaScript support.

      The browser's not preinstalled, you are not forced to use it. Installing something is the opt-in. Especially since at least the first is one of the main selling points of the browser.

      If you navigate to a URL that does not exist, Google Chrome may send the URL to Google so we can help you find the URL you were looking for. You can disable this feature as explained here.

      Well... if you are that paranoid, then you're not using services like OpenDNS as well I guess since it also has this feature (actually it is 2 times dangerous on your POV since OpenDNS response page uses Google search I believe). Perhaps we need to edit all sites by hand in the hosts file instead of dns servers or just pull the plug :p

      And I wonder; are you using google.com at all? since it has all these features in it

        There's quite a difference in the things you describe.

        Some sites use identity tokens in the URLs, so this feature turns all broken on-site links on these pages into security breaches.

        (One could argue that identity tokens in URLs are a very bad idea anyway, but this "feature" makes it even worse).

        And I wonder; are you using google.com at all?

        Yes, I'm using it; but I'm not accessing it with a browser of their own make which has a unique ID, nor does Google gather my full browsing history on their servers (all that only for better servicing me with search results, of course).

Re: [OT]: Google browser (Chrome) (win32)
by FunkyMonk (Chancellor) on Sep 03, 2008 at 16:09 UTC
Re: [OT]: Google browser (Chrome) (win32)
by moritz (Cardinal) on Sep 03, 2008 at 14:11 UTC
    Well, the installer pulls the rest of the executable to your local machine - you don't honestly expect a browser to be only 0.5MB (or whatever the size of the installer is)?

    That said, Chrome seems to have an option to prefetch DNS information, which might lead to additional traffic. But I don't know if it is enabled by default. (Update: according to some random /. comment it is enabled by default)

Re: [OT]: Google browser(Updated!)
by zentara (Archbishop) on Sep 03, 2008 at 19:38 UTC
    deep reservations about this thing

    Thank the gods, it's only for MSWindows ( at least for now). I wouldn't even consider using it. I have enough hassles disabling the "auto-completion" and "auto google-toolbar" that I get with Mozilla and Firefox. I can't stand the way these corporations think I want their product to automagically make my life easier, by directing me to their sites.

    I was trying out Ubuntu, and typed a web address in the browser, and I get the web address sent as a search query to google!!! If I want to go to google, I will type it in.

    Honestly, I have met people that think Google is the web..... you can't go to a web site without it going thru google first......the dumbing down of the people.


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth Remember How Lucky You Are

      I was gifted a gmail account shortly after they went live and I've used exactly 3 times.

      I installed Picasa briefly, but eradicated it when I couldn't expain much of the system activity it instigated.

      I don't believe in conspiracy theories much, but it's hard not to believe that all this intrusive technology isn't doing more than just boosting googles competitive advantage.


      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

        One of Google's more clever, I think, ideas to collect data to boost that competitive advantage is GOOG-411. They provide, for free, telephone directory assistance. Why? From Wikipedia: "Google has stated that the company originally implemented GOOG-411 to build a large phoneme database from users' voice queries. This phoneme database, in turn, will allow Google engineers to refine and improve the speech recognition engine that Google uses to index audio content for searching."

        Specific to Chrome, having the data collection built into the browser lets them even reach into the address bar of the browser for data, which I'm sure is a gold mine of valuable search related info for them for them.

        intrusive technology isn't doing more than just boosting googles competitive advantage.

        Maybe, but if you follow the US news closely, you will find that ISP's have recently been ruled against by the courts, and are required to provide the governemnt with all logs. (Many ISP's were fighting it on possible invasion of privacy grounds). So Big Brother really dosn't have to go thru google to get info on you, they can get a list of your visited sites directly from the ISPs. So Google is probably just a mercenary in this.....trying to develop statistics to sell ads, and send you custom ads based on your browsing history.

        I remember a discussion I heard on it, and I guess they have it setup that all your internet traffic, can be routed thru a government agent's computer, even at his home. It was a court ruling a few years back, that all ISP's had to include this feature in their switching systems. So in all probability, this node is being displayed on some agent's screen, while he/she is sipping their morning coffee, and deciding if you are part of some plot.

        Which brings up another "point of paranoia".... the so-called-anonymous-surfing systems......web-anonymizers. Don't you think the governemnt is setting these up with their undercover people, and they watch you as you think you are anonymous? I wouldn't trust them as being anonymous, the government is too tricky and well funded.


        I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth Remember How Lucky You Are
Re: [OT]: Google browser (Chrome) (win32)
by Gavin (Bishop) on Sep 03, 2008 at 13:39 UTC

    Pardon my ignorance but

    Please what's the Google Win32 Chrome installer and why the suspicion?

Re: [OT]: Google browser (Chrome) (win32)
by massa (Hermit) on Sep 03, 2008 at 15:57 UTC
    ChromeSetup.exe downloads the real installer (chrome_installer.exe).
    []s, HTH, Massa (κς,πμ,πλ)
Re: [OT]: Google browser (Chrome) (win32)
by Zen (Deacon) on Sep 03, 2008 at 17:00 UTC
    I have to say, it's your own fault if you download the AdKing of the World(TM) and expect anything less.
      Ah... whatever. They can have my data since they want it so bad. I'm not all that interesting anyway. :)
        You might be interesting for yourself at least.

        Ever seen Terry Giliam's Brazil (1985)? Data has gone awfully wrong many times since then (and before)...

        Seems that's not all they are after.

Log In?
Username:
Password:

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: perlquestion [id://708735]
Approved by marto
Front-paged by shmem
help
Chatterbox?
and the web crawler heard nothing...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others meditating upon the Monastery: (5)
As of 2020-12-02 09:09 GMT
Sections?
Information?
Find Nodes?
Leftovers?
    Voting Booth?
    How often do you use taint mode?





    Results (35 votes). Check out past polls.

    Notices?