As you are probably already aware, Google has released a beta product called Google Web Accelerator. The official description is:
Google Web Accelerator is an application that uses the power of Google's global computer network to make web pages load faster. Google Web Accelerator is easy to use; all you have to do is download and install it, and from then on many web pages will automatically load faster than before.
This product has so many flaws, and so many potentially disastrous consequences, that is is simply mind-boggling. The forums are alive with people discussing the possible ramifications of using this product. Below are some snippets that outline what I mean.
From Inside Google:
The privacy implications are staggering. Google can now know absolutely everything. If they thought Gmail created a mess when the Gmail ad thing went down, its going to look like a stubbed toe next to this.
I find the fact that Google doesn't want any tools that use their systems in automated ways, however they go and build tools that do just that to publishers sites extremely amusing. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black[hat].
in case you don't want any of the junk Goo thinks you should see at all cost, they'll drop it on your harddisk anyway. My, won't people love this feature. Talk about being invasive
Reading the FAQ, it's essentially using low-latency proxies to route all your requests through. This means they have full knowledge of every page you visit, but also any personal data you submit in forms.
The main purpose and goal is to log user's information.
just great - more ways to figure out how to suck our bandwidth
Could be a big issue for a complex dynamic site - such as a forum - every link prefetched, every prefetched page being rebuilt on the server* - all that extra load
provides a nice fast proxy for site downloaders/rippers
I liked it until it messed with my cookies for our phpBB forums. I couldn't stay logged in until I stopped the accelerator.
does NOT handle cookies well as far as I can see. So any site out there depending on cookies for logins, shopping, etc. are going to have to come up with a way to keep people from thinking your site is broken when it's really their browser
I just installed it and now firefox won't start
Google Web Accelerator also bypasses the Windows hosts file. If you have blocked anything (like some ads servers) you will start seeing them again with the Google Web Accelerator.
I can't see ISPs being too happy about this, It's a tremendous waste of bandwidth. With Google's massive market share and user base this thing has a serious chance of slowing down the Internet as a whole.
i just tested a price-comparison site of mine, which charges advertisers on a cpc basis. After visiting the page and waving the mouse around a bit, it logged clicks on nearly all advertisers' links. Bad news for advertisers like myself.
It doesn't take note of the last modified date of the page. if the page has been modified since the last cache, Google will still show you the cached version. It doesn't obey robots.txt. It is capable of adding items to shopping baskets without you having to click on anything.
Need I go any further? This product needs to be squashed immediately.