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Search Risk – How Google Almost Killed ProtonMail (protonmail.com)
98 points by el_duderino 246 days ago | hide | past | web | 17 comments | favorite



If the accusations are indeed true, it's disappointing behavior from Google. For a "Do No Evil" company, they certainly seem to be abusing their market position. We should, in the very least, demand a formal explanation.


Google already abuses its market position, and has for years.

Google-owned properties get preferential placement in search results. Google-owned properties don't pay the DMCA penalty(note). Google-owned properties get treated as safe automatically. There are all sorts of ways Google uses its position as the largest search engine to promote or give preferential treatment to its own non-search properties, and this is nothing new.

(note)Google will penalize a site's ranking in search results if Google receives large numbers of DMCA takedown requests for search results on that site. Except, of course, if the site is a Google property, in which case no penalty because Google knows its properties follow good procedures for handling DMCA complaints. Good luck convincing them your site does.


Hate to disappoint you but Google's 'Do no evil' principles died years ago. Today they are no better than Facebook or Microsoft.


Every since they made "do no evil" their position, it seems that evil has been redefined from "profoundly immoral and malevolent" to "anything I don't really like, even if it only slightly harms someone else's position".


Google is supposedly hiding a direct competitor to one of its main product from its search engine, the main entry of the Internet for millions of people that aren't very proficient with computers.

Google's product, Gmail offer considerably lower security and privacy than this competitor and using it instead of ProtonMail may very realistically get someone (a journalist, whistleblower, LGBT activist...) in deep trouble or even killed in lots of places and contexts.

I think this is a pretty evil move. Not only for this but what it represents when, again, millions of people were educated for years to enter the Internet through this search engine and don't have any clue that it may not only tamper with the order of the results but also hide websites.


If you are using ProtonMail for anything critical you're doing it wrong. It might be more convenient than other encrypted mail solutions, but it's in-browser cryptography with all the security issues that entails.


Sure it is not the best tool -- but depending on what means "critical" in your context it provides great security. Not against the NSA targeted attacks, sure, but if you're not so concerned about your adversary using exploits and more sophisticated tools (versus just demanding data from the provider or something like that) ProtonMail goes a long way.

Anyway it is, for most cases I can think of, much better than Gmail.


Google can fix any results they like as shown here. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3222375/Google-fix-a...


I certainly upvoted this submission and use Protonmail regularly. They may soon be supporting PGP keys too, which would make them all the better. If I remember correctly, the Swiss recently got some attention for voting in favor of stronger surveillance, which surprised me. I wonder if it will affect Protonmail in any way. Here's a link from another "secure" email service that wrote about it: https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/surveillance-switzerland


US tech companies make a decent living out of servicing the US Govt's requests. IF you dont want to be spied on dont use US Tech, it could not be more simple than that.


How can I help break up the monoculture? I try to check in to DDG every few months but I'm just not satisfied with the results.


It's common for ranking to change, even wildly, when significantly changing a website. Especially changing its address!

So what's the theory, Google waited and waited, watching and hoping that protonmail would change their address, to give them cover to change the ranking manually?


Who did they rank instead of ProtonMail?


People seem to think that search is meant to be unbiased, thus any bias added after the fact is not just bad but is malicious just by being there.

But... even if the worst is true, and Google treats its search results like its own personal pulpit, is that so bad? Should Google be required to advertise for all its competitors in every field, just because they happen to have a website?

Google's algorithm is secret; there's nothing to imply that its results are anything except editorials.


> But... even if the worst is true, and Google treats its search results like its own personal pulpit, is that so bad?

Yes.

http://fortune.com/2016/10/24/google-antitrust-eu/

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/19/google-could-face-3-separate-...


Well, I guess that answers the question of if its bad for Google's bottom line once caught, but I was questioning if it was immoral in general.

Plenty of things are unpopular, or illegal, or annoying but not necessarily immoral.


Anti monopoly laws name it illegal for Google to hide it's competitors deliberately. No one on this thread believes it's not immoral for Google to be doing this




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