A Recent Update from Google Could Severely Hamper Anti-Censorship Tools

A recent change to Google’s App Engine will discontinue a practice called domain-fronting, an essential technique used by dozens of internet freedom tools designed to allow users to work around state-level internet censorship. Read More >>

Google is Making Another Goddamn Messaging Service Because of Course it is

Google, apparently unsatisfied with the already incredibly long list of short-lived communications solutions that it has produced, is taking one more shot messaging. According to The Verge, the latest attempt is called Chat. Read More >>

UK Smart Speaker Ownership Doubled in the Past Six Months, Says Poll

In case all those sales on Echo Dots and Google Home Mini's didn't make this a given, it turns out that the number of people who own smart speakers here in the UK has doubled over the past sis months. Or so says a new poll from YouGov. Read More >>

Google Boots Fake Ad Blockers From Chrome Web Store

A researcher with AdGuard discovered five fake ad-blocking extensions in the Chrome Web Store that used hidden scripts to manipulate users’ browsers. The good news is, after AdGuard published the report, the Chrome team removed all five of the extensions from its store. Read More >>

Chrome Finally Mutes Autoplay Videos by Default—Here’s How to Make Sure It Works

Well, would you look at that. Google Chrome is finally getting its act together, at least when it comes to all those annoying autoplay videos. Read More >>

Meet the Woman Who Leads NightWatch, Google’s Internal Privacy Strike Force

Lea Kissner is back at her alma mater, the University of California at Berkeley, armed with a crisp grey blazer, a slide deck, and a laptop with a ‘My Other Car Is A Pynchon Novel’ sticker on it. Since graduating in 2002, she’s earned a PhD at Carnegie Melon in cryptography and worked her way up at Google, where she manages user privacy and tries to keep things from breaking. She’s here to tell a hall of computer science students how she did it—and also how to create privacy-protective systems at a scale that you won’t find outside a handful of massive tech companies. Read More >>

Researchers Conclude Google’s Play Store Is Likely Chock Full of Apps That Improperly Track Children

Thousands of apps may be tracking the online activity of children in ways that violate US privacy laws, according to a recent survey of Android apps available on the Google Play store. Read More >>

PSA to Yahoo and AOL Users: Your Emails can be Scanned for Targeted Advertising

If you use AOL or Yahoo for email, you should be aware that a recent change in the privacy policy of Oath—the umbrella company that controls both services—now allows your emails to be scanned and the information used for targeted advertising. Read More >>

Google Leaks its Own Stuff, Accidentally Reveals Android P Will Have Gesture Control

There are a lot of ways information about new phones and phone software can leak, which is why they're so prevalent. What isn't as common is a company accidentally leaking its own stuff, but it happens. Case in point, Google seems to have accidentally revealed that Android P will have gesture controls similar to those found on the iPhone X. But obviously better because it's being done by Google and not Apple. Read More >>

There Might Be a New Self-Destructing Message Feature in the Gmail Revamp

Earlier this week, news leaked about Google’s plan to revamp Gmail sometime in the next few weeks, and from what we’ve seen so far, it looks pretty good. The interface seems cleaner and more intuitive to use, and a new sidebar on the right should make multi-tasking easier too. Read More >>

Leaked Images Suggest Gmail’s Redesign Is Going to Be Very Attractive

Yesterday, Google sent out an internal email to G Suite administrators announcing a new design for Gmail on the web sporting a “fresh, clean look.” Images of what is presumably the redesign appeared on Imgur late last night with key info redacted via large black blocks, and today The Verge obtained additional images of what the revamped Gmail could look like when it rolls out for real sometime in the next few weeks. Read More >>

YouTube Displayed Some Pretty Obvious Ads for Pornographic Webcams on Trending Videos

YouTube has been serving up an ad that, with one click, leads to hardcore porn, Motherboard reported on Tuesday. Read More >>

Google Appears to be Killing Off the Pixel and Pixel XL

Google appears to be done with two phones that were the company’s signature devices just two years ago. Ars Technica pointed out that the Pixel and Pixel XL have now disappeared from the Google Store and Project Fi store. Google confirmed to Gizmodo that the devices will no longer be made available to purchase directly from the company. Read More >>

Google’s Phone App Is Getting the Power to Send Spam Calls Straight to Voicemail

While US Congress continues to grill Silicon Valley’s most lifeless Jello Jiggler, the folks over at 9to5Google noticed that Google’s dialer app for Pixel and other stock Android phones has been upgraded with the ability to send spam calls straight to voicemail. Read More >>

Did the US Communications Commission Just Reveal Google’s Next Streaming Dongle?

Google’s Chromecast devices are handy (and cheap) little dongles for anyone who wants to add streaming functionality to their TV. But since the Chromecast Ultra came out in the fall of 2016, there haven’t been any new Google-branded additions to the family. Read More >>