Google punts free in-flight Wi-Fi for holiday travelers
'Have you noticed my Chrome?'
Google's Chrome browser team is offering free in-flight Wi-Fi to holiday travelers flying on a trio of US airlines.
Thanks to some sponsorship dollars from Mountain View, from November 20 to January 2, Delta, Virgin America, and AirTran will provide free Wi-Fi on all domestic flights via the existing GoGo in-flight service. All three airlines have already equipped their entire domestic fleets with GoGo Wi-Fi, spanning more than 700 planes. Typically, GoGo service is priced at $13 per flight, though bulk purchase are available.
“We are constantly working to help provide a better web experience to users around the world,” Google vice president of product management Sundar Pichai said in a canned statement. “Whether it be building a better browser with Chrome or bringing free Wi-Fi to air travelers this holiday season, we are constantly innovating to ensure users’ access to the web is fast, simple and seamless.”
In a rare press release, Google says that between November 20 and January 2, 15 millon passengers are expected to fly on those 700 planes. The company is waving free Wi-Fi at those 15 million souls to promote its browser, but it should go without saying that Google will also benefit from the added net use. More Wi-Fi means more Googling. Last year, Google sponsored free holiday Wi-Fi on Virgin America and in more than 50 airports across the country.
The Register has used GoGo extensively on domestic Delta, and we can confirm that connection speeds are quite good. For travelers, it's a godsend. And a curse. ®
(1) Give free in-flight Wi-Fi to captive travellers flying on airlines.
(2) Add Deep Packet Inspection technology to spy on everything captive travellers do online.
(3) Yet more profit, for Google from exploiting people's privacy for their profit.
For Google its like having a plane full of captive money making battery hens.
Until Deep Packet Inspection is make totally illegal worldwide, companies will continue to find ever more ways to exploit it. So it will happen.
So its only a matter of time before they use Deep Packet Inspection on Wi-Fi connections like this as an additional profit making scheme (and most non-technical people will as usual remain ignorant of how they are being increasingly used, spied on and exploited).
So wifi will go from being a free loss leader marketing style customer lure to get customers to go to them, into becoming yet another way to exploit people without them realising the full implications and extent of how they and their personal details are increasingly being used, spied on and exploited.
So this news is really yet another sign of yet another day and another step towards being spied on ever more as the corporations (and governments) continue to re-educate us all into being more compliant money making battery hens, where our privacy becomes profit for the rich and powerful in society.
Given the latest 'scare' is setting off things-that-go-bang on planes using phones/wifi it would be ironic if Google's Do No Evil was tainted by providing the detonation service for free....
Grenade for obvious reasons....
@Volker Hett, VPN etc..
@Volker Hett, you've (intentionally) missed the fact I was referring to "most non-technical people". Most people don't know what the hell VPN is let alone how to set it up and use it.
Plus before you bother saying it, the usual common attack against what I just said its to use a condescending Straw Man argument to assume either they use VPN or to hell with them for being unable to learn to use VPN. I very much suspect the real reason this condescending argument is used is because some technically minded people enjoy being condescending over non-technical people who don't understand what they understand about technology. :(
Ok once more:
(1) The companies will do everything they can to block and undermine anyone using VPN.
(2) Encryption while better than not encrypted isn't going to stop all spying. (For example, a lot of Signals Intelligence spying work over the decades has been based on who you contact and when, not just what you say). Anyway the only 100% guaranteed way to stop Deep Packet Inspection spying is to legally stop Deep Packet Inspection!
(3) No way in hell will everyone ever be able to become technically minded enough to set-up and use VPN.
Plus the next common condescending (this time ignorant) argument is to not care about the people who are spied on, yet they are the majority of the population. Spying on the majority of a population is all that is needed to create a Police State. Political power is about herding the majority of people to do what the people in power want. Such as to get them to look the other way when the political people want them to look the other way, so they don't see anything to get angry about. (Which is part of the work of political spin doctors to seek ways to distract people when releasing bad news).
This in turn lets the political people get away with what they are doing unchallenged, so they get away with ever more as the majority of population gets ever more distracted away from seeing the full depth of corruption in what the people in power are really doing against them. Which is exactly what is happening around us. Which is also why we are increasingly sliding into this Police State as the majority don't fully understand what is happening around them. Plus even if they did hear it the vast majority of the population doesn't have the technical knowledge to understand the full implications.
Therefore its going to take either legal action against these spying corporations (which is very unlikely as the corporations and governments both want to spy) or its going to take technically minded people to come up with much better and widely used new solutions to circumvent and stop the bastards in power turning our world into their Police State.