Hardly anyone will be surprised by the news that Google is spying on users. However, it is difficult to imagine the real scale of surveillance. What kind of data is sent to the corporation’s servers and how often? More recently, there was an opportunity to check this. Dutch developer Bert Hubert, known as the creator of PowerDNS, shared a curious Googerteller utility.
The essence of the utility is simple: every time your browser sends data to Google, a beep sounds. Googerteller has at its disposal a list of IP addresses published by Google itself that are associated with various services of the corporation, with the exception of Google Cloud. And as soon as the computer connects to one of these IP addresses, whether when using the program or when browsing the web, an alert is triggered.
Actually, it is better to see the work of Googerteller once than to read about it a hundred times. Spoiler: The utility cracks without stopping. In the video, Hubert visits the Dutch government’s job site, and almost every action he takes triggers a beep indicating that data has been sent to Google. You can test Googerteller yourself, the creator distributes the utility for free.
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I made a very very simple tool that makes some noise every time your computer sends data to Google. Here a demo on the official Dutch government jobs site. The noise starts while typing the domain name already. Code, currently Linux only: https://t.co/ZjKeOSfYff pic.twitter.com/dEr8ktIGdo
— Bert Hubert (@bert_hu_bert) August 21, 2022