Redirecting encrypted Google search with “nosslsearch”

In 2010, Google launched an encrypted version of its search engine that made SSL the default transport for all Google traffic. This was problematic for schools, as the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires that students be blocked and audited when trying to access inappropriate content. Blocking encrypted search was not really a viable option, since Google has become a de-facto tool in the 21st century classroom. Google has instead provided schools with a nosslsearch.google.com option. All SSL traffic bound for google.com can be intercepted by the web-filter and re-directed to nosslsearch.google.com. This ensures a seamless re-direct from HTTPS to HTTP. Additionally, encrypted.google.com needs to be blocked by the web-filter because the nosslsearch trick does not work for this domain by design.

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