Mozilla developers have switched Firefox's default search to Google's HTTPS encrypted search for the nightly developer trunk.
The change was announced on Mozilla's 'Bugzilla' channel.
While the nightly builds aren't used that much outside of the development community, this paves the way for the feature to be in the hands of end users in a few months.
Technically, this will use Google's SPDY protocol, which modifies the way HTTP requests and responses are sent.
The change to Firefox will see searches carried out in the following way all being diverted to Google's HTTPS search engine by default:
- The search bar on the right hand side of the navigation bar, where Google is the default search engine.
- The about:home page that is built into Firefox, which directs searches to Google.
- The "I'm feeling lucky" search that occurs if a user enters words into the location bar.
This is quite an important step because it will protect the millions of Firefox users from snooping by deep packet inspection (DPI) and search query leakage when users do a search and then visit a website.
When this change rolls out to consumers it will make Firefox the first major browser to use HTTPS search by default, protecting the privacy of users by default.
Image credit: Mozilla.