Monday, August 8, 2011

Some ISPs redirect search results

Just when I finish one post, something else comes along. A report published in New Scientist, based on research by UC-Berkeley's International Computer Science Institute, indicates that more than ten Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are redirecting search traffic headed for Yahoo and Bing.  The report says that when users search for brand names on those engines, the ISP is sending them directly to the brand's site rather than displaying the actual search results.  The report indicates that the ISPs had also been doing the same thing for searchers on Google, but recently stopped.
The report suggests that this behavior, sharing user info with outsider firms, raises privacy issues and may violate network neutrality principles. It also has potential financial impacts for the search engines, as referral fees paid by some companies would also be redirected.  Expect lawsuits.

Source: "ISPs Redirect Search Traffic On Yahoo, Bing, Raising Legal, Privacy Issues," Online Media Daily

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