Google’s secret data network in Australia
Data has been described as the “oil of the digital era”, and tech giants that deal in data have developed an unprecedented grip on the privacy of nations and individuals across the world.
Today, data collection has become a daily occurrence in most major fields, and to analyse and store this information, Australia has played a key role in ensuring Google Data Networks can reach our shores.
WHAT IS A DATA CENTER?
Data storage infrastructure exists in the service of applications. Data analytics is critical, and the need to store and analyze data from a growing number of sources has grown exponentially.
Google, to capture and store information on users, has numerous data centers scattered around the world and at least 12 significant installations located in the United States alone.
In the late 2010s, Google began to expand and build its own private submarine communications cables. The first, named Curie, connects California with Chile and is to be completed this year.
The second fully Google-owned undersea cable, named Dunant, connects the United States with France and is planned to begin operation in 2020.
Google Data Centers are primarily located in North and South America, Asia, Europe and Australia.
There is no official data on the number of servers in Google data centers, however, research and advisory firm Gartner estimated in a July 2016 report that Google at the time had 2.5 million servers.
According to James Ward, a lawyer who specializes in privacy and data security, said during this period, Google’s shifted “from a straightforward disclosure to a much more complicated device.”
He also provided a list of things provide to Google when using their services and applications:
Your name. Password. Phone number. Payment information. Content you create, upload or receive from others when using our services. Telephone information. Phone number. Calling-party number. Receiving-party number. Forwarding numbers.
Time and date of calls and messages. Duration of calls. Routing information. Types of calls. Terms you search for. Videos you watch. Views and interactions with content and ads. People with whom you communicate or share content.
Chrome browsing history. Activity on 3rd party sites and apps that use our services. Voice and audio information when you use audio features. Purchase activity identifiers. Browser type and settings. Device type and settings. Operating system.
Application version number. IP address. Crash reports. System activity. Date, time, referrer. URL of your request. Trusted partners. Marketing partners. Security partners. Advertisers. Data access points. Device type. Carrier name. Crash reports. Which apps are installed.
Google has numerous data centers scattered around the world. The largest known centers are located in Oregon, Atlanta, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
In Europe, the largest known centers are in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Google’s Oceania Data Center is claimed to be located in Sydney, Australia.
GOOGLE IN AUSTRALIA
Google’s Data Network offers storage and networking as a service, as well as a number of other on-demand products covering data analytics, identity, security and machine learning.
For example, Google’s Cloud Platform alone now serves over one billion end-users through its customers’ products and services.
In Australia, the secretive story begins with wholesale fibre network builder, Pipe Networks, who held an event to celebrate the launch of the PPC-1 cable from Sydney to Guam.
Along with the Southern Cross Cable and Telstra, this monumental project would mark the third major backhaul data connection from Australia to the rest of the world.
If you check out Pipe’s peering partners, you’ll notice Google Australia is among them. Pipe runs this peering service from data centres such as Equinix, Global Switch, AAPT, Powertel and others.
This means that Pipe’s customers — such as Telstra and Optus — can get direct access to Google content (YouTube, Gmail, Google Apps etc) at a flat, predictable rate.
Network managers report that Google traffic can account for 15-25 percent of total consumption on some networks, courtesy of the bandwidth-hungry YouTube videos.
Indeed, this move by the multinational corporation was years in the making, investing millions in a ‘network link’ to Australia to ensure content is delivered and more data is collected.
According to reports, the data network is located in a caged off area at a discreet computer storage center on Sydney’s suburban Northern Beaches.
The company publicly admits that a data center exists, however won’t reveal the exact location:
Australian soil is being used as a “cache cluster” — storing information on racks of Google equipment each time the most popular content on the internet is consumed.
Google is derive personal and business intelligence from your data, while accessing multiple data sources to give the ability to seamlessly process it.
Today, Google has grown to a become an international conglomerate that is using advanced technologies to assert control over collective reality through the power of data collection.
The company has gained a significant stranglehold on information transmitted to the general public and is creating a virtual database akin to those found only in sci-fi novels of the 20th century.
Reports suggest that data collection for security purposes alone has grown to such an extent that it eclipsed mature enterprises like movies and the music industry in annual revenue.
This security spending to private corporations such as Google is forecast to exceed $1 trillion in the near future, and is only one small piece of vast data collection schemes employed by Google.
Outside of cybersecurity, industries such as advertising, health, politics and many others are using data mining and storage on an unprecedented level to influence society around us.
By launching products and services centered on this purpose, Google has grown to set the world’s standard of information and how it’s managed.
Google has infiltrated our daily routines with products and services, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and even financial organization solutions.
Google wants to know what our fellow humans are really thinking and doing. Certain online sources get people to admit things they would not admit anywhere else and serve as a digital truth serum.
Google was marketed as a tool people could use to learn about the world, however more often than not, researchers use it to learn about people and the trails left are tremendously revealing.
Australia is now a part of this international machine that uses data as a means of mass control, and it is only set to increase with the further introduction of smart technologies, in-home devices and advanced projects behind the closed doors of Google.
Will Australians allow this to continue?
Who is peering? | Pipe Networks
Global Locations – Data Regions | Google
Google Cloud Expands Down Under | Fortune
How Google is controlling your reality | TOTT News
The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data | The Economist
Everybody lies: how Google search reveals our darkest secrets | The Guardian
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