timothy from the hey-fellas-this-just-looks-bad dept.
Lauren Weinstein writes "Google is handling SSL search queries on https://www.google.com/ in a manner significantly different than the standard, expected SSL end-to-end behavior — specifically relating to referer query data. These changes give the potential appearance of favoring sites that buy ads from Google. Regardless of the actual intentions, I do not believe that this appearance is in the best interests of Google in the long run."
If it happens once, it's a bug. If it happens twice, it's a feature.
If it happens more than twice, it's a design philosophy.