If you use Google search, and most of us do, you may have noticed that the search_term_filter, Web Usage Monitor and block_google_images have stopped working on Google recently. This is due to Google systematically enforcing HTTPS on all of their sites, and HTTPS breaks content filtering.

With our router firmware v2.0 (now on v3.2.2 – get it here) we could enforce SafeSearch on Google by removing HTTPS so that we could apply URL filtering. We did this using a method provided by Google called NoSSLSearch. However Google depreciated NoSSLSearch early 2015 in favor of SafeSearchVIP. SafeSearchVIP allow us to enforce a Google SafeSearch environment which is good, however it does this with HTTPS intact, and again HTTPS blocks additional filtering.

Going forward the only way to apply additional URL filtering to Google’s SafeSearch (i.e. block additional terms, block image search, etc) is to intercept their HTTPS, decrypt it, filter the data, re-encrypt and then send the data along it’s way. We are working on this and will have something by end of year.

In the interim, please note that Google will always be locked into SafeSearch, and YouTube SafeMode. We just can’t apply additional URL filtering at this time.