Developers will no longer be able to use Google to bypass government locks. The company stopped supporting the domain-fronting technique, which allowed using the Google network as a disguise. The first changes were noticed by thedevelopers of Tor.
The changes will affect all Google services and are already threatening with technical problems for some services that used front-end to bypass government locks. Among them are Signal, GreatFire.org, and VPN-services of the company Psiphon.
A representative of Google in a conversation with The Verge said that the company had long planned to update the network.
Google has never supported front-end as a separate opportunity, but so far it has worked because of the features of our software. We are constantly improving our network and switching off the front-end is part of the planned changes. We have no plans to implement this option.
Fronting allowed the developer to use Google as a proxy, redirecting the traffic of their services through the domain of the search engine. This helped to combat state censorship in some countries, because of which a whole resource could be blocked. However, while some service used front-end, all the data passed through Google.com, and encryption did not give regulators the opportunity to find out anything else.