Google has encrypted all searches made by people in china to avoid official scrutiny of where they go online and in a bid to take privacy a notch higher in the country.

The search engine will now encrypt all the text involved in searches “by default” around the world. The move is also a reaction to continuing revelations about the extent of surveillance of web browsing habits by the National Security Agency (NSA).

US and UK have had the option to encrypt their searches since 2010 and Google is now upgrading search processes around the world. In China, the web browsing and social media habits of citizens are monitored by a very sophisticated system that attempts to stop people finding out about or sharing information on sensitive subjects.

Home grown search engine Baidu is most used in the country since it does not comply with official censorship requests. Google will now provide more protection on users’ personal data to avoid getting in trouble with governments whose concern on sensitive information is high.

“The revelations this past summer underscored our need to strengthen our networks.” Said Google spokeswoman Nikki Christoff in a statement.