It's not so sudden - do you remember the case of that Swedish company that put up their quarterly data report on the website and named the file after the same scheme as the old ones? They didn't link it, but apparently someone at Reuters was clever, pulled the file down and published the data...
Right! In fact I think the spyware thing broke about 3 months back, but to be honest I didn't have time to go scarfing back for links. The reason I say "suddenly" even though it's been going on for a while is that I used the trick this morning and I should know better ;-)
What is the spyware tool that Google has shipped which captures secret URLs from chat sessions and email sessions, and then forwards them back to Google?
to be honest I couldn't recall the details. ah here we go, Google got a Big Brother Award Nomination. Here's an article that puts it in balance:
Now, I recall another plugin or program (not Google) was also snaffling URLs from chat sessions. But I can't recall who or where or why.
The important thing is not the storm in a teacup over who's being evil and who's being silly, but the effect this has on the overall security assumptions that we make.