I came across this "feature" by accident, and it's very useful.
Microsoft has an add-in to Internet Explorer called Fiddler, which
lets you inspect http sessions. I've discovered that when Fiddler is
on, you can use it to inspect Chrome's http traffic as well. This
trick also works with Safari/Windows but does not work with certain
First, start IE and Fiddler, and set "capture traffic" on. Select an
http session containing an html page. Look at the response (bottom
right pane) in Text view. Next to the button that says "View in
Notepad", there is a button with 3 dots (...) where you can select a
different program. Select Chrome. At that point Chrome will launch
on a cached copy of the html, but all of its http traffic then appears
within Fiddler. That includes all the tabs and even things like
Chrome's downloads from safebrowsing.clients.google.com and so forth.
Fiddler has a lot more detail than Chrome's about:network feature.
As I understand it ( http://www.fiddlertool.com/Fiddler/help/hookup.asp
), Fiddler works as an http proxy running on local port 8888.
Although I don't see this in Chrome's proxy settings, I suspect it
reuses the proxy settings of the program that launched it.