DuckDuckGo (DDG) is an internet search engine which avoids filter bubbling personalized search results to protect the privacy of web users. Its headquarter is in Paoli, Pennsylvania, and the company has more than 90 workers. Unlike other search engines, DuckDuckGo doesn’t profile searchers. Also, the search engine does not display similar search results for specific terms. DuckDuckGo wasn’t available in India in the first week of July. But, it has been broadly restored now. Here is an insight into DuckDuckGo services.
The Restoration of DuckDuckGo Services
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India banned over 50 Chinese applications like WeChat and TikTok in India, on June 29, 2020. The government claimed that the apps took part in activities that prejudiced the integrity and sovereignty of India. Even so, it is uncertain whether the ministry blocked DuckDuckGo as part of its targets in the ban. Reports state that the Pennsylvania-based search engine wasn’t in the list of banned apps of the Indian government.
Many web users in India weren’t able to access DuckDuckGo from July 1 to July 4, 2020. The spokesperson of DuckDuckGo sent an email to The Verge stating that the company hadn’t received any response from the Indian government since it contacted it. They also said that the company wondered why the Government of India instructed Indian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block DDG. DuckDuckGo held discussions with various internet providers to understand why they had blocked it.
The privacy-focused internet search engine wasn’t reachable in specific parts of the country a few days after July 5. As DuckDuckGo takes on Google, it has broadly restored its services to increase its accessibility in India. The tech company thanked its clients for being patient when its services were unreachable. The DoT ordered internet service providers and telecom to unblock the search engine.
DuckDuckGo advised web users to choose new DNS settings. It stated that switching to another DNS provider appears to have solved its accessibility issues. The company recommended switching to the 18.104.22.168 setting as it is more private. The search engine does not profile or track users.
The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) stated that 300 internet users in India had sent reports complaining about their inability to reach DuckDuckGo services. Besides, users of Airtel, ACT, Airtel Broadband, GTPL, Vodafone and Reliance Jio services complained to IFF. Some people thought that internet service providers experienced a technical error that prevented them from accessing DuckSuckGo.
IFF wrote a letter to the IT Ministry and Department of Telecom asking them to reconsider blocking foreign URLs and web services. The foundation introduced SaveTheInternet.in. to help web users send reports whenever specific internet services are inaccessible. Since its launch, the tool has received over 1,400 reports from all over the country.
DuckDuckGo is the second most popular search engine worldwide. DuckDuckGo restored its services at the beginning of July. The company thanked web users for their reports on Twitter. It requested them to report if they have trouble while accessing the online search engine. Searchers can use Cloudflare, a Virtual Private Network, or switch their DNS provider to access DuckDuckGo services.