CHINA TOPIX

Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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DuckDuckGo, "The Search Engine That Doesn't Track You", Blocked by China

DuckDuckGo

(Photo : duckduckgo.com)

China has reportedly started to block DuckDuckGo, a search engine that prides itself of its privacy-protected setting.

DuckduckGo is a search engine that refrains from storing the information of its users. It also does not track the only activity of those utilizing its services. In an announcement posted at GreatFire.org, a website that follows the web services available in China, DuckDuckGo has been blocked since Sep. 3 in the country.

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The aforementioned search engine was shoved into the spotlight after the U.S. government revealed that some of their officials had been conducting online surveillance using DuckDuckGo. Although DuckDuckGo, which has dubbed itself as the "the search engine that doesn't track you", admittedly has minimal shares in the search engine market, Apple has recently added it as an option for the iOS 8 mobile platform for its iPhones.

In an email sent to AFP, Gabriel Weinberg, the founder of DuckDuckGo, confirmed both news. He said that the search engine had been blocked in China. However, he claimed that they "aren't sure why" this decision was made by the Chinese government. Weinberg also confirmed that DuckDuckGo "is now available in iOS 8 and (Apple's) OS X Mavericks and Mountain Lion and all of our focus is on that."

In an attempt to figure out the reason for China's blocking of DuckDuckGo, Barry Schwartz, a blogger consultant on Search Engine Land, provided his hypothesis. He surmised that one possible reason for the decision to block is the failure of DuckDuckGo to comply with the filtering regulations implemented by the Chinese government to regulate online activities.  

DuckDuckGo, which was conceived in 2007, is a search engine that does not save IP addresses. It also does not create user profiles for those utilizing the site. Aside from this search engine, China has also deterred access to other foreign online services like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The country had been employing a system called the "Great Firewall" to impose the bans on these online sites.

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