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[liberationtech] DuckDuckGo and PRISM

Bernard Tyers ei8fdb at
Tue Apr 29 16:33:52 PDT 2014

Hash: SHA1

On 29/04/2014 15:09, carlo von lynX wrote:

>> best default option. Also, their own DDG Android app/widget is 
>> open-source, and integrates with Orbot/Tor proxying directly.
> Oh, you need an app to use search?

Yep, it's called a web browser. Orbot is a web browser.

>>> I am sure the folks are great, just like the ones working at
>>> Google..
>> Aside from being geographically located in the US, they are about
>> as good as it gets for a search company. Not as just humans, but
>> as an organization, and the decisions they have made WRT to
>> privacy. As we
> ... are totally irrelevant considering US law that forbids them
> from letting you know if the NSA has virtual memory access to all
> of their servers. Probably there is just one person inside the
> entire company who would know and must in no way tell anybody
> else.

It's a mixture of:

a. how hard is it for a user to search with *some reasonable
semblence* of privacy
b. how trustworthy are they, or better worded "how much does the user
*feel* they can trust them?
c. how easy/hard is it for government agencies to intercept/get access
to search terms.

To address a. with Google - it's pretty f'ing hard. People forget
they've logged in as they use whatever service from Google. At which
point you've lost it.

b. People hear people they trust (in other words, a lot of people on
this list) telling them you can trust DDG.

Their website *looks* trustworthy (worth nothing in reality, I'll
agree), and so people will make a decision based on both of those,

I have watched people making decisions to use a website based on
decisions such as "well it looks like a <service I was testing>
website", even though they had to go through 4-5 links which were
served higher.

c. Most people don't take this into account as they are just trying to
do a web search.

Hopefully a. and b. above have been successful in reducing the
likelihood of an issue. And as for c. this is outside the users control.

Ultimately they'll make a decision on what suits them, so lets try and
help them be a little bit safer.

> YacY still adheres to the pure ideology of P2P, putting
> computational, spidering and search load on each participant. There
> should be an incentive for diverse people to run it in the Internet
> backbone and a possibility to use a client that accesses the DHT
> without having to participate in it and contribute back.
> Essentially, YacY should learn from Tor.

And as for I support any service they increases user privacy.
When I go to their index page I get:

"Web Search by the people, for the people

YaCy is a free search engine that anyone can use to build a search
portal for their intranet or to help search the public internet. When
contributing to the world-wide peer network, the scale of YaCy is
limited only by the number of users in the world and can index
billions of web pages. It is fully decentralized, all users of the
search engine network are equal, the network does not store user
search requests and it is not possible for anyone to censor the
content of the shared index. We want to achieve freedom of information
through a free, distributed web search which is powered by the world's

If I was a non-technical user, within about 2 seconds I'd close this
tab and go back to Google.

They need to redesign their front page and focus on what they built it
to do: help people search.

They can explain their background in a much better way.

Humans aren't easy.

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