AMITIAE - Thursday 28 June 2013

Cassandra: DuckDuckGo Anonymous Search Engine Releases iOS App

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By Graham K. Rogers


With the recent interest in alleged surveillance programs by NSA and other acronym-using agencies, there has been some anger addressed towards some US companies in terms of what they might have been sharing with the US government. The telephone companies appear to have been complicit in the collection of data but also mentioned were Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft among others. All issued carefully-worded denials and the jury is still out: information about these programs is still being uncovered.

DuckDuckGo While some of the reports were coming out, the search engine, DuckDuckGo came to the fore in some reports because unlike Google it does not retain data. Google may do that for the purposes of its main business - advertising - but retained data is a juicy fruit that the NSA would love to consume. If no data is being kept, in theory, the NSA has nothing to look at.

I have tried DuckDuckGo search a couple of times, but this may not suit everyone. However, the organisation responsible for this has now released an iOS app for DuckDuckGo that may be downloaded from the iTunes App Store (even in Thailand).

The information claims that users may search anonymously; there is no tracking; the results are instant (that may depend on local internet conditions); and that the app offers stories from the internet, including "no depressing news or graphic content."

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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