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China blocks Duck Duck Go, the privacy-minded search engine

duck duck go logo on chinese flag

Using the Internet in China just got a little less private. 

Using the Internet in China just got a little less private than it already was.

DuckDuckGo, the search engine that operates as a privacy-respecting alternative to Google, has reportedly been blocked by the Great Firewall. 

Multiple users in China confirmed the block to the Daily Dot that they were unable to access DuckDuckGo, which doesn’t store users’ search history, without a workaround, and founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg tweeted to Tech In Asia Monday morning that the engine had been blocked.

GreatFire.org, a site devoted to tracking Chinese site blocking, indicates the site was added to China’s ever-growing blacklist around Sept. 3.

China has banned a number of foreign websites if they don’t acquiesce to keeping a presence in the country, resulting in many powerhouse services, like Twitter, Google, and Facebook, being banned from much of the public. Users can still get around the block using a virtual private network (VPN), though it’s been interrupting those with increasing frequency.

Those who still want to search can do so with Bing, as Microsoft keeps servers in the country, or with local search engines. Both of those are heavily censored, however, and Chinese censorship can sometimes go to extreme lengths. On June 4, the anniversary of the Tiannamen Square massacre, users of the popular social media site Sina Weibo weren’t even allowed to search for “today.”

H/T Gigaom | Illustration by Jason Reed

Kevin Collier

Kevin Collier

A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.