Options to prevent Google’s gropey hands from gathering your browsing information have dwindled today due to the shuttering up of Scroogle. For those unawares, Scroogle was a search engine that acted as an “online condom” to enable users to practice safe searching while preventing companies like Google from tracking your habits. The main cause for the site’s shutdown is said to stem from a constant stream of recent DDoS attacks.
In an email to BetaBeat, the site’s main operator, Daniel Brandt, said that the privacy-friendly search engine is “gone forever.”
“Even if all my DDoS problems had never started in December, Scroogle was already getting squeezed from Google’s throttling, and was already dying. It might have lasted another six months if I hadn’t lost seven servers from DDoS, but that’s about all.
“I no longer have any domains online. I also took all my domains out of DNS because I want to signal to the criminal element that I have no more servers to trash. This hopefully will ward off further attacks on my previous providers.”
The other sites mentioned by Brandt that he maintained were namebase.org, book-grab.com, google-watch.org, and cia-on-campus.org.
Since Google also offers an encrypted search option that enables protection from info-tracking bloodhounds, including companies like Google itself, that may explain why Google made it difficult for Scroogle to operate smoothly.
For those left longing for a way to search Google without the spectre of Google and others tracking their browsing history, Search Engine Land has compiled a list of offerings that users may find helpful. In my own experience, DuckDuckGo.com has served me the best although I haven’t experimented extensively with other privacy-first search engines because I was immediately satisfied with DuckDuckGo’s straight-forward policy.
If any readers have further suggestions for Scroogle alternates, feel free to add them below in the comments.