- DuckDuckGo is unreachable for many users in India on several networks.
- The company has said the seach engine could be blocked in India.
- Tor browser can still help access the DuckDuckGo search engine.
Days after India imposed a ban on a total of 59 apps that belong to Chinese companies, several people are unable to access the search engine DuckDuckGo in India. The privacy-centric search engine seems to be unresponsive on all networks, as reported by several users in India on Twitter and Reddit. After the number of flags poured in, DuckDuckGo acknowledged the issue and said it is talking to the Indian ISPs over the reason behind the blocking.
A number of Twitter users took to Twitter to report that DuckDuckGo is inaccessible for them on multiple networks, including Reliance Jio and Airtel. While the effective extent of this issue is not clear, it is affecting DuckDuckGo users on both cellular and broadband connections. It is also not clear whether it is a glitch or a phased curb on the search engine.
"To our users in India: We've received many reports our search engine is unreachable by much of India right now and have confirmed it is not due to us. We're actively talking to Internet providers to get to the bottom of it ASAP. Thank you for your patience," said DuckDuckGo in a statement on Twitter Wednesday.
We have reached out to the internet service providers to know why DuckDuckGo is unreachable in India.
Chances are Department of Telecom has asked the ISPs to block DuckDuckGo in India, much like what it did with the Chinese apps a day ago. The reason to why DoT would do such a thing is unclear. DuckDuckGo is a US-based search engine company, which was not a part of the list that banned 59 apps earlier this week. If the criterion does not include DuckDuckGo as a Chinese app, we could be looking at another case that might be similar to WeTransfer.
DoT blocked WeTransfer last month over the reasons that were mainly centred on security reasons. The entire domain of the WeTransfer website was blocked across all the ISPs in India, leaving the file-sharing platform useless.
Meanwhile, DuckDuckGo seems to have found the solution for users who are affected by the unprecedented glitch. The search engine has suggested users should use the third-party DNS-provider 188.8.131.52. It is a DNS fixing app that can solve network connection issues by redirecting the URL to a new DNS. We used the 184.108.40.206 app to access DuckDuckGo and we were able to open the website.
Mind you, the app is available on Android, which means DuckDuckGo can be accessed on Android phones. To access DuckDuckGo on desktops and mobile, users can access the search engine on the Tor Browser, which is also a non-tracking internet browser.