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Concerns about 'DuckDuckGo' - can the NSA monitor searches?

DuckDuckGo does not store cookies, IP information, data, or track users. They claim that if the NSA requested user information, they would have none to give over.

HOWEVER - what stops the NSA from intercepting the searches in the first place? The servers are located in the USA which means they could compel 'backdoor' integration.

Does anyone have any thoughts/information on this? It would seem the safest place to host servers would be somewhere like Iceland/Switzerland, and yet they choose to host them in a KNOWN monitoring country like USA?


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I think if you were a target,

I think if you were a target, your every move online would be narrowly targeted and you'd have all incoming and outgoing traffic from your house monitored and possibly a key logger would be remotely installed on your computer.

It depends

If the site is encrypted than NSA can't intercept your searches. If it's not; like DP , they can. Assume NSA has your DP password for instance because even the logins aren't encrypted.

According to duckduckgo, they

According to duckduckgo, they are encrypted. That being said, how do we know they haven't been OBLIGED to allow 'backdoor' access via hardware, or software, or both, from the NSA? How do we know that they haven't been FORCED to remain secretive on this subject and not disclose it?

I find it interesting that LAVABIT decided to close down rather than comply with NSA requests to turn over emails. Yet, these other companies aren't receiving the same sort of threats/pressures from the NSA? How do we know that they are being honest - the only way to really know is if they publicly disclose requests the moment they happen and fight it.

good point

That's a good point. One thing about lavabit is they wanted Snowden's emails because that's the service he used. As for the other companies, it wouldn't shock me. Hell, it wouldn't shock me if NSA setup their own 'private' mail service as a honey pot.

Startpage/Ixquick is located

Startpage/Ixquick is located in the Netherlands. as is the up an coming Startmail email service, of which I am a beta tester.

I wish it were so simple

All traffic that passes through international gateways (routers at the borders), is automatically intercepted and logged by the NSA.

The only way to have secure search might be to run the search engine locally off of your computer rather than a search engine's web site. Even that may be vulnerable :(

I've thought about those services too

I've thought about those services, and the fact that they are based out of the Netherlands. That being said, I don't trust any countries that are dictated to by the EU one bit! The EU is a pseudo-dictatorship that only has a remote semblance to a democracy (countries are dictated LAWS that are passed by UNELECTED members). It is in an even worse position than the USA in my opinion.

I would only trust services in Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and maybe a few other places if people could cite privacy protections there.

What are your guys thoughts on this?

Also, do you think my concerns about NSA interception at duckduckgo are valid?

I hear your concerns about

I hear your concerns about the EU, but from what I have read the Netherlands is pretty good on privacy. I don't know if the EU has much of an internet surveillance presence. Startmail makes a pretty good case for itself, biased obviously: https://www.startmail.com/privacy

I know how bad the NSA is, I would not be surprised if they have found a way to make sure all computer devices send their data straight to them. But I'm not a techie, so just speculating. I will stick with Startmail for now, I don't know of a better option.

How do I become a beta tester for smartmail?

We just launched the first free 'Web Library Service' called www.SpiderWebbs.com. We've incorporated 'StartPage' as our default search engine.

I'm of Dutch decent myself and understand the privacy laws mandated by the EU. There was a time when the USA held first position regarding such privacy law protection. Oh how things have changed!

How do I become a beta tester for 'SmartMail'?

www.SpiderWebbs.com (Take Your Bookmarks Wherever You Go!)

From Startmail: "Since first

From Startmail:

"Since first announcing StartMail, we've been amazed at the overwhelming response we've received. Over 50,000 privacy-loving people have signed up to participate in our launch as beta testers. (Thank you!)

We've closed the beta test enrollment period so we can move forward with the roll out, but don't worry if you missed it. You can still sign up to get first dibs on a paid StartMail account, which will be issued on a limited, first-come, first-served basis. Just leave your email address and check the "Advance Reservation" box at the bottom of this page."


Yes, things have certainly changed!

And, there are a lot of us in the states that do not like it, either! I have been using StartPage since it came out. I still get a lot of crap I do not ask for. But, it seems to be pretty good at maintaining privacy.