DuckDuckGo, the privacy focused web browser, surprisingly appeared to be blocked in India since the evening of yesterday, July 1. After numerous complaints surfaced on social media platforms, DuckDuckGo released a statement on Twitter acknowledging the issue. However, there have been no confirmations regarding the same from either the government of India, or from any of India’s internet service providers (ISPs), as to why might this block have been imposed.
In an interaction with News18, Daniel Davis, communications manager for DuckDuck, confirmed to News18 that the company is still in process of identifying which ISPs appear to be blocking access to DuckDuckGo in India, and getting in touch with them. Davis also told News18 that DuckDuckGo has only become aware of this issue as a result of user reports. It yet to receive any official communication from either official authorities or Indian ISPs on why might this issue have occurred, or any ground for blocking the service in India.
“We're aware of the situation thanks to the many user reports, and are gathering more information on which ISPs are affected. We've confirmed it's not an issue with our servers and hope all users in India will be able to access DuckDuckGo Search again very soon,” Davis told News18.
After taking cognisance of the service being blocked in India yesterday, DuckDuckGo suggested a temporary workaround of switching the third party DNS provider on any network in order to access the search engine’s services. This process, however, is only going to be temporary, and word remains thin on exactly what may be causing the service to not work – especially since DuckDuckGo says it is not an issue from their end.
So far, DuckDuckGo’s blocking appears intermittent in India. While the service was unavailable on Airtel Broadband until today morning, it appears to have been restored since the past one hour prior to publishing of this report. The service still remains down on ACT Fibernet, while Excitel, a smaller scale internet provider in India, has not blocked access to it.