While the Indian government might be currently angry with the Chinese over land border which has led to a number of services being axed from the country, the privacy-focused search engine, DuckDuckGo is currently not being accessible as well in the country.
Is DuckDuckGo blocked in India?
This came amid users on Reddit noticing they’re unable to access the site on their Airtel and Reliance Jio mobile network connections. Aside those on Reddit, Twitter users have also suggested multiple internet service providers have blocked the site but none was able to explain why this is the case.
Thanks! Colleagues (Divyank, Kushagra) and I ran some tests from Bangalore and Delhi.— Gurshabad Grover (@GurshabadGrover) July 1, 2020
Confirmed that @DuckDuckGo
is being blocked by multiple ISPs in India, including:
Vodafone 4G (HTTP HOST-based)
Airtel 4G (DNS-based, SNI-based)
Jio 4G (SNI-based)
ACT not blocking it yet. https://t.co/HSynullIIS
Now which idiot at DoT (Department of Telecommunications, Government of India) ordered to block @DuckDuckGo in #India? As usual the https://t.co/ROFjt3WkxH is working. #privacy @internetfreedom #NetNeutrality— kushaldas https://toots.dgplug.org/@kushal (@kushaldas) July 1, 2020
Here is the screenshot. pic.twitter.com/SbTtadS94U— kushaldas https://toots.dgplug.org/@kushal (@kushaldas) July 1, 2020
Why this is the case isn’t yet clarified to anyone as whether the Indian government also blocked the site but according to TheNexWeb, the media company said it has reached out to telecom companies and internet service providers in the country to find out the reasons whether DuckDuckGo is being blocked in India or not.
DuckDuckGo on the other hand has confirmed to have been notified about the issue as well while stating that Android users change their DNS provider in order to get around the issue as it says the issue isn’t from it’s own end.
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.— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) July 1, 2020
🇮🇳 Among other sites and Apps, @duckduckgo is now blocked by multiple ISPs in India. You can still search privately using Tor Browser. 🧅— The Tor Project (@torproject) July 1, 2020
Download now: https://t.co/U6m1AWXxjU pic.twitter.com/nqnZPPkHjN
In May, DoT sent an order to ISPs to block popular file transfer site WeTransfer citing security reasons. However, there was no explanation as to what security threat WeTransfer posed. The same also goes with the 59 Chinese apps blocked by the Indian government which basically stated that the services were jeopardizing it’s country’s data security.