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The key thing about Google et al is that they maintain user accounts and try to get you to stay logged in which means (a) they maintain huge data stores that are (b) tracked by user. While DDG can be required to turn over its records, could theoretically hand its unencrypted traffic over to the NSA, and in any event the NSA could simply pluck the packets off the air en route, it would then have to figure out which packet was from whom and join the dots itself. This is essentially no different from what I assume the NSA can do with any damn website, foreign or domestic, it likes.

As a further wrinkle, if you are logged into Google then it can watch your web surfing activity onto any website with embedded google code (analytics, adwords) which is pretty much most websites.

All of this comes down to Google is an advertising company. If DDG becomes an advertising company, watch out.

How is DDG not an advertising company already? One of the top hit on every search I do on DDG is an ad (actually in my testing I found if I do an informational search like "Barack Obama" I get an ad on DDG and none on Google). If advertising itself is the problem, DDG has already doomed itself.

You're right of course about DDG selling advertising — I assume at much lower cost than Google given their relative inability to gather intelligence about users. The big question is whether they have a non-evil business model on the horizon (sponsored links aren't bad of themselves, but they are the entrance to the rabbit hole Google has long since gone down and expanded into a giant underground complex).

If DDG ever becomes an anything company, watch out.

Seriously, what is the business model they could have that would not result in them collecting some set of info?


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