Ivor O’Connor

November 22, 2013

Google Search Replacement

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 8:57 pm

My latest attempt to replace Google search is with https://startpage.com  Yesterday I read this article “Google’s Schmidt sees encryption killing censorship” where he says “We can end government censorship in a decade,”  “The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.” So according to him we can simply encrypt our Google experience and be ok?!

Yeah, that’s right, replacing Google with a fancy encrypted proxy to Google. And it exists! It basically lets you do Google searches without anybody spying on your searches yet gives the regular Google results you may expect. “StartPage.com” is now my default search engine gotten to by Ctl-l or ctl-k and it works just the same way as I have grown accustomed to. With a few benefits:

10 Ways StartPage Helps You Take Back Your Privacy

  1. StartPage doesn’t store your IP address, use tracking cookies, or make a record of your searches.
    We do not keep any information about the people who search through StartPage or what they search for. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
  2. StartPage protects you from NSA surveillance and spying.
    Your search session with StartPage is protected through powerful SSL encryption so no one – not hackers, not your ISP, not even the federal government – can eavesdrop on your searches. (Read more here)
  3. StartPage gives you 100% real Google results in complete privacy.
    When you search with Startpage, we remove all identifying information from your query and submit it anonymously to Google for you. We get the results and return them to you in total privacy.
  4. StartPage is a Dutch company, so it is not under US jurisdiction.
    Because our company is based in the Netherlands, US data collection programs like PRISM, the Patriot Act, FISA courts, etc. do not directly apply to us. We have never cooperated with spying programs like PRISM. (Plus we have no user data to begin with.)
  5. StartPage offers a free proxy with every search.
    With our proxy, not only can you search privately, but you can view the pages you find through StartPage anonymously and in complete security. To learn more, please see our short overview video here.
  6. StartPage is third-party certified for privacy.
    We not only promise our users total privacy, we back up those claims with rock-solid evidence, through stringent third-party auditing and certification. Here are details:
    How can your privacy policies be verified? Can users trust StartPage to do what it says?
    https://support.startpage.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/8/0/how-can-your-privacy-policies-be-verified-can-users-trust-startpage-to-do-what-it-says
    What auditing and review does your Europrise certification process involve?
    https://support.startpage.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/9/0/what-auditing-and-review-does-your-europrise-certification-process-involve
  7. StartPage has been doing privacy longer than anyone else – since way before privacy was “cool”.
    Our company was founded in 1999, and we’ve been focused on privacy since 2006. (We introduced the StartPage search engine in 2009.)
  8. When it comes to security, StartPage runs the tightest ship on the Internet.
    We’ve been ahead of the privacy curve for years, and we consistently outscore other search engines on independent measures of security. We were the first search engine to offer default SSL encryption, and now we are the first private search engine to offer Perfect Forward Secrecy and the latest version of Transport Layer Security.
  9. StartPage breaks you free of the search engine “Filter Bubble”.
    Major search engines now “personalize” or “pre-screen” the search results they serve you, based on what they know about you from past searches and other services you use. While some people love this, others see it as privacy-invading censorship. Regardless of your views, with StartPage, you get clean, anonymous, non-filtered results every time, because nobody knows who you are.
  10. By using StartPage, you send a powerful pro-privacy message in the marketplace.
    Each time you use an online service, you cast a vote in support of the policies and practices of that service. By using StartPage, you are casting a powerful vote for a private Internet where people can access information anonymously without fear of government surveillance or reprisal.
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