September 02, 2013, 1:03 PM — GNOME Dumps Google for DuckDuckGo in Web Search
Good news for GNOME users, the project has removed Google as its default web search engine. Instead it will use DuckDuckGo. Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo does not collect or share a user's information.
Today, we have switched the default search engine in Web from Google to DuckDuckGo. This change might come up as a surprise, but there are a handful of reasons why this actually makes sense:
Privacy: the GNOME project has decided, since that enlightening keynote by Jacob Appelbaum in GUADEC 2012, to make an extra effort towards ensuring users' privacy, and we, the Web developers, believe we need to align with this goal. Using Google's search engine by default is counterproductive to this effect, unfortunately. I assume I don't need to go into details on the many ways in which Google tracks what their users do. DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, does not collect or share personal information.
It works: as this is something that we've been debating for pretty long, I've spent this time using DuckDuckGo as the default search engine on my own machines, and I am happy with the results it gives. It even has pretty handy keywords that you can use to directly search in Wikipedia (!w), Amazon (!a), or even Google if you still need it (!g). I do believe the Spanish translation of the website could use some love, but their community platform is probably a good starting place for anyone interested in contributing with more and improved translations.
Hat Tip: Phoronix
I'm completely in favor of this change. It's way past time for Google to have some competition anyway in the search market. The added privacy protection of DuckDuckGo is just icing on the cake.
I can't find any fault with the GNOME project about this decision, given the recent disclosure of the NSA spying scandal that has sent shockwaves through the online world. Anything that helps protect the privacy of users is welcome, and I think other Linux projects should do the same thing (if they haven't already moved away from Google).
If you aren't familiar with DuckDuckGo, please see their About page. There's a lot of helpful information there that will explain why it's such a great search engine.
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