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New York - Company Claims World's First Internet Search Engine With Total Privacy

Published on: February 1, 2009 10:28 PM
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New York - A Dutch company says it has developed the world’s first internet search engine that guarantees users absolute privacy. Ixquick (www.ixquick.com ), established in 1998, is a so-called meta-search engine, which uses the search results of several search engines to provide its own list of results. The search is available in 17 languages.

“Ixquick is the first search engine that does not even store IP addresses temporarily,” Ixquick CEO Robert Beens told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Most search engines store users’ Internet Provider (IP) addresses on its servers - and leave so-called “cookie” on each of the users’ computers that track his or her search behaviour.

With Ixquick, all IP addresses and anonymized files, the latter of which are used by search engines like Google and Yahoo to optimize its search results, are erased from its servers.

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One of its latest features is technology that can instantly differentiate a human using its search engine, from a search robot doing the same, according to Beens.

Search robots often perform automated searches on search engines to acquire addresses and privacy details.

A robot can perform tens of thousands of searches per minute, resulting in a substantial slow-down of the server.

In order to avoid search robot abuse, Ixquick previously stored IP addresses for 48 hours, the time needed to trace and block the search robot’s IP addresses.

“But our new technology can recognize and block a search robot instantly,” says Beens.

As a result, Ixquick does not know how many “unique users” it has.

It can only tell how many searches were performed from a certain area (30,000 per day in the Netherlands).

The company also has no information about the surfing behaviour of its users.

However, the Dutch search engine can only guarantee personal privacy concerning internet traffic between someone’s private computer and the IxQuick server.

As soon you as you click on any of the search results provided by the Ixquick website, your privacy is lost.

“All Internet Service Providers (ISP) that you pass while establishing the connection between your home computer and that particular website you found through the Ixquick search engine, will register you passed through them,” says Beens.

“European Union law obligates ISP’s to store this information for up to six months.”

Therefore, he says, Ixquick is currently developing a so-called proxy server.

This idea - already applied by other companies - involves setting up a separate server that will tell all ISP’s you are surfing from Ixquick rather than from your home IP address.

“When you click on a search result provided by Ixquick, all ISP’s that you pass in order to get to that particular website will think you originated from the Ixquick website,” says Beens.

Beens says his company is particularly popular in Germany, where “people are more privacy conscious than in the Netherlands.”

After Ixquick received the first EuroPrivacy Award in July 2008, he says, the number of searches performed in Germany increased by 30 per cent. In the United States it went up by 20 per cent.

In the Netherlands, where Google dominates around 90 per cent of the search market, Ixquick is an intermediate player on the remaining 10 per cent of the search engine market.


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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 01, 2009 at 09:50 PM jnet Says:

Rchm"l

2

 Feb 01, 2009 at 10:09 PM awsome Says:

this is not good all those sick people looking at bad things can use this also i can just go to a proxy site and then search thru google

3

 Feb 01, 2009 at 10:26 PM Anonymous Says:

is it better then chrome from google they also claim that they are privet?

4

 Feb 01, 2009 at 10:26 PM Privacy Says:

how long will it take for it to become like everyone else?

5

 Feb 02, 2009 at 12:28 AM shemiras enayim Says:

i wonder why everyone cares so much about people knowing which sites they've been on...

6

 Feb 01, 2009 at 11:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

is it better then chrome from google they also claim that they are privet?

Chrome is a browser not a search engine

7

 Feb 02, 2009 at 05:27 AM Anonymous Says:

TAKE THE LINK OFF!!! PLEASE THIS IS TERRIBLE TO GIVE IT SO EASY ACCESS!!!

8

 Feb 02, 2009 at 09:04 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

TAKE THE LINK OFF!!! PLEASE THIS IS TERRIBLE TO GIVE IT SO EASY ACCESS!!!

What's terrible about that browser?
How do you read VIN without a browser?!

9

 Feb 02, 2009 at 07:07 PM Bugsy Siegel Says:

This is good news. There have been cases of where people have been prosecuted for the websites they went on. And I don't mean what you are thinking, as well as what all the other commentators are thinking. I am referring to the case where a hit and run driver ran over somebody and left. Police later arrested him. The man claimed he thought he ran over an animal. Prosecutors brought evidence at the trial that he had searched for hit and run news in the days after the accident and had read an article describing the accident he was involved in and that the article he had read described the model of his car. I am sure there are other cases.
So using google to find stuff, can come back to bite you.

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