How To Search The Internet Without Big Brother Watching

private-anonymous-internet-search

Given the new knowledge that our government is watching us on the internet (and elsewhere), and given that the those who have the majority share of search engine traffic (the big G) are participating in the NSA surveillance program (PRISM), I thought you might like to know how you might search the internet with some amount of anonymity, without being tracked or traced…

 
I have no affiliation and nothing to gain by promoting this, except to provide you with a search-engine alternative. An alternative that keeps you anonymous when you’re looking for something on the internet.

No PRISM. No Surveillance.

No Government Back Doors.

You Have our Word on it.

 
Giant US government Internet spying scandal revealed

The Washington Post and The Guardian have revealed a US government mass Internet surveillance program code-named “PRISM”. They report that the NSA and the FBI have been tapping directly into the servers of nine US service providers, including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Yahoo, YouTube, AOL and Skype, and began this surveillance program at least seven years ago. (clarifying slides)

These revelations are shaking up an international debate.

StartPage has always been very outspoken when it comes to protecting people’s privacy and civil liberties. So it won’t surprise you that we are a strong opponent of overreaching, unaccountable spy programs like PRISM. In the past, even government surveillance programs that were begun with good intentions have become tools for abuse, for example tracking civil rights and anti-war protesters.

Programs like PRISM undermine our Privacy, disrupt faith in governments, and are a danger to the free Internet.

StartPage and its sister search engine Ixquick have in their 14-year history never provided a single byte of user data to the US government, or any other government or agency. Not under PRISM, nor under any other program in the US, nor under any program anywhere in the world. We are not like Yahoo, Facebook, Google, Apple, Skype, or the other US companies who got caught up in the web of PRISM surveillance.

 
Here’s how it’s different:

* StartPage does not store any user data. We make this perfectly clear to everyone, including any governmental agencies. We do not record the IP addresses of our users and we don’t use tracking cookies, so there is literally no data about you on our servers to access. Since we don’t even know who our customers are, we can’t share anything with Big Brother. In fact, we’ve never gotten even a single request from a governmental authority to supply user data in the fourteen years we’ve been in business.

* StartPage uses encryption (HTTPS) by default. Encryption prevents snooping. Your searches are encrypted, so others can’t “tap” the Internet connection to snoop what you’re searching for. This combination of not storing data together with using strong encryption for the connections is key in protecting your Privacy.

* Our company is based in The Netherlands, Europe. US jurisdiction does not apply to us, at least not directly. Any request or demand from ANY government (including the US) to deliver user data, will be thoroughly checked by our lawyers, and we will not comply unless the law which actually applies to us would undeniably require it from us. And even in that hypothetical situation, we refer to our first point; we don’t even have any user data to give. We will never cooperate with voluntary spying programs like PRISM.

* StartPage cannot be forced to start spying. Given the strong protection of the Right to Privacy in Europe , European governments cannot just start forcing service providers like us to implement a blanket spying program on their users. And if that ever changed, we would fight this to the end.

 

Privacy. It’s not just our policy, it’s our business.

– StartPage.com

 
If any of our readers have other ideas and solutions for anonymity on the internet,
add a comment for the benefit of others.

For anonymous browsing, there is the Tor Browser ( torproject.org )

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27 Comments

  1. For something so secure why when you go to the home page it says enhanced by Google. I find this kind of funny actually. Honestly nothing is safe or secure on the internet. Anything you put up on the internet can never go away.

    1. “…it says enhanced by Google. I find this kind of funny actually.”

      Actually, it’s funny in that it uses Google’s search engine power, and turns it on its head, so to speak… that’s the nice thing about StartPage. StartPage uses the power of Google, while entirely isolating you and your IP address from Google. As far as Google is concerned, it appears to them that every search is coming from StartPage. Think of it as StartPage being in the middle between you and Google, severing the link…

  2. I already use StartPage and it is great. I highly recommend it. I have yet to try Ixquick, but it gets rave reviews as well. Perhaps SP is a bit slower, but that is a price I am prepared to pay.

  3. if the start page says “enhanced by google”, wouldnt that PRETTY MUCH assure that google has its foot in the door?

    1. “wouldnt that PRETTY MUCH assure that google has its foot in the door?”

      No, it would not… and that’s the nice thing about StartPage. It uses the power of Google, but it entirely isolates you and your IP address from Google. As far as Google is concerned, it appears to them that every search is coming from StartPage. Think of it as StartPage being in the middle between you and Google, severing the link…

  4. So Startpage means US agency can’t access it. Do that mean European governments can? DuckDuckGo.com is another such search engine.

    1. “Do that mean European governments can?”

      No, it does not.

      DuckDuckGo.com is another search engine that I use… thanks for pointing that out.

  5. Ken, thks for explanation of how startpage is in between me and google, so to speak.

  6. I just checked this page out for the first time. If nothing is tracked, how does it know I have searched certain topics before? Hence, when searching for long term food storage it had highlighted past web searches I’ve done. Hmm!!!

    1. It probably doesn’t. Highlighting recent sites is a feature in your local browser. If you clear browser history, that will go away.

  7. Ken,
    Thank you for all the great information on so many subjects.
    I look forward to your posts everyday and have been reading for the last 4 or 5 months.
    It’s been very eye opening to say the least Every single post you make is easily confirmed by other sources.
    I truly value your perspective. This is not the country I grew up in. I hope we can get it back.

    1. Thanks Mark, I appreciate your comment… it helps keep me motivated ;)

      Awareness of our present problems as a nation, is a first step towards solving them. It is an uphill battle as the apparent majority are takers from the system – who continue to multiply and vote in corrupt politicians who promise them ‘stuff’. We can take this country back… ‘we’ did it as a 1/3 minority against England back in the day… let’s hope it doesn’t come to that again. We must overwhelm our representatives with our voices.

      1. I think we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg.
        the fundamental transformation is going to destroy this nation if we don’t act now

        1. I agree entirely, and is one reason I keep this blog going. I feel that the time is now to act, to make others aware, to work within the system to bring us back from the brink. It may or may not be too late, but we must try. The system has blinded (programed) so many people, that it is difficult at best to wake them up. My real hope is that those who are on the same page… that they will speak out rather than staying silent. The ‘good guys’ so often are the quiet type while the ‘bad guys’ are typically boisterous bullies. It’s time for the good guys to say something, to do something…

    1. The marketplace has a way of coming up with solutions for what people want. I have a feeling that the revelations of government spying on Americans with the cooperation with the big-guns like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Apple, and others… will lead to other startup’s who may provide better anonymity compared to the known operatives with the NSA…

  8. No matter what,the administration already has a master plan for what they are going to do with the populace at large.Been in the works for a long time.Just be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  9. and if you use firefox, there are many add-ons that may help.
    Adblock plus, Masking agent, Donottrackme, self-destructing cookies, AnonymoX, ect…

  10. Rule #1

    Anyone who claims that you can somehow be anonymous on the net is either totally clueless or a .gov disinfo operative.

    1. …you are entitled to your opinion, but my instinct tells me that StartPage, DuckDuckGo, etc., are not government disinfo operatives. Why would they be? As it is, 95% of all searches probably go through proven NSA (PRISM) operative companies as Google, Yahoo, and Bing…

      I’m simply putting it out there that there there are apparently other alternatives to those giants, and some of them are apparently not tracking you like the big guys are… If given a choice (which I am), then I will choose a search engine who seems to be up front with their claims of anonymity, versus Google, Yahoo, or Bing which are evidently working with the NSA.

      Get it?

  11. Off topic, but maybe an interesting slip of the tongue,

    Well in the news today, heard Mr Obama speaking re his decision on arming rebels….
    Well, he kept saying, “I have changed my calculus”..

    This did not sound correct to me, so I double checked on the definition of calculus….
    Mmmm methinks Mr Obama misspoke…..not sure what he did mean to say, but it is doubtful he truly meant to refer to calculus, unless he was talking about his dental calculus (and really, he has been so busy of late dodging reporters, maybe he has not had time for brushing/dental care),
    or perhaps what with all that has been going on, he was referring to his stomach …..(a calculus or concretions found in the stomach or intestine)…for sure it would be understandable if he was experiencing dyspepsia, all things considered.

    obama calculus

    calculus dental
    In dentistry, calculus or tartar is a form of hardened dental plaque. It is caused by the continual accumulation of minerals from saliva on plaque on the teeth

    calculus crud
    1. crud – Idioms Dictionary | Common Idioms and Phrases in English …
    dictionary.reference.com/idioms/crud‎
    /krʌd/ Show Spelled [kruhd] Show IPA noun, verb, crud•ded, crud•ding. … a calculus or concretion found in the stomach or intestines of certain animals, esp.

    1. calculus reanimates itself – DIY PERIO
    diyperio.com/calculus.html‎
    But will say that just about anytime I see a big bloody blob of periodontal crud and look inside what do I find? A piece of calculus. And to top it off, the size of the …

  12. Start Page secures (Protects) your web browsing but what software is out there that will protect your email accounts?

    1. I use hush.com (hushmail.com) for some of my email. It’s outside the U.S., uses https, and is apparently secure. There are other solutions out there too. Perhaps someone with specific knowledge will chime in…

  13. Search for Tor, download it, then use the web browser. It routes all of your traffic through several different servers around the world.

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