[LINK] Search engine proxy service

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Jan 29 10:27:52 AEDT 2010

Hopefully in future, all search engines will offer a proxy service ..

Startpage launches anonymous Web search service

feedType=nl&feedName=ustechnology  (snipped)

LONDON (Reuters) - Search-engine company Startpage launched a service 
allowing users concerned about privacy to carry out Web searches, and 
click on linked pages, without being identified, tracked or recorded

Unlike mainstream search engines that gather commercially valuable 
information about user behavior, privately held Startpage 
(www.startpage.com) has focused on privacy since 2005.

Startpage -- also known as Ixquick outside the United States and Britain -
- had already offered private searching, but users would leave the 
company's protection when they clicked on a search result and entered a 
third-party website.

*The new service offers use of a Startpage proxy that means the user is 
invisible to all websites, though pages load more slowly since Startpage 
must first retrieve the contents and then redisplay them.*

"My wake-up call came last year," says Katherine Albrecht, who runs U.S. 
media relations and marketing for Startpage and who says she noticed 
Google Inc had installed a program monitoring users who typed in terms 
indicating they had influenza -- and was sharing the information with the 
U.S. Center for Disease Control.

"I had been a privacy advocate for 10 years, but even so I was using 
Google just like everybody else," she said.

The chief executive of Google, which dominates the global Web search 
market, outraged critics last month with comments in a TV interview. "If 
you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you 
shouldn't be doing it in the first place," Eric Schmidt said in a 
interview on news channel CNBC.

"The reality is that search engines, including Google, do retain this 
information for some time," he said. "We are all subject in the United 
States to the Patriot Act. It is possible that that information could be 
made available to the authorities."

Rivals Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc complied. Startpage does not keep 
information about its users on file, so it could not be forced to hand 
anything over.

Startpage says it has been profitable for the last five years. It is 
funded by advertising including sponsored links that are matched to the 
content of Websites and searches, but not to user profiles.

Startpage, which was founded in New York and is owned by private Dutch 
company Surfboard Holding BV, does not publish user numbers but says it 
had served over 1.2 billion searches as of December 2009.

It also competes with Infospace's Dogpile, WebCrawler and MetaCrawler in 
metasearch, or returning results from multiple search engines. It is also 
exploring ways to offer private email



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