News

Scroogle Founder Pulls The Plug, Closes Website

22 Feb/12

Scroogle was one of the sites that came up occasionally here on Ghacks as an alternative to Google Search. It basically provided access to Google Search results through a proxy to protect the privacy of its users. In this regard, it was more of a Google proxy than a search engine. Daniel Brandt, the creator of Scroogle, established the service in April 2003, and it has ever since been available online. Things turned for the worse in recent years when Google started to block – and unblock – the search engine from accessing its servers.

Many users suspected foul play here, while Google denied the allegations and stated that automated spam protection scripts were responsible for the blocking. That was unfortunate but a situation that most Scroogle users were willing to live with.

In February 2012, things started to heat up once again when Google started to block the service’s access to their servers more regularly. That hurt the service considerably and made it less usable than before.

Scroogle servers on top of that were harassed by DDoS (denial of service) attacks that started back in December. Daniel Brandt decided to pull the plug on Scroogle, and all other domain names he owned, as of yesterday. Domains were not only taken offline content wise, but also in the domain name system (DNS) to protect the server providers from further DDoS attacks on their infrastructure.

Users who try to access the Scroogle website now will receive a site not found error. The other domain names that were taken down are: namebase.org, google-watch.org, cia-on-campus.org, and book-grab.com.

Brandt told BetaBeat that he would have had to close down Scroogle even without the DDoS attacks due to Google’s traffic throttling.

With Scroogle being taken off the grid, where should privacy valuing users go to for their searches now? The two search engines that come to mind are DuckDuckGo or Startpage.com

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