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DuckDuckGo's !bang feature


#1

Am I compromising my privacy to any extent by using a !bang like !g (Google) or !a (Amazon)? For example, if I were to DuckDuckGo “virtualbox !g” am I exposing myself to any of the invasive elements of a conventional Google search, or is this effectively the same as any other DuckDuckGo search in terms of privacy?


#2

Good day,

It is the same as if you’d access Google directly. The !bang feature really is just redirecting you to whatever service you access.

Have a nice day,

Ego


#3

Thanks for the answer.

Guess I won’t be using !g any more. :disappointed:


#4

I thought duckduckgo.onion proxied ( not sure if thats the right term ) all your search requests to the search engines for you. Since its a hidden service the search in itself could not be linked back to you. Unless you did something stupid like do a search for your own name. Am I even kinda right?? : )


#5

I’m not certain of the terminology either, but the way you just described it is how I understood it to operate. I should have been clearer in my original question that I did mean the .onion, not just the .com through a conventional browser. Thank you for clarifying that!


#6

Good day,

Sadly, that is not the case. The only thing they do is ensure that the connections used are encrypted by means of TLS. The same applies both for the standard and hidden service versions. This shouldn’t be suprising, seing how the services accessed aren’t hidden services themselves. Thus, there is no difference between using e.g. !g via DuckDuckGo and accessing Google directly.

I think you are thinking back to Disconnect.me which was the standard search engine in the TBB for a while though most of their search related services have been discontinued as Google and other made it harder to use their services in such ways. They actually used their own servers to transmit search requests as to keep users information more private.

Have a nice day,

Ego


#7

Thank you for clearing that up, it makes perfect sense.


#8

That makes sense, since your request has to go to a clearnet server. Thanks for clarifying.

You are correct, I assumed ( and you know what happens when you make assumtions ) that the duckduckgo.onion service was similar to dissconnect.me only protected your privacy a little better because it was a hidden service.

Thank you for your response and thanks for your time!