Why DuckDuckGo is not working in India?
Along with Chinese applications that were deemed prejudicial to national security, India has also blocked popular US-based search engine DuckDuckGo. The privacy-centric search engine was working fine until June 30, but in the last few days, several users in the country have encountered issues, reported cases of not being able to access it. Here's more about it.
DuckDuckGo's page failing to load
According to reports on Twitter and Reddit, DuckDuckGo has been running into issues since the night of June 30. While most of the users complained that the main duckduckgo.com page failed to open at all and gave out standard failed DNS lookup errors, some said they encountered a page saying that the access to the site has been blocked in compliance with DoT's directive.
Issues witnessed across all major ISPs
Initially, DuckDuckGo was not accessible across all three telecom services in India - Jio, Vodafone Idea, and Airtel. At the of writing, two of them, Vodafone Idea and Airtel, have unblocked the search engine for most of their customers. But, the restriction placed by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm across its mobile and broadband networks still remains in place.
DuckDuckGo says it is working to get the problem resolved
In light of the complaints, DuckDuckGo issued a statement saying it is aware of the problem and is working to get it resolved. "We've received many reports our search engine is unreachable by much of India right now and have confirmed it is not due to us," the company tweeted. "We're actively talking to Internet providers to get to the bottom of it ASAP."
Exact matter, however, still remains unclear
As neither the operators nor the DoT has issued a statement on the matter, there is no saying why exactly the search engine, which focuses so much on user privacy, was blocked. We expect clarification in the coming days, but considering that the ban has already been reversed by a few ISPs, the situation looks like a case of error, and not a ban.
Workaround for affected users
If DuckDuckGo is still not working for you, try using a VPN or switching to a third-party DNS provider to work around the glitch for now.
Here is DuckDuckGo's response
In the meantime it appears switching to a third-party DNS provider fixes the issue, e.g. the more private 184.108.40.206.— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) July 1, 2020
Here’s how to set it up on Android: https://t.co/CeNuiZiHKw