After banning the 59 Chinese apps, it seems like India is heading to block the privacy-focused DuckDuckGo web browser. Several Jio, Airtel and more are complaining that they are unable to access the browser on their smartphones. Read on to know whether or not the popular browser has been blocked in India.
DuckDuckGo inaccessible to many in India
Several users took to Reddit to report that while accessing DuckDuckGo on Jio or Airtel network, the browser is failing to load. It is suggested that various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) aren't allowing users to access the browser in India.
Many users also took this issue to Twitter and suggested that DuckDuckGo has been blocked in India as per the instructions by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in the country. When accessing DuckDuckGo, people are seeing a pop-up that reads, "Your requested URL has been blocked as per the directions received by the Department of Telecommunications India. Please contact the administrator for more information."
Here is a look at some of the tweets posts regarding the issue:
Thanks! Colleagues (Divyank, Kushagra) and I ran some tests from Bangalore and Delhi.— Gurshabad Grover (@GurshabadGrover) July 1, 2020
Confirmed that @DuckDuckGo
is being blocked by multiple ISPs in India, including:
Vodafone 4G (HTTP HOST-based)
Airtel 4G (DNS-based, SNI-based)
Jio 4G (SNI-based)
ACT not blocking it yet. https://t.co/HSynullIIS
Now which idiot at DoT (Department of Telecommunications, Government of India) ordered to block @DuckDuckGo in #India? As usual the https://t.co/ROFjt3WkxH is working. #privacy @internetfreedom #NetNeutrality— kushaldas https://toots.dgplug.org/@kushal (@kushaldas) July 1, 2020
Kolkata jio shows (only for http)— Sudipto Choudhury (@uberlights) July 1, 2020
**YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO ACCESS THIS WEB PAGE AS PER THE DOT COMPLIANCE*
Kol Airtel shows this for both http and https pic.twitter.com/JfIguH6kge
While people on social media are hinting at the blocking of DuckDuckGo to be a decision of the DoT, there is no confirmation on the same as of now. However, DUckDuckGo released an official word via Twitter suggesting that they are trying to figure the situation out and the blockage isn't from their end. Additionally, DuckDuckGo has suggested that users can use a different DNS provider to solve the issue.
To our users in India: 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. We're actively talking to Internet providers to get to the bottom of it ASAP. Thank you for your patience.— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) July 1, 2020
However, we, at IndiaTVnews.com, tried using the DuckDuckGo on our Airtel and Jio networks and were able to access DuckDuckGo both via the app and the mobile browser. We contacted Airtel and more for clarity and will update the story with more information on the same.