Yep Scroogle has gone alas, it had a purpose, it was useful and the owner had an attitude – but at time of writing sadly, there’s no Scroogle alternative. To be honest it doesn’t come as a big surprise, for the last few weeks it’s been pretty much unusable for a variety of reasons.
A few days ago the owner Daniel Brandt announced –
“Scroogle.org is gone forever,”
You might think what a drama queen, or perhaps so f**kin what – but it’s kind of a sad day for all of us with a brain.
But first perhaps we should say what Scroogle actually was – and that is simply a proxy for the Google search engine. Instead of all your queries being logged, recorded and monitored in order to build up some sort of creepy online profile of you – Scroogle acted as a man in the middle. It was a like a trusted friend who wouldn’t make judgement, wouldn’t log the request for future gains and certainly wouldn’t sell your profile to Tesco to add to their Clubcard profiles (note to US readers – this makes no sense to you)
So if you wanted to search for ‘pornographic pictures of sexy ladies dressed up as members of the Stasi’ , then your East German security fetishes would be strictly private, meaning Google wouldn’t have made a little addition to your online search profile.
Which meant you had a little more privacy, your every internet searching whim was not added to a online profile or buyer’s list held by some bunch of corporate tossers. So for this to Daniel – I say thanks and am very sorry to see him go. Now the reasons for the end of Scroogle where apparently due to two main reasons,
- Google throttling Requests
- Many DDOS attacks on the site.
Now both are equally feasible and apparently both were happening. Scroogle has been around for nearly ten years which is a long time in Internet years and Google could have closed it down at any point. They have always limited the number of search requests from a single IP address – so Scroogle would have tripped this many times with only about 6 servers and a limited number of IP addresses. So did the Google guys finally have enough and tighten the screw? I’m not sure, it’s not great publicity for them if they did and the impact on their profits were certainly negligible – but this requires further research !
The other problem which hastened the demise much more quickly was the increasing number of DDOS attacks. These are just blunt attacks designed to bring servers to their knees, easily orchestrated either with minimal technical knowledge or a few bucks to spend. Daniel Brandt apparently was very outspoken and frequently upset people so he’d probably made a lot of enemies. It’s a sad blow though, again showing that cyber bullies exist on all sides of the divide – the fact is you can use a DDOS attack on any web server in existence. It’s the lead pipe of the cyber world, if you disagree with someone online you can just pay a few bucks to take out their web site/blog etc.
I don’t know who Daniel upset or why – but the loss of Scroogle is surely an own goal!! Will it ever be reported on mainstream media? Will we see reports on NBC, Fox or the BBC – probably not.I was going to rant further on this issue and put in a selection of secure search engines that still exist but I’ve suddenly discovered a rather full bottle of 10 year old Laphroaig whisky – if you’ve tasted it you know why I can’t concentrate now. Adieu……………
Will post up the list of secure search engines in my next post.