Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo has been restored in India after being unreachable for many users there since July 1st, Android Police reported. Reports about what was causing the outage have varied. Some users reported the Indian government appeared to be behind the block, and others said they were getting what appeared to be DNS lookup errors, according to Android Police.
DuckDuckGo tweeted that the service appeared to be restored in India as of Saturday morning.
We’re seeing our services being broadly restored in India. Thank you for all of your reports, bringing attention to this issue.— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) July 4, 2020
If you're still having trouble accessing DuckDuckGo Search, please report it to @internetfreedom using this form: https://t.co/jVYFgXTiV7
On June 29th, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology banned more than 50 China-based apps including TikTok and WeChat, saying they were “engaged in activities ... prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India,” according to a press release.
It’s not clear whether Pennsylvania-based DuckDuckGo may have been inadvertently blocked as part of that larger effort, or whether there was another reason for the outage. DuckDuckGo was not on the Indian government’s June 29th list of banned apps.
“We have contacted the Indian government but have not yet received a response,” a DuckDuckGo spokesperson said in an email to The Verge Saturday. “We are bewildered on why the Indian government would instruct Indian ISPs to block DuckDuckGo, but are optimistic that this will be resolved soon.”
UPDATE July 4th 7:03PM ET: Added comment from DuckDuckGo spokesperson