Privacy-focused browser Tor has begun serving search results from DuckDuckGo by default. Previously, Tor used a privacy tool called Disconnect to access Google’s search results, but there is now an issue where Disconnect no longer has access to Google search.
Disconnect, which is a meta search engine that can be used to access results from a variety of search providers, defaulted to serving Bing results to Tor users. In a post on its blog, Tor deemed Bing results “unacceptable quality-wise”, stating that the results from DuckDuckGo are “strictly better than the ones Bing delivers.”
As a result, Tor has asked Disconnect to switch to DuckDuckGo as the default search provider, at least until such time as Disconnect can resolve the issue which is preventing it from accessing Google search.
Tor users will have the option to set Disconnect to serve results from Bing or Yahoo if they wish, but Google is no longer an option unless it’s accessed directly (which negates the privacy of searching via Tor in the first place).
In a statement to TechCruch, Disconnect’s co-founder says Google is not actively blocking access to its search results, it has more to do with Google’s deprecating its search APIs. Since many Tor users would prefer to search through Google, Disconnect is hopeful that it’s able to restore access in the future.