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馃啎 Software Suggestion | Ecosia search engine #682

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Mikaela opened this issue Dec 22, 2018 · 10 comments

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@Mikaela
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@Mikaela Mikaela commented Dec 22, 2018

Basic Information

Name: Ecosia
Category: Search engine
URL: https://www.ecosia.org/
About URL https://info.ecosia.org/

Description

Ecosia is an search engine planting trees with the money they make. They appear to be transparent releasing financial documents at https://documents.ecosia.org/467540 (however I didn't read any).

Their privacy policy looks OK to me, https://info.ecosia.org/privacy . However their results come from Bing, but that is also one of the sources of DuckDuckGo.

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@ghost ghost commented Dec 22, 2018

I found the project very interesting a few years ago, but not being able to change the source of the search results was a deal breaker for me.

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@asddsaz asddsaz commented Dec 28, 2018

They have a decent privacy policy: https://tosdr.org/#ecosia
But are non-free, therefore don't meet the software criteria.

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@Mikaela Mikaela commented Dec 29, 2018

DuckDuckGo and StartPage.com are also non-free as far as I can see?

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@Mikaela Mikaela commented Dec 29, 2018

Oh, you opened #699 and forgot to mention it here.

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@ghost ghost commented Jan 20, 2019

Ecosia has always been hostile toward Tor users which makes it a non-starter from a privacy viewpoint.

ATM it's just dropping packets from Tor and timing out, which IMO is even less diplomacy than a "403 forbidden".

(edit) actually just now it was very slow but served my Tor packets okay for the 1 query I tried. So I'm not sure if Ecosia is still mistreating Tor users these days.

(update 2019-03-26) Ecosia was working from tor for a couple weeks. And now it's really hit and miss. Tor users can enter a search criteria, but upon submission 1 of 4 things happens:

  • DoS (they say too much traffic coming from your IP and outright deny results)
  • google CAPTCHA is served up (needs j/s enabled for 3 different interdependent google hosts requiring 3 consecutive page refreshes). It looks bad for people without eyesight because the text says "enter the characters" but there are none. Instead there are pics to click on. So the audible would be giving incorrect info.
    ecosia_captcha_wording
    • google CAPTCHA server itself refuses to send puzzle due to net traffic:
      ecosia_captcha_dos
  • results given

It's totally unacceptable that in the first two cases they present a query field. If you're going to deny me service or put me through hoops, be up front about it. To collect the query first and then reject or inconvenience after I took the time to write out a query, it's a waste of my time. They get the benefit of recording search phrase popularity stats but the user does not get the benefit of the results.

The CAPTCHA itself benefits google, who monatizes the puzzle and also gathers data about who is accessing the page, which can be further monatized.

Ecosia is using CloudFlare (not good) for their financial reports

From a financial PoV, Ecosia is feeding both microsoft and google. DDG is much worse, but Startpage and searx are relatively better IMO.

@Mikaela Mikaela closed this Apr 15, 2019
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@Mikaela Mikaela commented Jun 3, 2019

@Mikaela Mikaela reopened this Jun 3, 2019
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@erciccione erciccione commented Jun 3, 2019

Why reopen this @Mikaela ?
From the comment of the ghost user looks like Ecosia is not Tor-friendly, which IMO is a big "no no" if we are talking about user privacy. I don't think that them being non-free was the stopper here.

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@Mikaela Mikaela commented Jun 4, 2019

I don't think we have a formal rule of search engines needing to be Tor friendly in order to be listed. To quote myself from the forum:

Ecosia, because I am more worried about the climate change than their Tor hostility.

What do you think @privacytoolsIO/editorial ?

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@erciccione erciccione commented Jun 5, 2019

I'm confused now. Isn't this Privacytools.io? Shouldn't this community suggest the best tools to protect people's privacy?

I don't think we have a formal rule of search engines needing to be Tor friendly in order to be listed

You don't need a formal rule. Supporting Tor is a big point if you are proposing a privacy-oriented browser, planting trees is not...

You are not addressing any of the legit concerns pointed out by the ghost user, but you are reopening this issue anyway. I understand you like Ecosia for the ideology behind it, but that's offtopic. I share your concerns for the environment, but you are suggesting Privacy tools to a wide audience here, you have responsabilities. I don't think would be wise to ignore the concerns about privacy because "You are more worried about the climate change".

@Mikaela Mikaela self-assigned this Jul 8, 2019
Mikaela added a commit to Mikaela/privacytools.io that referenced this issue Jul 17, 2019
Resolves: privacytoolsIO#682

The issue above is in disagreement and requires attention on whether Tor
blocking is a reason to not merge this.
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@Mikaela Mikaela commented Jul 21, 2019

Case closed, see comments here and #1036 (review) & below.

@Mikaela Mikaela closed this Jul 21, 2019
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