[FSFLA] Netpolitik: Interview: Searx, the web search engine that respects your privacy

willi uebelherr willi.uebelherr en riseup.net
Mar Oct 2 08:46:02 UTC 2018

Interview: Searx, the web search engine that respects your privacy

Querido Quiliro y todo,
tal vez esto pueda ser interesante para ti y para los tuyos.
saludos, willi

Dear Quiliro and all,
maybe this can be interesting for you and yours.
greetings, willi

-------- Weitergeleitete Nachricht --------
Betreff: Interview: Searx, the web search engine that respects your privacy
Datum: 	Sat, 29 Sep 2018 06:30:24 +0000
Von: 	Andre Meister <>

Banner Fuck off Google
Protest in Berlin: Fuck off Google!
Fuck off Google <https://fuckoffgoogle.de/>

Search engines are a fundamental part of the internet, but most people 
only use one. Google has a market share of 86 percent worldwide 
and 95 percent in Germany 
There are alternatives, some also promise data protection, but most are 
commercial black boxes. But there is another way, like Searx 
<https://asciimoo.github.io/searx/> – a privacy-friendly, decentralized 
and non-commercial search engine. An interview with Adam Tauber, free 
software developer and Searx maintainer from Hungary.

/This interview is also available in German 

*netzpolitik.org:* What is Searx <https://asciimoo.github.io/searx/>?

*Adam Tauber:* Searx is a free meta-search engine 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metasearch_engine> that respects privacy. 
Users submit search queries to Searx and Searx sends the queries to over 
80 other search engines, gathers the results and ranks them.

Privacy-respecting means Searx does not track your moves and doesn’t 
hand over or sell your personal data to third parties. Only absolutely 
necessary information is forwarded to other search engines, like your 
search query and language.

Try it at Searx.me <https://searx.me/>.

*netzpolitik.org:* What makes Searx different from other privacy-focused 
(meta)search engines like DuckDuckGo <https://duckduckgo.com/> or 
Startpage <https://www.startpage.com/>?

*Tauber:* There are two main differences: Searx is free software and 

Free software <https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html> means all 
source code is public <https://github.com/asciimoo/searx>. Anyone can 
verify whether Searx does something shady or not. Anyone can use it for 
any purpose and make changes.

DuckDuckGo and Startpage are both closed source software. Users have no 
way to verify if they really let you search without being tracked. You 
have to trust them blindly.

Searx is decentralized, anyone can take the source code and run their 
own instance. There are numerous public Searx instances 
<https://github.com/asciimoo/searx/wiki/Searx-instances>. If you can’t 
or don’t want to run a server yourself, all you need to do is find a 
Searx instance you like or trust.

DuckDuckGo and Startpage are both centralized, and run by for-profit 

*netzpolitik.org:* And MetaGer <https://metager.de/>, another 
meta-search engine focused on privacy, based in Germany?

*Tauber:* Unlike the others, MetaGer is also free software 
<https://gitlab.metager3.de/open-source/MetaGer>, like Searx. You can 
host it yourself, so you don’t have to trust third-parties. Maybe 
MetaGer is more appealing to a German audience. But there are some 
differences between MetaGer and Searx.

The main goal of Searx is to provide a search engine with an emphasis on 
privacy protection. MetaGer stores search results in a database, Searx 
runs without any database. Searx does not store any past queries.

Searx is more customizable. Users can change and adjust their theme, 
search settings and privacy settings. The user interface is available in 
30 languages <https://www.transifex.com/asciimoo/searx/>, while MetaGer 
has three.

A unique feature of Searx is its support for scientific searches. Searx 
has interfaces to multiple search engines, aggregating scientific papers 
from repositories like BASE <https://www.base-search.net/>, Google 
Scholar <https://scholar.google.com/> or PubMed 
<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed>. To foster a free flow of 
information and knowledge, Searx has a plugin 
to find open access versions of academic papers 

*netzpolitik.org:* Are Searx search results as good as the ones from Google?

*Tauber:* Searx is only as good as its configuration. We provide sane 
and safe defaults. But to get the results you need, you might want to 
enable or disable certain search engines and maybe fine-tune timeouts. 
Correctly used, search results can be as good or even better.

Searx is superior to Google in regard to privacy and filter bubbles. If 
you only enable the Google engine in Searx, you can use Google without 
exposing unnecessary personal information. Searx results are unbiased 
and non-individualised, since it does not know more than necessary about 

*netzpolitik.org:* What’s wrong with Google?

*Tauber:* Google is a huge international company which wants to make 
money wherever it can, including by exploiting your personal data. There 
are many <https://searx.me/?q=google%20is%20evil> articles 
<https://fuckoffgoogle.de/#google-is-evil> detailing 
<http://listverse.com/2017/09/24/top-10-ways-google-does-evil/> what 
is wrong <https://www.wired.com/2012/06/opinion-google-is-evil/> with 
<https://thebosh.com/10-reasons-why-google-is-evil/> Google.

*netzpolitik.org:* How many people use Searx?

*Tauber:* I don’t know, there are many Searx instances 
<https://github.com/asciimoo/searx/wiki/Searx-instances> beyond my control.

I can only estimate the number of search queries on the instance I run: 
Searx.me <https://searx.me/>. This web server is restarted after 
processing one million requests, this is the only information we are 
logging. Using this information we can estimate that Searx.me has around 
five to ten million search requests per month, that’s two to four every 

*netzpolitik.org:* Who builds and runs Searx?

*Tauber:* The core team consists of three maintainers. But we have many 
other developers <https://github.com/asciimoo/searx/graphs/contributors> 
who contribute significantly. For example, Johannes Schauer 
<https://blog.mister-muffin.de/about.html> maintains a package for 
Debian-based operating systems <https://packages.debian.org/buster/searx>.

Public Searx instances are run by individuals and organizations who care 
about privacy. There’s a list of public instances 
<https://github.com/asciimoo/searx/wiki/Searx-instances> in our wiki.

*netzpolitik.org:* How can people support Searx?

*Tauber:* Anyone can contribute on Github 
<https://github.com/asciimoo/searx> – by opening an issue, coming up 
with new ideas or by submitting contributions.

Furthermore, people can run public instances. This makes Searx available 
to people who do not want to run their own servers.

If someone wants to support the development with money, there are a few 
options to donate <https://searx.me/static/donate.html>.


*Hilf mit!* Mit Deiner finanziellen Hilfe unterstützt Du unabhängigen 
Journalismus. <https://netzpolitik.org/spenden>

Más información sobre la lista de distribución Discusion