Reverse the block on DuckDuckGo. We wrote to the Government. #WhatTheDuck

DuckDuckGo is an incredibly popular web service, which has for years been endorsed by respected technologists as a privacy preserving platform for searching the public internet. Yesterday, close to 300 reports were received by us concerning the inability of internet users in India to access DuckDuckGo through the SaveTheInternet platform. Today, we wrote to the Telecom Department and the IT Ministry. We have also filed RTIs.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://internetfreedom.in/blocking-of-duckduckgo-needs-to-be-reversed-we-wrote-to-the-government-whattheduck/
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A small update. But first, you can participate on any post we make on IFF. Join in this discussion by signing up on the forum. We encourage sustained conversations that are deliberate and detailed. In this spirit, let me inform you that later towards yesterday evening we started hearing that DuckDuckGo was accessible again for many users.

We verified this ourselves amongst the staff, and yes it is accessible. This is a win! But, this does not mean the problem is over. Far from it, over several ISPs we expect this problem to persist. For this we continue to urge people to file reports. These help inform our actions and write and follow up with the Department of Telecom.

Second, as we have been documenting and advocating consistently through our work website blocking in India is secretive, opaque and arbitrary. This requires wider reforms on which we promise to continue our work.

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seems to be still blocked on ACT broadband. need to use DNS over HTTPS or DNS over TLS at least to bypass the block.

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As of now, HTTP versions of duckduckgo.com and lite.duckduckgo.com is still blocked on Vodafone mobile network based on HTTP host although most modern browsers will automatically redirect to HTTPS due to HSTS preloading.

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I can confirm this. My mobile service provider is Vodafone, and I’m unable to execute searches on DuckDuckGo.

Funnily enough, the page start.duckduckgo.com does open, and so when I checked the ip address, it is indeed different from duckduckgo.com. So this does mean that the ISP is blocking specific IP addresses and not wild-carded DNS requests. But even with that I can’t actually use it, because actual queries are sent to the ip corresponding to duckduckgo.com.

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Just an update, as of now the HTTP host based blocking seems to have been lifted. I can access start.duckduckgo.com, lite.duckduck.com and duckduckgo.com on Vodafone 4G with HTTP and they are normally redirecting to HTTPS. :grinning:
@vvk Not sure what happened in your case but both duckduckgo.com and start.duckduckgo.com seem to have same real IP address. In my experience Vodafone does not seem to use any IP based blocks.

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From my BSNL broadband, that seems to be the case. But yesterday, when I was connected to the internet via my mobile’s Vodafone network, dig showed my two different IP addresses for the two domains.

In my case, it can’t have been domain-based, because I use a separate DNS.

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Poachers of all kinds beware DuckDuckGo is back! https://twitter.com/CartoonTipsy/status/1279739689277087744

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I am now having trouble on my BSNL boradband line.

The start.duckduckgo.com domain resolves as follows:

start.duckduckgo.com.   2365    IN      CNAME   duckduckgo.com.
duckduckgo.com.         2365    IN      A       52.250.42.157

whereas attempting resolution of duckduckgo.com gives:

duckduckgo.com.         2348    IN      A       40.89.244.232

The browser opens the former, but not the latter, and I can’t search anything. The DNS server I’m using right now is hosted by https://arvind.io .

EDIT: When I attempted using DDG on my mobile phone connected to the WiFi (which is the same connection as the wired BSNL), it seems to be working !!?? In this case, I have the Private DNS option set to use the Cloudflare DNS servers.

Also, probing resolution gives me the same IP: 40.81.94.43 for both the domains.

So this probably means that the block was due to bad resolution at arvind.io . I will notify him.

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After discussions with Arvind, this seems to have been a false alarm on my part. The difference in ip and the inability to connect might have been due to an incorrectly cached address. Sorry.

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start.duckduckgo.com and duckduckgo.com remain not accessible over vodafone Maharashtra network. Any update on the Meity response on allowing duckduckgo in India?

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start.duckduckgo.com and duckduckgo.com remain not accessible over vodafone Maharashtra network. Any update on the Meity response on allowing duckduckgo in India?

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https://forum.internetfreedom.in/t/user-archive-data-export-complete/2790?u=jacksparo1