Deadpool

Scroogle, Privacy-First Search Engine, Shuts Down for Good

Couldn't take the DDoS.

scroogle rules Scroogle, Privacy First Search Engine, Shuts Down for Good
(Gerard Paardekam via Virginia Mataix)

Scroogle, the search engine operated by privacy militant and self-appointed Wikipedia watchdog Daniel Brandt, has folded for real. After enduring DDOS attacks “around the clock” that sent a flood of unsustainable traffic to his servers, Mr. Brandt took down the search engine along with his other four domains, namebase.orggoogle-watch.orgcia-on-campus.org, and book-grab.com. His theory is that he was being attacked by hackers with a personal vendetta.

“These four domains had also been on the web for a long time — NameBase first went online in 1997, and before that had been available on telnet since 1995. I spent 27 years developing NameBase,” he said in an email, and referred to the Wikipedia page.

“I no longer have any domains online,” Mr. Brandt wrote. “I also took all my domains out of DNS because I want to signal to the criminal element that I have no more servers to trash. This hopefully will ward off further attacks on my previous providers.”

Scroogle was a basic search engine that takes users to their Google results through a circuitous route that masks much of the data Google normally harvests. Google tolerated the site, which had its own nonprofit, and a Google engineer even helped Mr. Brandt get Scroogle whitelisted a few times. But recently, Google started punishing Scroogle severely for queries, choking off access for 90 minutes at a time. Google says it was not targeting Scroogle but that the search engine may have tripped a spam control mechanism.

“Scroogle.org is gone forever,” Mr. Brandt wrote. “Even if all my DDoS problems had never started in December, Scroogle was already getting squeezed from Google’s throttling, and was already dying. It might have lasted another six months if I hadn’t lost seven servers from DDoS, but that’s about all.”

The search engine had some die-hard fans. But if privacy friendliness is what you seek, there are other options.

Scroogle.com, formerly a porn site and the cause of some embarrassing NSFW confusion, has also gone off the air.

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com

Comments

  1. mikealex says:

     Google is a bully. Plain and simple. Make that an Evil Bully…

    Daniel, thanks for all your efforts — much appreciated over the years.

    And, no-thanks (in advance) to our well-oiled, bought-and-paid-for Government anti-hacking “police” who will certainly not lift a finger to discover and/or alleviate the hacks that took Scroogle down. No sense in enforcing the law uniformly, is there?

    Thanks again Daniel, great stuff!

  2. Joseph Evers says:

    Wow seems like karma finally caught up to Daniel Brandt. From what I have heard he has been harassing Encyclopedia Dramatica for a couple of years now. He even admitted to being the reason that Sherrod Degrippo shut down encyclopediadramatica.com. Seems like a bit of what goes around comes around. Brandt wouldn’t be the first person to try to take on the Internet and get his ass handed to him.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I man handled weev in the slammer. It was too easy… like taking candy from a baby

  3. Anti_fascist_freedom_fighter says:

    He’s a victim of the fascists.  Either the government took it down or Google did, and tell me, what’s the difference between the two?  Google is Big Brother.  Big Brother is Google.  “I loved Big Brother.”  George Orwell, 1984.

  4. Moreillysr says:

    I want my Scroogle back!  Wah!  Wah!  Seriously,  I’m never going to change my homepage from Scroogle – let it be a permanent memorial to That Which Was Good about the internet. 

  5. Wakajawaka says:

    Seeing that namebase.org and cia-on-campus.org were among Daniel’s domains, is it that far fetched to suspect U.S. government sponsored scum behind the attacks? … the same well organized lot that in early 2011 took out more than 300 Wikileaks mirrors within days? … the same well organized lot that still runs massive DDoS attacks against Wikileaks?

    As to Google … I don’t believe a word they say.

  6. Wakajawaka says:

    Seeing that namebase.org and cia-on-campus.org were among Daniel’s domains, is it that far fetched to suspect U.S. government sponsored scum behind the attacks? … the same well organized lot that in early 2011 took out more than 300 Wikileaks mirrors within days? … the same well organized lot that still runs massive DDoS attacks against Wikileaks?

    As to Google … I don’t believe a word they say.

  7. Juban says:

    setup your own scroogle with seeks, http://www.seeks-project.info/. It’s P2P so servers can talk to each others and exchange results, so they can’t be throttled down.

  8. FAROO says:

    Try an alternative private search option: http://www.faroo.com (p2p web search)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Daniel Brandt is GREAT! I loved Scroogle and absolutely hate everything about Google. It wasn’t DDOS attacks, even though I’m sure he had plenty. What destroyed seven servers was the same type of Google crud I’ve been through for over the past year. GOOGLE APPLIANCES and their ability to burn up your machines via the electrical grid. Believe me now or believe me later. Google is SICK with power and they need to be stopped. I HATE THEIR GUTS. Google hackers two houses down from us have been hacking me for over a year now. Trying to run me out of my house and off my property, most likely because of my political beliefs. But whatever! WHO ARE THESE FREAKS and why do they wield so much power!!

    Oh and MikeAlex, with regards to the “administration” and the “police” FORGET IT! I was absolutely humiliated when I reported their actions, not once but SEVERL times to the Austin PD. Thanks, Det. Pursley, for assisting these losers.

    Thank you Daniel Brandt! Your efforts were greatly appreciated. Now you can do something else to thwart this monster Google. They are WAY OUT OF CONTROL.

    Hacked into my roommate’s machine tonight and downloaded a bunch of crap on to her laptop. Suddenly her webcam came on and started taping her… HOW CREEPY ARE THESE FREAKS!!! Just try to report them and see what happens. See if you have a home left….

    1. I seriously hope you’re trying to sound like a crazy person in an attempt to troll.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Oh and my Google hackers just deleted my last comment. Thank you, Daniel, for your efforts.

  11. mejoe says:

    Daniel Brandt is a cyberbully and a pretty awful person. He stalked people on Wikipedia that didn’t agree with his neoconservative views on privacy and released their information online to people (you can look up Amorrow on ED.ch). He did this primarily because he didn’t like his article up on Wikipedia. His obsession with Google was mainly because they didn’t like or use his Namebase site, and so like anyone else with a tinfoil hat, he made his own Google-like site and complained about Google’s invasive privacy methods. 

    Daniel Brandt and most of his friends continue to release netblock info on how to DDOS ED.ch and pretty much anyone else he doesn’t like. This man does not believe in freedom of speech and information, even that kind of information that ensures “online defamation” and “libel”, aka satire. 

    If you don’t believe me you should see the leak of the thread on ED in which Daniel Brandt says, “I’m researching ED and how to get that site taken down.” He threatened Girlvinyl with DDOS and IRL death threats until she folded and shut ED down back last year. All because this man fears what people will think and say about his shitty sites.

    I can’t believe all the tinfoil-hat bullshit here. If you don’t like something up on the Internet deal with it. You probably did something to piss someone off. But don’t get mad and threaten to kill people or DDOS their site because you didn’t like them. Daniel Brandt has been around for something like 40 years essentially fighting a paranoid one-sided war against the government and the CIA. He’s super dangerous.

  12. Liberty4theCommons says:

    “He stalked people on Wikipedia that didn’t agree with his neoconservative views on privacy”

    Neo “conservatives” don’t believe in privacy any more than “Democrats”.  Both now believe all power should reside with the state, and none with the people; or they are quickly eliminated.  Describing his views on privacy as “Neo-conservative” just doesn’t seem to be in contact with reality; although perhaps in contact with “Democratic” propaganda.

  13. Esrin says:

    Thank you Daniel Brandt very much for all your hard work, time and effort! Wish there was a more formal way to thank you. My browsing experience will be seriously impeded with out Scroogle. So sorry to see it go.

    Can’t wait to see what you do next.

  14. Billy665555 says:

     Thread is getting old and this link has already been posted, but here it is again: https://startpage.com/