Tricking Google Search With Scroogle

Update as on 17th November, 2015 – no longer exists.

No cookies. No search-term records. Access log deletes within 48 hours

It’s a quite difficult to obtain and maintain privacy on the web. With the various intentions of collecting user data, it’s really hard to be anonym us all the time. Google Search collects the user’s IP address, search items along with the date and time which can be avoided by using proxy anonymizers and even better, by using a search engine called Scroogle.

Wikipedia reveals:

Google originally placed a cookie on each registered user’s computer, which can be used to track that person’s search history, and that cookie was not set to expire until 2038. As of 2007, Google’s cookie now expires in two years but renews itself when a Google service is used. There is no evidence that Google turns over information to the FBI or the NSA, though some users remain anxious about the possibility. In response, Google claims cookies are necessary to maintain user preferences between sessions and offer other search features.

In early 2005, the United States Department of justice filed a motion in federal court to force Google to comply with a subpoena for, “the text of each search string entered onto Google’s search engine over a two-month period (absent any information identifying the person who entered such query).” Google fought the subpoena, due to concerns about users’ privacy. In March 2006, the court ruled partially in Google’s favor, recognizing the privacy implications of turning over search terms and re-using to grant access.


Who is Scroogle? How does Scroogle work?

Scroogle, a Mozilla Foundation, is a nonprofit organization with a history of activism on privacy issues. For more info visit: Link

When you enter a search term through Scroogle Search, Scroogle randonly grabs an IP from a pool of it’s IP addresses called Goo IPs. It uses SSL to encrypt your search activity.Then Google issues a new cookie with a new ID, and sends the search results. Scroogle deletes the cookie and saves the results in a file which is also deleted within hour. Google records Sroogle’s IP address, search items and the date and time.

Is there a Firefox, Flock, Microsoft IE7 / IE8, Opera or a Chrome extension available for Scroogle?

Yes. A short tutorial on ‘how to’ is available on the website.

So, if you have used this service, do share your experiences in the comments section.