Privacy oriented search engine DuckDuckGo has seen usage spike a whopping 600 percent since Edward Snowden alerted the world to the U.S. government's illegal spying programs on its citizens, according to a statement by the company's CEO.
The search engine offers users bare-bones, yet effective, search results without the personalization and tracking tools that rivals Google and Bing use. The company gets its results not from a massive army of bots scraping the web for new pages but from a clever sorting and filtering of results from Wikipedia, Yandex, Yahoo!, Bing and Yummly.
Chief executive officer Gabriel Weinberg said in an interview that it executes some three billion searches a year.
"We've grown 600 percent since the surveillance revelations two years ago," Weinberg said.
"It's really a myth that you need to track people to make money in search. People want transparency and they want control, and unfortunately they are usually getting neither today."
Weinberg credits the uptick in usage both from overall awareness of privacy and Apple's decision to add DuckDuckGo as an option for its Safari search users. Popular open source browser Firefox's move in 2013 to add DuckDuckGo to its search options also helped the company gain market share.
DuckDuckGo started in 2008 and makes money from advertisers bidding placing ads against popular search terms. Its available at DuckDuckGo.com