For the seventh year in a row, the search engine that promises not to stalk your online moves puts its money where its mouth is, this year by donating $300,000 to organizations that work towards online privacy.
The search engine DuckDuckGo isn’t Google — in more ways than one. For starters, its whole premise is to not follow you around as you surf the web. It’s also not rich, so it doesn’t have gazillions of dollars to throw at whatever project strikes its fancy. However, the people who run the little search engine that can are very generous with what money they do have.
As they have for the last seven years, this year they’ve been busy handing out money again.
Since 2011, the search engine has been annually handing out cash awards “to organizations that share a similar vision.” And every year, as the search engine company has watched its fortunes grow, it’s increased the amount it gives — from a total of $1,500 in 2011 to this year’s $300,000. Last year it handed out $225,000.
The majority of this year’s donations,s — $279,000 to be exact — went to six nonprofit organizations:
- Freedom of the Press Foundation: The organization, which counts Daniel Ellsberg, Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, and Xeni Jardin, as well as an assortment of activists, celebrities, and filmmakers, as members of its board, received a donation of $100,000 to train journalists on privacy.
- World Privacy Forum: According to the organization’s website, this group “is focused on conducting in-depth research, analysis, and consumer education in the area of data privacy, and focuses on pressing and emerging issues.” DuckDuckGo donated $75,000 “towards the creation of a Parent’s Guide to Privacy.”
- Open Whisper Systems: This is the organization behind the Signal apps for encrypted private messaging and voice calling — which offer the added benefit of all calls being free of long distance charges. Because of the way the system is designed, last year when the organization was subpoenaed to provide information on a users’ phone number for a federal grand jury, it could supply only “the time the user’s account had been created and the last time it had connected to the service.” They’ve got your back, in other words. DuckDuckGo gave them $29,000.
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse: Around since 1992, PRC works to help individuals protect their privacy by providing one-on-one assistance, issuing educational publications and advocating for consumer-friendly privacy policies. DuckDuckGo has donated $25,000, earmarked for the creation of “a series of animated videos explaining online privacy issues to a mainstream audience.”
- Tor: This is a project that’s probably well known to everyone who regularly visits FOSS Force. In fact, many of you probably got to our site by way of Tor. Simply put, Tor offers a way to navigate the Internet anonymously. This year’s $25,000 donation marks the fourth year that DuckDuckGo has donated to the project.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation: EFF, which defends civil liberties in the digital world, is another organization that probably needs no introduction. DuckDuckGo gave them $25,000 to be used for the “continued development of Privacy Badger, the browser add-on that ‘blocks spying ads and invisible trackers.'”
In addition, DuckDuckGo made smaller donations in the $5,000-$1,000 range, to 10 other organizations.