DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine, served over 1bn searches in 2013 after a huge surge in interest following the Snowden revelations. Until Edward Snowden’s files detailing the extent of state surveillance, the search engine received around 1.5m queries per day. But in the weeks and months following the Guardian’s publication of the NSA files, the number of users more than doubled.
See that graph up there? Thats a chart of how many queries the privacy-minded search engine DuckDuckGo has seen each day since early 2010. See that massive growth near the end? That’s when details of the NSA’s PRISM program first leaked. Pretty much overnight, DuckDuckGo more than doubled its traffic. I don’t think there’s a better way to portray the sudden and massive surge in the public’s desire for Internet privacy than that graph and the accompanying stats. The month before Snowden’s revelations, DuckDuckGo saw 54.4 million requests. The month after, it saw 105.6 million. Incredible.