Just a couple of days after the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps, several users in India are not able to access popular privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo.

As per multiple user reports on Reddit and Twitter, DuckDuckGo has been blocked on India’s second-largest carrier Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone, and a few other networks.

From the looks of it, it appears like the Indian government has banned the website. Reliance Jio users are getting the generic website ban error message that reads “Your requested URL has been blocked as per the directions received from Department of Telecommunications. Please contact administrator for more information”

DuckDuckGo has acknowledged the situation and is investigating the situation right now. A potential fix is not available yet other than using a custom DNS or VPNs.

Meanwhile, Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) is urging netizens to report if the search engine is not accessible on their ISP. You can do so from the link in the tweet below.

We are not sure if this is a permanent ban for DuckDuckGo in the country or an aftereffect of a miscommunication between the Department of Telecommunications and ISPs. If the ban is permanent, it would be a significant violation of net neutrality. We will be updating once there’s more clarity in the situation and hence, stay tuned for updates.

So, is DuckDuckGo working in your ISP? Let us know in the comments.

Update 1 (06/07/2020 10:51 am)

Access to popular privacy oriented search engine DuckDuckGo has reportedly been restored in India. There is still no clarification from the DoT or the IT Ministry about why the service was blocked. However, it seems to be accessible from most internet providers once again.

Our team members are currently able to access DuckDuckGo from ACT Fibernet, Jio, Vodafone, and Airtel networks. However, there are still some reports that the search engine isn’t accesible via ACT Fibernet and Vodafone.