Ixquick slams EU proposal to store search traffic

Startpage and Ixquick search engines allegedly targeted in crackdown on paedophiles

Global search engine, Ixquick, has slammed the European Government’s proposal to retain all Internet search traffic as part of an alleged crack-down on paedophiles.

The proposal, labelled ‘Written Declaration 29’, was implemented by the European Parliament last week and demands that search engines store all search traffic for up to two years, in case authorities need to analyse it.

Chief executive officer of Ixquick, Robert Beens, claimed the implementation is quite obviously aimed at Ixquick, as well as its English-language subsidiary, Startpage, as Google, Yahoo, and Bing already retain users' search data.

According to Beens, Ixquick is a privacy-friendly search engine in line with the strict recommendations of the EU Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, and maintained that, should this legislation be passed, over 500 million EU citizens’ privacy will be undermined.

In addition to monitoring search information to pinpoint sex offenders – a process that Beens said is yet to earn credibility – the Government will also have access to a substantial amount of political, medical, professional, and personal data on virtually every person in Europe.

"Sex offenders exchange files through underground networks. They don't find this stuff through search engines," Privacy International spokesperson, Alex Hanff, said in a statement.

“I spent eight years helping law enforcement track down online sex offenders and never once did we see a case where search engine data was useful."

An Australian version of the Ixquick search engine recently opened its doors with a specific aim to help users dodge the Government's proposed mandatory Internet filtering scheme through proxies.

As previously reported by , the online personal data of Australians may be at risk if the Federal Government act on plans to legislate data retention laws.

Industry insiders say that the proposed data retention laws will force ISPs to capture, retain and secure the search engine results of Australians at their expense, which could run into millions of dollars.

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