(I use DDG because it hides my search activities from the Google/Yahoo/Microsofts of the world. There is no reason for these corporations, or the governments under which they operate, to have easy access to my online behavior.)
I've tried adding duckduckgo.com to the Allowed list on the filter, but this does not seem to have any effect on the accountability report.
How can I keep the legitimate use of DDG from rendering the accountability report useless?
Seeing as you are using Covenant Eyes to help protect you or your family online, HTTPS sites can be problematic. Depending on which version of Covenant Eyes you are running, and within what browser, it is possible that searches done on a site like DDG would not be rated properly, if at all.
My understanding is that we have rated HTTPS sites like DDG, that we may have trouble monitoring, higher in order call attention to their use. The HM rating in this case would be more to call attention to the fact that DDG can be used to potentially hide searches from an accountability partner.
Let me have a chat with our rating team and see if this is a recent change. I will post back here when I know more.
Thanks for taking the time to post
Out of curiosity, I did some closer looking at the detailed browsing log and noticed that DDG is actually rated "E" in those. But on the reports they still come up as "HM." These are for identical time periods. Wonder if that's a clue?
And, yes, "anonymizes" would have been a better word than "hides". I do understand and appreciate the reasoning behind CE flagging some https requests. I guess what I am asking for--assuming the rating continues to be HM--is a whitelist feature like the Allow list for the filter function.
To some extent DDG was designed to hide your data, and that (in a way) will always conflict with the mission of Covenant Eyes. We want to deliver a solution that will allow you to have the best of both worlds, but we will not release it until we are sure that it does not allow members to use sites like DDG to simply bypass everything that we stand for
In the plainest sense, search engines like duckduckgo hide a users searches and internet activity, in our experience this is used primarily for the search of pornography. While duckduckgo may not advertise their search engine for that use, it has become the primary use of search engines that provide anonymity.
As John alluded to eariler in the conversation, if you are using Covenant Eyes to bring transparency to your internet activity then a search engine like duckduckgo is not a wise choice.
Long story short and without getting into technical details, use a different search engine.
In the last year or so, we've made some pretty substantial changes to our Windows and Mac clients. Among those changes is the ability to "see" the full path of an HTTPS URL. Previous clients were unable to see beyond the domain e.g.https://google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#safe=active&q=puppy+dog vs. https://google.com.
From what most of you guys on this thread are describing, it sounds like you're running a newer software client (i.e. even on a secure site, we're seeing and reporting beyond the domain). That's why you're mentioning that you can see the search terms in the URL. If you were on an older client, you'd only see https://duckduckgo.com .
Theoretically, if all of our customers were on newer clients (and we could see & score the entire path), we could allow duckduckgo.com to run through our scoring system organically. Unfortunately, we still have tens of thousands of people running older clients. For them, we can only see the domain, and have no ability to report on what was searched for. We have one scoring system serving both old and newer clients, so we don't have the ability to score duckduckgo.com one way for newer clients and another way for older ones.
We're in a tight spot on this one. On one hand, we must fulfill our ethical obligation to alert members and their accountability partners to potentially objectionable Internet use. On the other hand, we want to respect the common desire for privacy among our members. I am sure you see the tension there. In keeping with that ethical obligation, we've decided to continue scoring sites like duckduckgo.com highly until we reach adequate uptake of our newer clients. We're actively pushing upgrades etc., and we're making good progress.
I don't presently have a time estimate for you; I wish I did. Until then, it seems like your options are to drive your accountability partner crazy with a boatload of DDG links on the report or to use another search engine.
I know this is a frustration, and it's one with which I genuinely sympathize. I continue to prioritize work for our development teams that will yield the most favorable results for the highest percentage of our members. I don't always get it right, and even when I do it isn't always super speedy.
The software--both front end and back end--continues to improve, though. I think we're headed in the right direction as we work to provide tools that encourage accountability and trust in the fight against Internet temptation.
I too was baffled that CE could see everything I searched for in DDG and every site I went to prior to DDG being nixed. I still have not heard a valid explanation about DDG as well as HTTPS and SSL.
In the future when CE believes it is unable to rate a site properly and wants to block it PLEASE do not use HM as the rating !!! Many of us rely on accountability to maintain our freedom. To try and explain massive amounts of false positives HM ratings to partners and officials who don't want to hear it is nerve wracking. Recently I received about 1472 HM ratings for clients2.google.com (Google Search Screen) and 3 HM's on my own router address. The assumption from those who read my reports is "so what did you do to cause this?".
In an email from the CE "rating change" group I read the following: "Our system automatically defaults to a high rating and for Filter users, it gets blocked.". I was shocked! Don't do that! For some of us that is the same as being falsely accused. If CE cannot rate a site due to program limitations, again, please do not rate it as HM. Man up and rate it as "UK" (for unknown) or something, even if you block it. Don't let the explaining fall on us.
With all that being said I love Covenant Eyes. I never want to be without it. There is no better software for accountability and blocking. I love the CE crew, consummate professionals. I don't worry much about misleading title to links, they get blocked. I am a very happy user and quite often recommend CE.