Why DuckDuckGo donated $300,000 to these 16 internet privacy projects

Fueled by a boost in searches, the Paoli, Pa.-based search engine is backing organizations such as the Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Tor Project.

At DuckDuckGo's offices in Chester County.

(Courtesy photo)

Back in 2011, when DuckDuckGo was a promising three-year-old company, it donated $1,500 to nonprofits focusing on internet privacy.

Boosted by a jump in searches, in 2017 the privacy-geared search engine based out of Paoli, Pa., awarded $300,000 in donations to 16 nonprofits that tackle issues like user privacy, freedom of speech and civil liberties.

The donation represents a pretty decent climb from $225,000 in donations made to nine organizations last year.

Freedom of the Press Foundation, World Privacy Forum, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and Tor Project were each awarded donations in the five-to-six-figure range. Ten other orgs like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Digital Democracy got smaller donations in the four-figure range.

“Our growth puts us in a position to support projects that share our vision of raising the standard of trust online,” said CEO Gabriel Weinberg. “People are actively looking for ways to reduce their digital footprint and these donations will support new education initiatives and continued development of privacy tools and services.”

As we’ve reported before, the Tor Project has some Philly connections. Cofounder Roger Dingledine lived in Philadelphia and taught at Drexel University. Tor’s comms director Kate Krauss lives in West Philly and recently penned this quick-and-easy guide to protecting online privacy.

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