I hope this end startpage war

so techlore made a video with CEO of startpage and here is the video: https://invidious.snopyta.org/watch?v=h-3fW0w2ayg

I did not watch it -yet- but i hope it end startpage good or bad war (by saying its good or bad after watching, because i still did not, lol)


I haven’t watched the video (and probably won’t as I heavily prefer text), but as I understand it, StartPage listing is currently on hold (judging by the PR still being open while the COI policy is being drafted.

Worth mentioning is the Whistleblower policy.


well, hope this war end without lose souls, lol

The issue isn’t the privacy tech used in Startpage, it is that it was taken over by a company that has conflicting interests to that of Startpage’s, that being privacy and System1 being a pay-per-click advertising company.

The CEO of Startpage is now just another employee of the parent company. So he can say whatever he wants, but if System1 says to them to start tracking users etc etc, then they have to comply. Just like Whatsapp which was bought out by FB and now has to comply to FB’s demands.

The issue to me anyway seems pretty clear cut. Startpage fudged up big time and they have lost all credibility as a privacy web search portal.


It’s not the same thing as WSP, System1 only has certain shares of SP, it does not own the whole company.

Actually, Startpage/System1 never answered the exact % owned by System1. (It could be 99%). We know System1 own the majority – at least 51%.

We also don’t know who the other owners are and their % ownership. Again, Startpage/System1 refused to answer the question fully .

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I always trusted Robert Beens. It’s System1 that I’m worried about.

I have become more concerned as I’ve learned more and done more research. Startpage put out a diagram showing its processing. It appears System1 processes search data for Startpage. (See the fine print.) The data is reportedly “anonymized” or “fuzzed,” but researchers have pointed out how even this kind of data could be used to identify users.

Startpage has a good privacy policy, but most of us privacy folks would find the System1 privacy policy horrendous. Startpage could be honoring its privacy, while System1 does it behavioral ad tracking thing.

IMHO, the best thing Startpage could do to restore trust would be to:

  1. Open source its code and have regular independent audits to verify the code is what is actually used

  2. Open source the System1 processing code and have regular independent audits that verify the code AND verify that there is no possible way the “anonymized” “fuzzed” data could be used to identify consumers or track them. Another check would be to ensure System1 doesn’t add any trackers to results it returns to Startpage, like fonts that could be used for tracking.

  3. If System1 will not open source its code, then Startpage should pull ALL processing in house. Ideally, there would be a strict firewall where Startpage is operated independently and its open-source systems audited regularly.

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Maybe host their source on the privacytools git too. I’m increasingly distrusting Github as a goto source platform, mostly because my experience with it has been horrendous:

– Firms that close your issue on a whim, or worse people wanting to create the issue first, close your issue on a whim, just so they can have the first word.
– The ability for people to make sweeping changes to the main branch, with very little if any kind of oversight.

Making it open source, the purpose is kind of defeated when people can simply close any issue they feel like basically on a whim, with no real oversight as to what issues get closed or not.

As in, it can be closed by anyone without administrative access.

Telegram for example, operates this way.


bought not equal as just taking part of company

As do I, however in cases such as this there’s great positive value in hearing what a person has to say.

The dialogue has been transcribed … what I drafted is not yet published, we do have the published automated subtitles.


People, please read the currently published text – the subtitles.

Use five-star YouTube Playback Speed Control to simply (with a single keystroke):

  • accelerate things, if you can’t spare forty-five minutes for so important an issue
  • occasionally use slow motion, in places where the meaning of the automated translation is not immediately obvious.

As far as I can tell Invidious AV content can not be simplified in this way, so please be aware of the compatible original content:

I think not.

Startpage founders have control over all Startpage privacy implementations.

Open source is not a panacea. Robert mentioned pros and cons.

In the PrivacyTools context, open source is preferred but not required.

Justifiably so. To protect the privacy of the founders. From the commentary that followed (2019-11-22), with added emphasis:

We feel that we’ve answered all questions posed over the past over the past month or so.

We are a private company and will not disclose the exact ownership % to protect the privacy of our founders. In the total corporate governance of companies, it is also irrelevant to know without also having full insight in the exact articles of association, possible presence of different share classes, priorities or preferences, options, management agreements, side letters, covenants etc. etc. Also, if you are suspicious, any company can give you an overview today and change things tomorrow.

Besides all the current unclarity and complexity regarding the exact reach of the Cloud Act on foreign companies, bringing it up here is also irrelevant as first of all we don’t store personal data of our users to begin with. Nor do we process any in the cloud, as you can see in our Data Flow Diagram.

At the end of the day, we believe in choice. And who you trust is only a choice you can make.

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