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Scroogle SSL search in Iron and Opera

Update: Scroogle is dead, check this out instead: Scroogle seems to be in trouble, here are some alternatives. Then you can probably apply the same kind of manipulations to those alternatives.

As explained in a previous posts, SRWare Iron is an equivalent of Google Chrome which aims at being “the same but without Google spying on you”. There’s only a little issue about that: the omni-bar, which catches all your searches as well as some of your mistypes URLs, still works with Google.
Of course, in Option → Default search you can choose some alternatives: Yahoo or Bing. Better than nothing, particularly if those happen to be your favorites, yet we can do better: how about Scroogle?

Scroogle (http://www.scroogle.org) aims at letting you use Google without getting tracked. They work very simply: they act as a middleman between you and Google: you send your search query to Scroogle, they send it to Google, Google sends Scroogle the result, and finally Scroogle sends you the result. In the end, Google has no way to know you’re the person who did the search (they have no way to get your IP or to read or write a cookie on your computer) so they can’t add it to the huge database they already have about you from their other services (Adsense, ReCAPTCHA, Analytics, Gmail…). Additionally, Scroogle also offers the ability to search over an encrypted (SSL) connection, so your ISP (or corporate network, etc) can’t see what you’re searching either.

If you’re on Firefox, there’s a little extension to add Sroogle SSL to your search box. If you’re on Iron or Opera, read on.

Scroogle in Iron

In Iron options got to Basics → Default search → Manage. Then click on Add and configure a new search engine as follow:

  • Name: Scroogle SSL (you can choose another if you want)
  • Keyword: scroogle (you can choose another if you want)
  • URL: https://ssl.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/nbbwssl.cgi?Gw=%s
    Finding this URL was relatively easy: when you’re on Scroogle SSL search, look at the source. You’ll find that the search form has action “https://ssl.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/nbbwssl.cgi” plus the search field is sent via method POST as name “Gw”. Iron doesn’t let you configure POST engines, but I tried my luck at GET and it just worked. In an SSL request the final part of the URL is encrypted so placing your search query in GET isn’t a confidentiality issue either. %s is just the search terms, as mentioned in the Add Search Engine box.

Press OK, and then click on Make Default. You’re done, the omni-bar will now send your searches to Scroogle, via HTTPS.
NB: It may happen that Make Default is disabled (the first time I added Scroogle, it was, but when I tested the procedure again on another PC while writing this post it wasn’t!). To enable it, you need to make a search on Scroogle via the omni-bar (start typing the search engine keyword then pick search from Scroogle in the drop-down list, then type any search query). You can then go back to the Search Engine management screen and make Scroogle the default engine.

Scroogle in Opera

The process is a bit similar in Opera. In the search box, expand the drop-down menu and go to Manage Search Engines…. Then click on Add… and fill the form as follow:

  • Name: Scroogle SSL (you can choose another if you want)
  • Keyword: s (you can choose another if you want)
  • Adress: https://ssl.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/nbbwssl.cgi?Gw=%s

Finally, check “use as default search engine” if you want. Press OK everywhere, and you’re done.

Congratulations, you’re one step closer to getting untracked by Google! 🙂
(The next step being to remove Adsense from this notepad… :s)

Posted in Chrome/Chromium/Vivaldi, Google, Opera, privacy.


4 Responses

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  1. Anonymous says

    Thanks for the info for Opera. But..in Opera 11.50 you ALSO need the “query string” for the form to add Scroogle to your list of search engines. What the heck is a “query string”… where do you find it and what is the one for Scroogle so I can make Scroogle my default search engine ???

  2. David Dernoncourt says

    Hi,
    Just leave it empty. I’m not sure about what it does… maybe it appends something at the end of all your searches or something.

  3. Opera Fanboy says

    @Anonymous

    Put “https://ssl.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/nbbwssl.cgi?” in the ‘Address’ field, and “Gw=%s” in the ‘Query string’ field. Make sure the ‘Use POST’ box is checked.

    This should work correctly.

  4. fredseeker says

    Thanks for the Opera info



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