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Free Software Activists to Take on Google With New Free Search Engine


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Yacy search engine

The organizers of the YaCy free software project hope to one day replace centrally-run search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

They have made the YaCy software available for download, and computer users can install it on their machines to join a network of independent peers. The peer-to-peer search engine currently has about 600 peers who provide the search results.

YaCy's developers say that peers create individual search indexes and rankings, which means the results will better match what users are looking for over time. Each instance of the software contains a peer-to-peer network protocol to exchange search indexes with other YaCy search engines.

Free software activists say the big search engines have too much control over what information people find online and also compromise the privacy of users. "Targeted advertising is only the most benign use of this data," says Free Software Foundation Europe president Karsten Gerloff.

Organizers expect the peer-to-peer search engine to grow similar to other free software projects. YaCy currently is available for GNU/Linux, Windows, and MacOs.

From IDG News Service
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