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2015 INTERNET SEARCH ENGINES SAFETY RATINGS


The Safe Internet League, with the assistance of the National Rating Agency (Russia), has issued popular Internet search engine companies rankings to illustrate how safe for underage users their search engines were in 2014 and early 2015 when used at their standard and strictest security settings.


1. Top Safety Ratings Tier

IS1 Rating, meaning the Safe Internet League takes the responsibility of recommending the search engine for underage use, was not assigned this time.

IS2 Rating was assigned to Sputnik (sputnik.ru)

The Safe Internet League has found nothing that should restrict its use by underage persons.

The research found the search engine demonstrating high performance in terms of filtering out dangerous content in its output, and its staff ready and willing to listen to feedback from ordinary users and NGOs and to promptly correct any shortcomings detected. The only reason why the search engine did not get the highest rating is that it is a new company with no extensive record of consistently safe output.


2. Medium Safety Ratings Tier

IS3 Rating was assigned to Yandex (yandex.ru, used with its strictest security settings)

The Safe Internet League recommends Yandex for underage use with periodic adult supervision.

The research found its search engine demonstrating satisfactory performance in terms of filtering out dangerous content in its output. On top of that, the League notes that the company is quite open and willing to cooperate with both government agencies and NGOs, and is doing its own R&D in dangerous content filtering. Nevertheless, 2014 saw its search quality drop, signifying that the company sometimes fails to react to the ever-changing online environment with new countermeasures.

IS4 Rating was assigned to

  • Google (google.ru, used with its strictest security settings)
  • Microsoft Russia (bing.ru, used with its strictest security settings)
  • AOL.com (used with its strictest security settings)

The Safe Internet Leagues recommends using these Internet search engines with constant adult supervision.

The research found these search engines demonstrating mostly satisfactory performance in terms of filtering out dangerous content in its output. That said, the League notes that Google is quite open and actively cooperating with government agencies at its place of incorporation, but is not equally open and cooperating with their Russian counterparts. 2014 saw its search quality drop, signifying that maintaining up-to-date countermeasures for the Russian-language segment is not a priority.


3. Low Safety Ratings Tier

IS5 Rating was assigned to

  • Yandex (yandex.ru, used at any but the strictest security settings)
  • Google (google.ru, used at any but the strictest security settings)
  • Microsoft Russia (bing.ru, used at any but the strictest security settings)
  • AOL.com (used at any but the strictest security settings)
  • Mail.Ru Group (mail.ru)
  • Yahoo (yahoo.ru)
  • Lycos.com
  • Duckduckgo.com
  • Baidu.com

The Safe Internet League does not recommend these Internet search engines for underage use.

The above-listed services demonstrate unsatisfactory performance in terms of filtering out dangerous content in their output, and are therefore not recommended for underage use.

 

NG Rating was assigned to

  • TorSearch (http://kbhpodhnfxl3clb4.onion)
  • Torch (http://xmh57jrzrnw6insl.onion)

Besides not recommending these Internet search engines for underage use, the Safe Internet League also notes the very criminal nature of the websites, created specifically for distribution of dangerous content.

P.S. The Rambler and Nigma Internet search engines were not ranked due to their using the Yandex search engine API.

 

INTERNET SEARCH ENGINES SAFETY RANKING METHODOLOGY

The Internet Search Engines Safety Ranking is a system of ratings assigned by the Safe Internet League, with the assistance of the National Rating Agency, to illustrate how safe the output of a particular Internet search engine is for underage users.

The ranking is carried out under Article 21 of the 2010 Federal Law no. 436 On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to their Health and Development providing for public oversight of its implementation.


A search engine’s rating is assigned by a conference of Safe Internet League experts assessing

  • Its search query output, analysed by League and NRA experts;
  • Its absolute values and volatility of integrated search quality indices, according to AnalyzeThis.ru;
  • Online publications on underage search engines safety;
  • Its compliance with Federal Law no. 436;
  • Its readiness to cooperate – in particular, to react to valid demands by the public, the authorities, and individual users regarding matters of underage safety.


Safety Ratings Tiers:

    Rating  Underage use recommendations
   Top Safety Ratings Tier
   IS1, IS2  Unrestricted use
   IS3, IS4  Restricted use
   Low Safety Ratings Tier
   IS5, NG  Do not use
     
     


Ratings in detail:


Top Safety Ratings Tier:
IS1 – the search engine is recommended for underage users
IS2 – no restrictions on using the search engine by underage users

Medium Safety Ratings Tier:
IS3 – the search engine is recommended for underage use with limited adult supervision
IS4 – the search engine is recommended for underage use with constant adult supervision

Low Safety Ratings Tier:
IS5 – the search engine is not recommended for underage use
NG – the search engine is not recommended for use

 

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