While on a client's site using the corporate network, I see that only a few search engines are allowed. Google and Bing, possibly others; while my fav DuckDuckGo is blocked, and a few others that I've tried are also blocked. The search engines are being blocked by the proxy.
What benefit does blocking a search engine have in a large enterprise environment? This is a financial company, so they do need pretty good security, but it seems odd that search engines would be blocked unless they are whitelisted.
The guest wifi does not have such a blockage, only the corporate network.
I was able to find a page on the intranet explaining some of the proxy rules. As some of you surmised, there are certain categories, and some categories have whitelists and blacklists associated with them. Sometimes there are explanations, and some categories are obviously blocked for work reasons (ie porn). The search engine category doesn't have an explanation, but a few others mention possible data exfiltration as a reason for blocking. Yet others refer to the benefit of access during working hours, or the lack of any particular reason to block them.
A few more pieces of info I have gotten:
- It seems there is TLS/SSL interception and monitoring by the company. Standard stuff for a security conscious network nowadays, but if a search provider doesn't allow that via HSTS, then maybe that's a reason to blacklist it?
- While I said in a comment that they did not explain the reason, the person who responded did say that DuckDuckGo (specifically) was moved to the blacklist, but they did not know why.
- Browsers are managed by the IT department, which is probably how Chrome can talk to Google while being intercepted and not complain about it.