Some of Google's own employees were reportedly not happy about the prospect of offering a censored search to appease China's government.
Google has been developing a censored version of its search engine under the codename "Dragonfly" since the start of past year, according to a report published Wednesday by The Intercept, which cites internal documents provided by a whistleblower.
Google plans to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, marking a major shift in strategy for the USA internet giant almost a decade after it exited the world's second largest economy over Beijing's strict censorship rules, according to a report by The Intercept.
The documents revealed that work on Dragonfly began to speed up last December following a meeting between Google's CEO Sundar Pichai and an unnamed "top Chinese official".
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Google is not commenting on "speculation about future plans".
The Google China headquarters in Beijing in 2010. It has reportedly been demonstrated to the Chinese authorities and might see a commercial launch within the next six to nine months.
Google is planning to launch a censored search engine in China?
Amnesty International said it would be a "dark day for internet freedom" and would constitute "a gross attack on freedom of information and internet freedom" if the tech giant accepted China's censorship terms.
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Google's work on a censored search engine for China has already caused an outcry among human rights activists. From 2006 to 2010, the company was active in the country, but it came under fire for being an "accomplice" to China's strict censorship laws. The source stated that they feared "what is done in China will become a template for many other nations".
Cotton has been a critic of Google's moves involving China. Unidentified workers told the publication that the Dragonfly search app was a "censorship engine", and comparable to the company's now-abandoned Project Maven deal with the Pentagon-Maven let the military use Google's AI technology to analyse drone footage, and some employees resigned in protest, warning that the arrangement could help mark people for death. There are a lot of countries that would gladly pay a pretty penny to censor the internet in their region. Companies need a great deal of resources to meet the censorship demands imposed by the government, and failing to do so can be serious.
This has very serious implications not just for China, but for all of us, for freedom of information and internet freedom. "We do not want to give users something that's illegal or something that's under our borderline".
That system, sometimes referred to as the Great Firewall, includes the blocking of multiple news and social media websites as well as the many search queries or items the government deems problematic, ranging from religion to issues of human rights abuses in the country.
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