Google is 'exploring' a censored search tool for China

Judy Cobb
October 18, 2018

Project Dragonfly was earlier reported to be the code name for Google's secret mission to develop a censored search app specifically for China, which would blacklist websites on human rights, democracy, religion and other issues deemed sensitive by the Chinese government, according to a report published in August by The Intercept. The team wanted to explore more as they understand that the market and users will take a long-term view.

He said one area where Google's presence could help in China would be for information on medical treatments including for cancer. It's still too early, and we don't know if we can do this in China, but we think it's important that we explore this market.

The project's existence was previously disclosed through leaks that sparked a firestorm inside and outside the company, with employees outraged at the ethical implications-Google (googl) pulled out of China in 2010, largely due to censorship requirements-and the Trump White House urging the company to kill the scheme. The search giant is building a censored search engine for China.

The project, code-named Dragonfly, is not only real but is already performing to the satisfaction of top Google executives. The company had a version of its search engine running in China in 2006.

Mr Pichai told a conference in San Francisco the plan was in the "very early" stages and may not progress. That's why China has a censorship program, and why they make sure anyone doing business in China comes under their thumb - not to catch dissenters as much as to frighten people out of dissent altogether.

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The comments are the first time Google has officially confirmed it is working on the search engine, dubbed Project Dragonfly, which has been criticised heavily by human rights organisations.

But it seems that Google is not on the verge of unleashing its search engine on the Chinese people, and any censored version it creates will still need to be approved by government regulators. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) have blasted the company for refusing to work with the US military on drone technology while it simultaneously partners with China.

In the month of August 2018, Google's research scientist, Jack Paulson gave his resignation publicly and considered the re-launch of Google in China as an unethical practice by the company.

The Google CEO's open acknowledgement of Project Dragonfly is set to spark fresh rounds of dissent both internally as well as externally.

Pichai was also asked about Google's possible plan to once again offer a search engine in China.

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