Google will help the censorship in China, bends to the rules

18 Octubre, 2018, 09:00 | Author: Misty Newman
  • The 'Dragonfly' search engine project Background

Google's hardly the only tech company that plays footsie with China's totalitarian regime.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said a controlled inquiry application in China could serve more than "99% of inquiries", in uncommon open remarks about the disputable proposition.

Last week Vice President Pence also spoke out against the development, he said the search engine would strengthen the censorship of the government.

Google has previously stated that they are "not close" to launching a search engine in China but recently leaked discussions paint a different picture.

He was also quick to defend the project, which human rights groups have suggested will likely to be complicit in human rights violations and would allow for far more detailed tracking and profiling of people's behaviour.

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"It's initial, we don't know whether we would or could do this in China however we felt like it was essential for us to investigate". I think its just in our nature when were working on a hard problem - and so numerous problems we're working on now are so complex - it just seems rather odd to be telling everyone what you're doing.

Appearing before members of the US Congress at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in September end, Google's Chief Privacy Officer, Keith Enright confirmed that the China search project does exist, but did not disclose much.

In an August 31 letter to U.S. senators, Pichai wrote: "We hope to stay at the forefront of technology developments and believe that Google's tools could help to facilitate an exchange of information and learning that would have broad benefits inside and outside China". Back then, it sure seemed like the opposition within Google to Project Maven had forced the company's hand. He specifically mentioned the problem of fake cancer treatments in search results - an issue Baidu has struggled with. The move was made after disagreements between Google and Chinese officials regarding censorship.

"Throughout Google's history we have given our employees a lot of voice and say in it, but we don't run the company by holding referendums", said Pichai.

Pichai said that by offering a search engine in China again, the company would be able to provide users with better information than what's available on important subjects, such as cancer treatments. Not only has Google worked on a new platform called "Dragonfly" to launch in China, they have perfected it for China's censorship regime - which is tasked with stamping out dissent. The executive defended the project, telling people that Google is "compelled by [its] mission [to] provide information to everyone", but it also has to follow the laws in every country.

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