Google in China: Internet giant 'plans censored search engine'

Google China

In the nearly 10 years since Google moved its China operations to Hong Kong, the number of Internet users in China has almost doubled.

A few years later, Google corrected that error and stopped censoring results in China, leading to the site mostly being blocked by China's Great Firewall.

Still, critics complained that Google was breaching its own company motto: "Don't Be Evil".

The Intercept has internal documents from a whistleblower that show Google has developed the censored version, codenamed Dragonfly, since early past year.

The search tool would blacklist search terms and websites referencing human rights, democracy, religion and peaceful protest, according to documents seen by The Intercept.

Google said in response to a request for comment that it doesn't "comment on speculation about future plans". Given the size of its audience, this represents a potential missed opportunity for Google's revenue and brand awareness.

The letter noted FBI Director Christopher Wray's testimony at a February hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee when he said he was "deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks".

The work followed a meeting between Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai and a top Chinese government official.

More news: No problem to shut down government - Ireland

The report said a final version could be introduced within six to nine months, pending approval of Chinese officials.

Google's work on a censored search engine for China has already caused an outcry among human rights activists. This would mark the company's return to both the country and the government's stringent censorship.

A whistleblower provided the Intercept with the internal Google documents related to the project, codenamed "Dragonfly".

- Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) August 1, 2018 If Google goes through with this and launches a censored search engine in China, effectively normalizing and Americanizing authoritarian censorship, this will be the Waterloo in the global battle for a free internet as a norm. To recall, Google's search engine can not be accessed normally in China, considering it has been blocked by the country's "Great Firewall".

China infamously maintains extensive censorship of the internet with strict legislation in place to regulate domestic internet usage. For example, links to the BBC website and Wikipedia would be removed from the search results, The Intercept said. At just over 750 million internet users, China itself is almost as valuable as all of Europe.

While going to Google to search for virtually anything is a common practice for many of us, the same isn't true for people in China. The tech giant has reportedly created an Android app catering to the country's censorship laws, different versions of which are called "Maotai" and "Longfei".

And while Google is a household brand in much of the world, its name may draw blank stares from China's younger generation who are growing up in the post-Google Chinese internet.

Related News:

  • Prince Harry and Meghan have the most elegant joint monogram

    According to hair and beauty experts at Byrdie, there's a smart reason why Meghan styles her bun this way. So far, the Queen and Buckingham Palace has refused to break their silence on Meghan's family dramas.

    NKorea provided just 1 dog tag with 55 sets of war remains

    Many experts say North Korea merely intends to weaken the sanctions and has no intention of fully giving up its nuclear weapons. The June 12 joint declaration signed by Trump and Kim in Singapore essentially restates what Kim committed to in Panmunjom.
    Apple beats earnings expectations with $53.3B in revenue, stock up 3%

    Apple beats earnings expectations with $53.3B in revenue, stock up 3%

    Its mobile unit reported a 22 percent drop in sales revenue to $20.2 billion from the same time previous year . The earnings beat street estimates but iPhone sales did not match consensus from most analysts.
  • States vow to fight Trump administration on fuel-economy freeze

    States vow to fight Trump administration on fuel-economy freeze

    Jerry Brown said his state "will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible". Toyota Motor Corp would save $34 billion and Volkswagen AG $20 billion.
    Virat Kohli celebrates Joe Root's dismissal with a mic-drop gesture

    Virat Kohli celebrates Joe Root's dismissal with a mic-drop gesture

    Dhawan and Murali Vijay (20 ) did the hardwork of seeing off the new ball with a 50-run stand but it all went awry after that. Kohli was on 97 when No 11 Umesh Yadav walked out to bat, with India 217 for nine in reply to England's first innings 287.
    Paul Manafort’s first trial begins this week: Here’s what to expect

    Paul Manafort’s first trial begins this week: Here’s what to expect

    Giuliani said he and Jay Sekulow, another Trump lawyer, had told the president: "This would be a very bad thing to do now". Investigators have since looked into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation .
  • Man City will only make move for ‘special talent’ -Guardiola

    Man City will only make move for ‘special talent’ -Guardiola

    Maybe it was a bit late to announce that but if you don't want to come, don't come. "England is going to discover an exceptional holding midfielder".
    Screenshots: Did Urban lie about knowledge of coach's abuse?

    Screenshots: Did Urban lie about knowledge of coach's abuse?

    Courtney Smith also provided threatening texts she claims came from her ex-husband, former assistant Zach Smith . Smith was sacked July 23 after reports surfaced that his ex-wife filed an order of protection against him.

    Ex-Trump aide Manafort faces charges in first trial of Russian Federation probe

    Prosecutors and defense lawyers for Paul Manafort also picked three women and one man who were sworn in as alternate jurors. Gates of being the mastermind behind the crimes lodged against their client. " Paul Manafort shouldn't be here", he added.
  • Commonwealth condemns 'excessive' force by Zimbabwe soldiers

    Commonwealth condemns 'excessive' force by Zimbabwe soldiers

    More 58 constituencies are yet to be declared, but ZANU-PF only needs 140 seats to the garner the 2/3 majority in Parliament. Global observers from the Commonwealth and elsewhere are urging the release of the presidential results as soon as possible.
    North Korea is working on new missiles, U.S.  spy agencies say

    North Korea is working on new missiles, U.S. spy agencies say

    The remains will be analyzed in Hawaii to determine whether they are those of US service members missing since the Korean War. Experts say the North likely wants a declaration of the end of the Korean War as part of USA security assurances.
    'The United States is not trustworthy': Iran rejects meeting with Trump

    'The United States is not trustworthy': Iran rejects meeting with Trump

    In spite of fierce verbal exchanges between Tehran and Washington in the recent weeks, Iranian authorities have kept the door to diplomacy open.


Most liked

India strips 4 million of citizenship
It was published on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 where names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated.

SpaceX and Boeing Manned Capsule Flights Get Official Names
Anyone now assigned to a space mission also won't be picked for the Boeing and SpaceX flights, NASA told Business Insider . Last month, news broke that Starliner's launch-abort engines cut off during a test fire's cool-down phase.

Remains from North Korea 'consistent with being Americans'
The U.S. military flew the remains from Osan Air Base in South Korea after they had undergone an initial field forensic review. Experts say positively identifying the decades-old remains could take anywhere from days to decades.

UP Police warns against ‘Kiki Dance Challenge’
Earlier, the Mumbai Police too issued a similar warning to citizens to keep away from #kikichallenge or face music, on twitter. Celebrities including Will Smith , Kevin Hart and Odell Beckham Jr among others have also popularized the challenge.

United States says Russian Federation still carrying out 'pervasive' election meddling
President Donald Trump was strongly criticised last month for not condemning alleged Russian actions, while he was in Helsinki. Meddle or not, though, Russian Federation isn't thrilled by how it all turned out, the US President told the rally.

YouTube Is Rolling Out a Dark Mode on Android
Simply tap on your account icon in the upper right-hand corner, and go to Settings Dark theme , to toggle Dark Theme on or off. Those who totally hate the dark theme's particular shade of gray unfortunately can't opt for a deeper shade of black, though.

Trump blasts conservative megadonors Koch network as 'overrated'
At the centre of the latest flare between the Kochs and Trump is support for Kevin Cramer , a Republican running for the U.S. Trump has defended his trade policies, saying he backs free but "fair" trade to support USA workers.

Tesla stock surges as Musk looks to make good with analysts
During the second quarter, Tesla laid off 9 percent of its workforce as it worked toward Musk's promise of making money. It plans to tap the debt market in China to fund a new factory in Shanghai, the company's first outside of the U.S.

Mars makes closest approach to Earth in 15 years
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, Mars Curiosity took to Twitter and wrote,"I feel so close to you right now". When Mars slowly approaches what astronomers call opposition, it and the Sun are on opposite sides of the Earth.

DJ Khaled sends love to Demi Lovato
With the help from her family and visits from her ex-boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama , she is recuperating from the overdose. Then Radar Online reported that Demi and co. were partying hard for her backup dancer/BFF Dani Vitale's birthday.

U.S. sanctioning Turkish officials over detention of American pastor - White House
The US pastor was first arrested in October 2016, when Turkey was in the immediate throes of a failed coup attempt crackdown. He wrote: "A total disgrace that Turkey will not release a respected US Pastor, Andrew Brunson, from prison".

Giuliani: Mueller's Russia Probe is Not a Legitimate Investigation
Legal experts say Giuliani and Trump have a point: There is no federal law or statue making campaign collusion a crime. In Trump's case, collusion is not a crime-it's many crimes. "He has the conflict, not the president", Giuliani said .

Trump Echoes Giuliani: 'Collusion Is Not A Crime'
Dershowitz said to pay attention to whether the prosecution hints at Manafort's relationship with Trump. Giuliani added that the Russian Federation probe "has been continued as an illegitimate investigation".

The case of San Antonio's stolen shark is solved
They used the bucket to transfer the shark into the stroller and "hurried up the stairs and out to the parking lot", it said. However, the man refused to comply with the request, claiming his son was feeling ill and he must drive away immediately.

Over 1K people have downloaded plans for 3D-printed assault rifles
But surprisingly, in June, the Department of Justice settled with Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation. In a new countersuit, Wilson's legal team argues his company is simply defending the right to bear arms.