Google might cancel the build of ‘Censored’ search engine for China named Project Dragonfly

Google is said to cancel the build of a separate and censored Chinese search engine named ‘Project Dragonfly’ due to strong protests from its own employees. It’s said that more than 273 managers and engineers have penned a letter to Alphabet Inc the parent company of Google to stop the build of a separate search engine which will be crafted in compliance with the current surveillance laws of China.

The employees have clearly mentioned in the letter that if the internet juggernaut moves ahead with Project Dragonfly, then there is a high chance that other country governments would request for customized search engines in order to spy on their citizens.

For those who aren’t aware of what Dragonfly is here’s a bit of summary on it. In May this year, on the special request of the Chinese government, Google CEO Sundar Pichai gave a public statement that his company could oblige the demands of the Chinese government and could come up with a separate search engine for China- parallel to Baidu, in order to gain business confidence in the said country.

But those concerned about privacy statement that the search engine crafted by Google will give special powers to the government of China and will help the officials in spying on the content being surfed, transmitted and accessed by the citizens- leading to suppression of democracy, human rights and discords being held in a peaceful way.

The latest Chinese laws on data say that all those companies doing business in the region should host data in the same region and share data with the government-if and when necessary. As the technology will be presented with sophisticated tools, it will lead to mass monitoring of citizens and might silence marginalized people and favor info that promotes government interests.

In August this year, Sundar Pichai stated publicly that the plan to offer a separate search engine was just in the drafting stage and it’s still unclear whether it will go to the stage of implementation in near time.

However, the employees of Google argue that censored search engine exclusively devised for China has already taken a shape and would be presented to the world in Feb’19.

Note 1- Since, October 16th, 2007, China has banned Youtube and other Google services. Although the government of China says it has lifted the ban from March’08, anyone who searched for certain services like Youtube on the official Chinese search engine ‘Baidu’ would see a response of “results cannot be shown”.

Note 2- Probably Google wants to change its business stats in China and so has decided to offer a separate search engine for China where every data generated, accessed and edited will be stored inside the borders of the ‘People’s Republic of China’.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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