Censored Google search engine 'dragonfly' for China? Employees, politicians, users unhappy about it

02 August 2018, 01:14 PM
Censored Google search engine 'dragonfly' for China? Employees, politicians, users unhappy about it (File Photo)
Censored Google search engine 'dragonfly' for China? Employees, politicians, users unhappy about it (File Photo)

Google is crafting a search engine that would meet China's draconian censorship rules, a company employee told AFP on Thursday, in a move decried by human rights activists.

Search engine giant Google is building a censored search engine for the People’s Republic of China and criticism is rolling out hard from politicians, human right activists, Google users, and even some of the company’s own employees.

Google took out its search engine from China eight years back, mainly due to hacking and censorship but is now chalking out a project codenamed ‘Dragonfly’ and the project may be exclusive to Android app, as per reports.

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The latest development have already started to cause confusion, anger and anxiety within the company, reports stated.

Earlier in 2010, the search-engine giant pulled its service from China as it was against censorship, but now the company has changed its mind about freedom of speech.

"Giving benefit of the doubt until we learn more," US Senator Marco Rubio said in a tweet on Wednesday. "But reading how Google has plans to help China set up a censored search engine is very disturbing. They won't help Department of Defense keep us safe but they will help China suppress the truth?"

The US Senator referred to Google’s decision to go against building AI tools for weapons or something that could cause harm.

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However, Meredith Whittaker, a New York University’s research scientist and a recognized ethicist in AI and a Google employee, took to Twitter and raised his concerns publicly and asked whether the censored search service violates company’s Artifical Intelligence policies.

"WTF!," Whittaker wrote in a Twitter post. "How enabling mass politically-directed censorship of (AI-enabled) search isn't a violation of Article 19 & in turn a violation of Google's pledge not to build tech that 'contravenes widely accepted principles of...human rights' is a mystery indeed."

First Published: Thursday, August 02, 2018 01:01 PM
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