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Google CEO directly confirms the company is building censored search for China

By Greg S ยท 15 replies
Oct 16, 2018
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  1. CEO Sundar Pichai took to the stage at the Wired 25 Summit on Monday to officially confirm the existence of a Google Search service for China that complies with heavy government censorship. According to Pichai, more than 99 percent of queries will still be presented without blocking specific results.

    Unfortunately though, Google handles an awful lot of searches. Even a small fraction of a percentage means a very large number of results are still blocked or hidden. "People don't understand fully, but you're always balancing a set of values," said Pichai. Google does recognize that there are moral concerns, but has decided that offering some information is better than not offering any access at all.

    From a financial standpoint, Google clearly sees that China accounts for 20 percent of the world's population. Entering the Chinese market as a recognized and government approved service will undoubtedly be very beneficial for quarterly earnings calls.

    In addition to recognizing the search engine carrying codename Dragonfly, Pichai also spoke about the Department of Defense's $10 billion JEDI contract for cloud computing and Project Maven. Going forward, Google is shying away from working with military-related projects over fears of public perception of the company.

    There have been numerous employees at Google protesting the company's work for military contracts. Pichai has made it clear that the dissenters are being heard, but ultimately wants to protect Google from being shunned by other companies also working on AI. "It's more also the debate within the AI Community around how you perceive our work in this area," Pichai cautioned.

    Google will still continue to work on contracts that deal with cyber-security as well as transportation and logistics. Autonomous weapons and the use of AI for offensive capabilities are the only major areas that Google is withdrawing from.

    Permalink to story.

  2. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 305   +301

    Do no evil with exceptions.
    max0x7ba and dirtyferret like this.
  3. gigantor21

    gigantor21 TS Maniac Posts: 172   +233

    Do no evil, unless the price is right.
  4. dirtyferret

    dirtyferret TS Evangelist Posts: 509   +528

    Way to sell out to a country with little care for it's own people.
    max0x7ba likes this.
  5. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 679   +495

    Government censors its citizens; everybody blames companies for complying. funny.
  6. And here I though the Soviet Union had the name of "the Evil Empire"
  7. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 305   +301

    Foreign companies have a choice to do business there or not. They are breaking their own internal founding company rules. Not sure what's so funny other than the hypocrisy? I don't really care other than not liking that they are helping to suppress human rights and track people. But they can at least stop pretending to be all righteous.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
    dirtyferret likes this.
  8. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 817   +402

    Google is like "If we wont build it for them, someone else will. So lets build it boys! Lets give them the engine that will keep their citizens where they are supposed to be: in tight control and under strict but very loving government."
    It is sad though. It is sad that the most brilliant minds gathered under goolge, will aid the countries' intentions to limit their citizens access to information and truth. If google can do it in china, will they do something to limit freedom in the USA given the price is right?
  9. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,458   +1,034

    But supporting foreign government censorship? Full steam ahead!
  10. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 679   +660

    You don't mean 'information', you mean ads Sundar.

    I love the false equivalency of "you're always balancing a set of values" as though the Western values of things like, "don't include child porn in searches" is on a similar moral level to "stop our citizens from thinking thoughts we don't like".
    captaincranky likes this.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,958   +3,997

    At the risk of sounding racist, I really, really dislike the Indian modus operandi in the arena of business.

    They basically do nothing but lie, cheat, steal, and bully everyone in their paths, all the while working for half of what others do. (Yeah., I know, India is a poor country. But then is it really necessary to inflict the problems that generates on the rest of the world)?

    And if anybody thinks I'm wrong, then why not take a moment to explain M$'s Satya Nadella ramming Windows 10 down everyone's throat, Ajit Pai's repeal of Internet neutrality, and now this fool creating a censored search engine for China, to me, as something other than traditional Indian business tactics.

    Don't get me wrong, India has many brilliant minds and beautiful people, but their cultural adaption of business practices is hard to tolerate, and many large companies are taking full advantage by installing them in key positions.

    Think I'm just being "Cranky", read this:


    And watch this:

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  12. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 679   +495

    It's called business and... surprise! every business does it. You see if Google turns them down, they don't give up and decide not to censor, they give business elsewhere until it gets done. Google is not evil for complying with governmental requirements. Be mad at the one making the rules, not the one following them.
  13. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 305   +301

    Congratulations on missing my entire point. Businesses also have ethic rules they have to follow and if helping to suppress human rights is OK with you then that speaks volumes about you as a person. We all know why the Chinese government is doing this. Don't pretend this isn't en extreme case and lump it in as business as usual. Their kind of business and tracking could cause people and families their lives that in most countries are not problems. How many other countries does Google have to create a whole new search and tracking platform for?
  14. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 679   +495

    I'm not missing the point. Am I ok with limiting human rights? no. Is Google? Probably not. So lets see...

    Google has two options. They can create a "Google" with filtered results so they can comply and people in china can have 75% of the internet or they can refuse to comply and the people in China will have a lot less of the internet. I wouldn't call that assisting in being evil.

    Again, blame the country, not those affected by it.
  15. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Evangelist Posts: 305   +301

    Sorry but assisting a human rights violating country in that way is still being evil. You don't get to separate the two at your discretion If what you do enables them to continue to do that. When you have a clear choice to do it or not then it does not give your company any high road to stand on. There is room enough to blame both.
  16. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 679   +495

    I guess it comes down to what the internet looks like right now for the people in China. If it's unfiltered now and Google is making a filtered search engine, then yes, it's an evil act. If it's horribly filtered right now or just downright blocked because they don't have a good method for only filtering the stuff they don't want the people to see, then what Google is doing would at least give them more of the internet. Fair to say? I guess I'm assuming it's somehow filtered right now but sounds like you might be thinking Google will be the first one filtering for them.

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