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Google CEO evasive when asked about Dragonfly by Congress

By Cal Jeffrey · 15 replies
Dec 11, 2018
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  1. Ever since it came out that Google was working on a censored search engine for the Chinese government called Project Dragonfly, the company has been embroiled in both public controversy and internal conflict.

    Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified before Congress on Tuesday where lawmakers grilled him over the company’s social media practices. When the topic of the Dragonfly project was brought up Pichai was somewhat evasive and downplayed the significance of the search engine.

    When asked about the project by Representative David Cicilline from Rhode Island, the Google boss said the company had “no plan” to release the search engine in China and that it was an “internal” project with limited scope.

    “We have undertaken an internal effort, but right now there are no plans to launch a search service in China,” said Pichai. “It’s a limited effort internally currently.”

    When asked if he would “rule out” developing and releasing an app or service allowing the Chinese government to surveil or censor its people, Pichai gave a long-winded stammering response that did not rule out anything.

    “Congressman, I commit to engaging — one of the things that is important to us as a company — we have a stated mission of providing users with information, and so we always — we think it’s within our duty to explore possibilities. To give users access to information, and you know, I have that commitment, but you know, as I said earlier on this, we will be very thoughtful, and we will engage widely as we make progress.”

    The short answer would have been, "no."

    Last month, employees posted a demand to cancel the project in an open letter signed by about 250 staffers. Since then it has nearly tripled its signatures to 736 developers and engineers. Google’s response has been that if workers have moral objections to working on the project, it will be glad to place them on a different team.

    So despite employee protests and Congress asking for a commitment not to help communist China oppress its people, Dragonfly appears to be still in the works with no signs of closing down under pressure.

    Lead Image via New York Post

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 747   +270

    So its Google's responsibility to deal with the Chinese govmnt?

    I'm not even sure why a US senate gives two pennies about what Google plans to do in China, it's none of their damn business.

    Google has a huge analytics platform that's free and open to anyone so of course they cant promise that they wont give data to the government since its a free tool the government can slap on any site they own and track the users of that site?!

    Yet another clueless group of old people that got few some questions from some intern that read a thing on the internet. What was the point of this whole interview?
     
    Clamyboy74, Reehahs and gusticles41 like this.
  3. ComputerGeekRH

    ComputerGeekRH TS Rookie

    Agree...
    Our Government has NO problem selling weapons to other governments that use them to oppress their own people.
    Isn't the American Dream to build a business and make as much money as possible... but... if you start making too much money, they have to stop you.
     
  4. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,925   +546

    No the point has always been if you make lots of money, you may continue to do so with impunity if you have the right people in your pockets. Google hasn't played the game right AND makes a lot of money.

    You can literally get away with murder, rape, torture, anything in the US if you have the right friends.
     
    Clamyboy74, Reehahs and senketsu like this.
  5. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 487   +322

    Any time we see these tech companies in front of Congress we know they're spinning us. Google is the NSA's baby. They just found out the Chinese would pay extra to use it in this way, so of course those greedy punks would want to profit on that.
     
  6. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TS Evangelist Posts: 541   +542

    I feel like we need more people like Sundar Piechart, so people will realise that being a weasley scumbag isn't just an 'old white man' thing.
     
    Clamyboy74 and Uncle Al like this.
  7. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 429   +114

    Money buys you a different legal system and apparently different ethics as well.
     
    Clamyboy74 and Uncle Al like this.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,195   +3,487

    The absurdly ruthless tactics and almost total lack of ethos is integral to the business culture of India.

    It's not an accident that people like Ajit Pai, Satya Nadella, and Sundar Pichai are showing up more frequently as corporate leaders. The infliction of Windows 10, and forced updates, are characteristic of the mindset and yes, upbringing of these individuals.

    Imported labor from India destroyed the jobs of technical staff of RCA in Cherry Hill NJ as much as 40 years ago.

    In fact "60 Minutes" ran a piece on American companies bringing individuals in, mostly from India, and forcing American workers to train them to replace themselves in their jobs, at far lower salaries. The overseas workers of course, played stupid as to what was going on.

    As an example, Bill Gates was for a long time the richest man in the world. I doubt Satya Nadella is in the top 500..

    So, if you want "dirty deeds done dirt cheap", you know where to do your recruiting.

    All this "promoting diversity" crap, is just a smokescreen.

    If you think I'm a racist for telling it like it is, so be it. The chances are though, in some facets of modern business, you'll be shouting those nasty accusations at me from the bread line...

    Anyway, heres the fed's breakdown on work visas: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/employment/temporary-worker-visas.html

    Please read categories H-1B & H-1B1
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
    Clamyboy74 and Reehahs like this.
  9. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 912   +631

    These darn questioners, when the person you are questioning is evasive and dodgy that is when you put the whole game on pause and move in with more questions! I find it hard to accept, they let Mr. Pichai off with that mind-boggling (non)answer.
    but then again I see the same weekly in the Canadian gov't. They call it "Question Period" in the House of Commons, good thing 'cause you won't hear any answers there, just non-answers in the "spirit of Pichai'.
     
  10. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,109   +1,384

    C'mon - they're trying to stop them from oppressing people, not from making money.
     
  11. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,109   +1,384

    You blame India?! lol wut?

    You can argue we need to protect American jobs all you want, but here's a solid fact you have to deal with. America has a freakin' huge liability problem. We have promised a TON of money to be paid out in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in the future. It's like $80 trillion or something like that, FAR higher than the debt. Look up 'US unfunded liabilities' you'll see.

    Fact 2 - America is getting older and people aren't having 5 kids anymore/couple anymore. The younger generation does not have enough workers to support everyone. Growth = increase in current productivity + New productivity. We aren't going to start working on Saturdays. if America wants to keep growing we need immigrants. This is not an opinion. This is math.

    I'm in the tech industry - I know it sucks to have your job replaced... I've seen it personally happen. But America needs more workers to grow. We are already at all time low unemployment. Next time you see a group of Indians you should thank them for moving halfway around the world to pay taxes to our govt, so our old folks can keep getting their checks.
     
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,195   +3,487

    I do thank India, for all the crap hole scam call centers which sh!t up my answering machine, day in day out.

    Now, since the fed and Indian governments cracked down on the computer scams, they've started calling trying to sell bogus home repairs. But yeah, that's not a racial issue, Americans having been doing that to one another for decades. The only distinct difference with this is, "Bobby's" rather pronounced Indian accent.

    And the best way to rectify that, is to hire immigrants, to work for half the money and pay half the taxes of the Americans they replaced

    You should come down to the "hood" with me, and do bring your calculator. The only people who are having 5 children, are 3rd generation welfare recipients, and the only work the garbage they're pumping is likely to do, is pitch crack and smack off of the porches of the houses the fed is supplying them FREE, under section 8 rules.

    Mercifully, many of them will kill one another before the age of 21.

    You're in the tech industry, good for you. The only problem with techies, is that they can't pull their heads out of their a**es, or away from their computer screens long enough to find out what the hell is actually going on in the world..

    But you're right, maybe the US middle class should get down to doing some serious breeding, in order to retain some say in the government they're supporting.

    As for you jobs theory, if you listen to the news, jobs are going overseas. So what we really need is more immigrants to take the few which are left here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  13. loki1944

    loki1944 TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +30

    You really have to be clueless yourself to make such a statement. China is an enemy, not a friend; anything that increases or enhances their information and cyber capabilities is something that needs to be stopped and such capabilities should absolutely not be facilitated by US companies.
     
  14. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 747   +270

    I'm sorry what?!
    The whole thing was about google not china..
    And on top of that it was about Google's filtering and altering data in China to comply with their state brainwashing laws.

    Has NOTHING to do with the US. China has been doing this forEVER since the beginning of the internet, what rock have you been under?
     
  15. koblongata

    koblongata TS Booster Posts: 134   +34

    Just let Dragonfly go, get a foothold at least, as the time drags on, there is going to be less and less chances for Google to do anything at all in the future.
     
  16. alexthomas

    alexthomas TS Rookie

    Thank
     

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