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Google is working with China on a censored search engine known as Project Dragonfly

By Greg S ยท 14 replies
Aug 1, 2018
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  1. China has some of the harshest laws that tech companies must comply with or face being banned from operating in the country. Google has been making a series of strategic investments into Chinese businesses as a way to indirectly gain access to one of the world's largest markets, but now may be taking a more direct approach.

    Arriving under codename Dragonfly, Google is believed to be working on a search engine specifically for China that will be heavily censored. Search results will not include links to sites focusing on democracy, religion, human rights, or protests in addition to an array of other forbidden topics. Notable banned websites include BBC News and Wikipedia.

    Any search terms or site that goes against the views of Chinese officials is subject to being removed from search results.

    Two custom Android apps have already been created and demonstrated to the Chinese government under names Maotai and Longfei. A launch within the next six to nine months is expected contingent upon government approval.

    Google has been heavily restricted in China since 2010. The Great Firewall has been used to completely block access to Google Search across the country except in Hong Kong, which operates as an independent region and is not subject to the same censorship laws.

    According to the source that leaked internal documents about project Dragonfly, only a few hundred people at Google previously knew about the censored search engine being created. Whether or not tech companies should enable censorship and the following oppression of a nation's people is open to debate.

    It certainly makes financial sense for Google to want a piece of the Chinese market in a more direct fashion, but its previous policy of "Don't Be Evil" may have been completely forgotten for this project. At just over 750 million internet users, China itself is nearly as valuable as all of Europe.

    When Google pulled out of China in 2010, co-founder Sergey Brin voiced strong objections to any form of censorship having been born in the Soviet Union. Knowing the personal effects that censorship can leave behind, Brin hoped to see a "more open internet," instead of allowing information to be withheld.

    Permalink to story.

  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,137   +1,402

    To be fair to Google - they did officially drop the motto 'Don't be evil' back around May judging by the dates on the news stories about it. Planning ahead perhaps?
  3. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,828   +1,112

    Typical...the $$ is more important to them, than the oppression of the people in China.
    I haven't used google for searching in years.
    regiq and wiyosaya like this.
  4. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,351   +865

    So, they'll drop the military facial recognition contract because the military is "evil", but working with China to censor it's citizens is fine?

    Where is the same (if not greater) outrage, manufactured or not, coming from inside Google?
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  5. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 619   +813

    Presumably if you type in 'Tiananmen square massacre' you get pictures of rainbows and lollipops.
    treetops and wiyosaya like this.
  6. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,427   +1,824

    +1 for all the comments so far. This is absolutely about the money and f the human rights of the Chinese citizens oppressed by their government. Profit at all costs - and gagme absolutely cannot take the high road with this.
    regiq and senketsu like this.
  7. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 359   +172

    Google censors everywhere, if the truth be told. Public sentiments, the public's current obsessions, demand it. The Chinese people are fairly sanguine about their censorship, from what I hear. Chinese culture is different from Western culture.

    I'm not defending China. But, bear in mind that the diversity of viewpoints and websites in top search results in Google U.S. is declining, and not all the downplayed viewpoints and websites are fake news. This is something to be concerned about.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,518   +3,702

    Quote by @Greg S.... " Notable banned websites include BBC News and Wikipedia."

    IMHO, the internet is practically worthless without BBC News & Wikipedia, particularly Wikipedia.:(

    Oh, and lest I forget, Techspot as well....;)(y)
    regiq and wiyosaya like this.
  9. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 640   +240

    Breaking China financially is a good way to possibly turn them around. Then again, it might lead to a hot mess. No one is fooled by Google. They are a leftist company and practice censorship worldwide.
  10. PcePce

    PcePce TS Enthusiast Posts: 61   +16

    Maybe because most internet users in China use VPNs, among other means, to circumvent the censorship anyway. It's not a big deal if you know it's happening and know how to avoid it, which they do.
    Danny101 likes this.
  11. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,427   +1,824

    And the wise leftist will barely, if ever, use them.

    Personally, I think gagme is worse than politically oriented. IMO, they have a god complex, and god complexes know no political bounds.
    regiq likes this.
  12. Mr Majestyk

    Mr Majestyk TS Booster Posts: 98   +64

    Talk about money grubbing rapacious scum empowering dictatorial, freedom stealing rapacious scum.

    VPN's have been banned n China, so they can't circumvent anything anymore.
    treetops and wiyosaya like this.
  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,427   +1,824

    Sounds like there is blowback starting on this. We'll see where the voice of public opinion takes gagme this time...
  14. nobodynobody

    nobodynobody TS Rookie

    So who can you use besides Google for searches that doesn't support Chinese censorship? I am so tired of these tech companies talking out both sides of their mouth and deciding money is more important to them than the principles by which they pretend to live.
  15. GaryMove

    GaryMove TS Enthusiast Posts: 155   +10

    This partnership will be turned to crypto exchange, or may be it's already has some insides related to crypto.

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