Google reportedly built a Chinese search engine that links queries to phone numbers

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Reports surfaced in early August that Google was secretly working on a controversial search engine for the Chinese market. Dubbed Dragonfly, the project for Android devices was said to be a heavily censored search engine that blocks access to an array of forbidden topics such as religion, human rights and peaceful protests.

Dragonfly created quite the dust up, both among human rights groups and within Google’s walls. The Intercept said at least five employees quit over the matter and according to MIT Technology Review, 1,400 US Google employees have signed a letter demanding more information.

A recent report from The Intercept claims that Google has built a prototype version of Dragonfly that links a users’ search queries to their personal phone number, a move that would make it trivially easy for the Chinese government to monitor citizens’ web activities.

Sources also note that Dragonfly would allow the Chinese government to supply its own weather and air pollution data directly from an unnamed source in Beijing. The country has been known to provide inaccurate data about pollution in the past, raising concerns that Dragonfly could allow the government to provide false data to downplay air quality concerns.

It’s been roughly six weeks since the first news broke about Dragonfly and thus far, Google hasn’t publicly addressed the project.

Lead photo via Getty Images

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tomkaten

TS Maniac
I guess the allure of adding a billion ad targets to your portfolio is too strong and Google shows its true colors again... Not that they were actually still fooling anybody.

Today, China, tomorrow, anyone who asks...
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
Try it out in China, heck China probably paid for it. Then once the socialist get their goal of ousting the Constitution in the United States and going all "Soviet Union" in a few years, after the civil war that happens, they will do it here and won't have to bug test it. Glad I'll be dead and buried by the time THAT happens!
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Try it out in China, heck China probably paid for it. Then once the socialist get their goal of ousting the Constitution in the United States and going all "Soviet Union" in a few years, after the civil war that happens, they will do it here and won't have to bug test it. Glad I'll be dead and buried by the time THAT happens!
Too late. Public schooling, the highway system, Welfare, and so much more are all socialist programs. Anything publicly funded and open to all is going to be socialist. In fact, you can't make a society without some socialist programs. The two are interlinked.

FYI the soviet union was communist, not socialist. Either way, there is nothing inherently wrong with either as most countries take strokes from multiple different forms of government. There seems to be a lot of people lately that get communism and socialism confused. One is an economic system and the other is a political principal that can be applied to the economy or government.
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
Too late. Public schooling, the highway system, Welfare, and so much more are all socialist programs. Anything publicly funded and open to all is going to be socialist. In fact, you can't make a society without some socialist programs. The two are interlinked.

FYI the soviet union was communist, not socialist. Either way, there is nothing inherently wrong with either as most countries take strokes from multiple different forms of government. There seems to be a lot of people lately that get communism and socialism confused. One is an economic system and the other is a political principal that can be applied to the economy or government.
Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republic. Lenin was a socialist, who started the USSR, but then it moved to dictatorship/communist. Socialism, turns into dictatorship/communist. There is no way around it. Capitalism is the only freedom in the world, and the USA's version is just about dead, thanks to the socialist/communist in DC.
 
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