Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Google employees demand more oversight of China search engine plan:The Asahi Shimbun

Google employees demand more oversight of China search engine plan:The Asahi Shimbun

The determination of Google to proceed with its China project indicates that the censorship methods Google is developing nominally for China are seen as having utility elsewhere, including within the United States itself.

But according to the reports last month, the company is working in a secret way on a new search service for China known as "Dragonfly" internally. The trade war has hindered Google's negotiations with Beijing officials, who must sign off on the "censored search platform".

The new project is said to be codenamed "Dragonfly".

The employees are demanding more transparency so they can understand the moral implications of their work, said the Times, which obtained a copy of the letter.

Google has since ended its AI contract with the Pentagon.

Several hundreds of employees from the search engine giant have complained while lodging their written to the company against the proposed launch of "censored search engine" in China. Google wants to provide multiple subtopic options in order to better guess what the searcher wants to know and show you multiple aspects of a topic with a single search.

The search engine, which would be app-based, would remove items that contain certain words or phrases and would apply to image search, suggested search features and automatic spell check.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google CEO Sundar Pichai held a meeting yesterday to address these concerns.


"It's quite ridiculous that in the 21st century one of the most powerful countries in the world denies its citizens access to common knowledge", one user wrote.

The employees were not given details about the project and they are now angry after a report leaked about Google working on such a project.

The tech giant had already come under fire this year from thousands of employees who signed a petition against a $10-million contract with the United States military, which was not renewed. "I think if we were to do our mission well, I think we have to think seriously about how we do more in China", he added, according to Bloomberg.

If Google decides to follow through on its plans, it would not be the first time Google enters the Chinese market.

In April 2017, Google responded to intensifying pressure from the U.S. political establishment and intelligence agencies by implementing a censorship system in the United States targeting principally left-wing, anti-war and socialist organizations.

Pichai pledged to be more transparent with employees as plans are closer to being finalized, the news outlet reported.

Google was forced to backtrack, nominally canceling the "Project Maven" program and adopting a set of ethical guidelines for the use of artificial intelligence.

Well, where is the ethics in this project that Google might be undertaking.

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