Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Inside Google’s Effort to Develop a Censored Search Engine in China



According to documents and people familiar with the Dragonfly project, teams of Google programmers and engineers have already created a functioning version of the censored search engine. Google’s plan is for its China search platform to be made accessible through a custom Android app, different versions of which have been named “Maotai” and “Longfei,” as The Intercept first reported last week.

The app has been designed to filter out content that China’s authoritarian government views as sensitive, such as information about political opponents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest. The censored search app will “blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown” at all when people enter certain words or phrases, according to internal Google documents.

The documents seen by The Intercept indicate that Google’s search project is being carried out as part of a “joint venture” with another company, presumably one based in China, because internet companies providing services in China are required by law to operate their servers and data centers in the country. In January, Google entered into an agreement with the Chinese company Tencent, which Google said at the time would allow it to “focus on building better products and services.” A bipartisan group of six U.S. senators is asking Google CEO Sundar Pichai to explain whether the Tencent deal is linked to the censored search app.

https://theintercept.com/2018/08/08/google-censorship-china-blacklist/

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