Google staff protest over China search engine plans

A section of the letter obtained by online tech publication Gizmodo- the emphasis is from the employees

Hundreds of Google employees have written to the company to protest against plans to launch a "censored search engine" in China.

"That the decision to build Dragonfly was made in secret, and progressed even with the [Artificial Intelligence] Principles in place makes clear that the Principles alone are not enough", the Google employees stated in their letter. In 2016, the company began developing a new search engine - code-named Dragonfly - to be more compliant with Chinese government restrictions.

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

The project is for a search engine created to comply with the Chinese government's censorship laws. Eight year ago, after Google Pulled censored websearch out of China, Sergey Brin explained the decision, saying: "'In some aspects of [government] policy, particularly with respect to censorship, with respect to surveillance of dissidents, I see some earmarks of totalitarianism.' Dragonfly and Google's return to China raise urgent moral and ethical issues, the substance of which we are discussing elsewhere".

This isn't the first time that Google's employees have raised an issue against the workings of the company.

Fox News has reached out to Google with a request for comment on this story.

When you type a query into Google's search engine, there's the Search button, which leads you to a snippet of information and various link suggestions, as well as a more playful option ("I'm feeling lucky"), a click that will send the user directly to a webpage of Google's choosing.

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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.

After the severe criticism, Google ended the Artificial Intelligence contract with the Pentagon.

China is one-fifth of the world's population. We definitely do plan to engage more and talk more. Earlier this year, employees protested against Google's involvement in an AI project to improve weapons for the Pentagon. Before the initial reports by The Intercept and The Information, only a handful of managers and developers knew about the projects.

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 letter is similar to one thousands of employees had signed in protest of Project Maven, a USA military contract that Google decided in June not to renew. About 1.4K employees have signed the petition.

This illustration picture taken on April 29, 2018, shows the Google logo displayed on a screen and reflected on a tablet.

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