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Project Dragonfly, the development of a Google search engine that could also be used in China, is not being further developed, ITPro knows. The search engine would censor themes such as democracy, human rights and free demonstrations.

After Google had been criticized for the development of the Dragonfly search platform for some time, the plug is now officially disconnected. This is evident from the words of Karan Bhatia, VP of public policy at Google, to the American Senate. We have no plans to launch Search in China and no such project is being worked on,” he reports.

The project was under attack from internal and external sources. Google employees even sent an open letter to their management explaining that they did not agree with the development of such a search engine. Our opposition to Dragonfly is not about China: we object to technologies that help those in power to suppress the vulnerable, wherever they may be, they wrote in the letter. By providing the Chinese Government with easy access to user data, as required by Chinese law, Google becomes an accomplice to repression and human rights violations.

Criticism of Dragonfly

The project was kept secret until it was discovered last year, and was publicized by a message from The Intercept. Google’s internal conflicts caused Dragonfly to be terminated indefinitely; these were specifically complaints from the company’s privacy experts who were not informed about Dragonfly. In March of this year it was announced that the project was being worked on again in secret. A small group of Google top managers conducted a review of the product, but this was not shared for fear of negative reactions.

At the end of last year, it was announced that the project would only be continued in name after a storm of criticism by Amnesty International, among others. At that time it was also announced that Google’s data analysis system made it possible to censor certain search results.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.