Several Google employees are opposed to the search engine project in China, which would help “oppress the most vulnerable.” A hundred Google employees publicly demanded on Tuesday that the Internet giant abandon the Google China project that respects the censorship rules imposed by Beijing on Chinese Internet users.
The project is known as “Dragonfly,” and the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, announced everyone about its existence in October and justified it by the fact that it was better to offer a powerful search engine but with restrictions than to leave the Chinese with less useful tools.
“Our opposition to Dragonfly has nothing to do with China: we are opposed to technologies that help the powerful oppress the most vulnerable, wherever they may be,” says a letter signed by 90 employees calling on their colleagues to join them. “Dragonfly [Google China project] would set a dangerous precedent at a time of political uncertainty, a precedent that would prevent Google from refusing similar concessions to other countries,” the letter added.
Google China Is Beneficial, Google CEO Sundar Pichai Thinks
Several organizations also denounce the project, including Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International, which launched an online petition to demand its abandonment.
“This is a pivotal moment for Google,” says Joe Westby, technology and human rights researcher for Amnesty International, in an article published Tuesday on the organization’s website. “As the world’s leading search engine, it should fight for an Internet where information is freely accessible to all rather than support the Chinese government’s dark alternative,” he added.
Speaking at a conference last month in San Francisco, Sundar Pichai said Google should “think very seriously” about the Chinese market, despite criticism of the company’s potential cooperation with state censorship in China. “We always take into account a set of value. We must also follow the law that applies in each country,” said Pichai.
“It turns out that we could answer more than 99% of the research (…) There are very many cases where we would provide better quality information than what is currently available,” he added.