Google workers sign letter asking to end China project
Google workers, A group of Google employees has signed a letter asking the company to cancel ‘Project Dragonfly’ under which it’s building a search engine to meet China’s censorship rules. “We object to technologies that aid the powerful in oppressing the vulnerable, wherever they may be,” the letter said. Earlier, Google CEO Sundar Pichai had said the project was an ‘experiment’.
Ever since plans for Dragonfly emerged in August, Google parent Alphabet Inc. has been riven by internal dissent at the prospect of a search engine bending to Beijing’s censorship. It was that sort of government control that prompted co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to effectively pull out of China in 2010 when it decided to stop removing controversial links from web queries.
“We refuse to build technologies that aid the powerful in oppressing the vulnerable, wherever they may be,” the Google workers wrote in the letter. “Dragonfly in China would establish a dangerous precedent, one that would make it harder for Google to deny other countries similar concessions.”
A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on the letter and said the China search project has only been “exploratory.”
The Google staff coordinated the letter with Amnesty International, a global advocacy group that is protesting in several cities against the company’s plans in China. Within five hours, the Google employee letter, posted on Medium, had been signed by more than 100 people.