For many years, Google’s official stance on doing business in China has revolved around the notion that some access to information is better than no access at all. It is common knowledge around the world that the Chinese government widely censors news stories and restricts access online. While Google must work with the government in order to do business in China, the company has positioned itself as a force for freedom within an incredibly restrictive environment.
As a former worker on Google’s controversial Dragonfly project, Boyapati firmly disavows that position. A search engine designed for Android devices, Dragonfly not only allows China’s ruling Communist Party to remove any content that it deems sensitive or undesirable, but would boost surveillance capabilities by linking the searches of each user’s to his or her personal phone number. Boyapati left the Dragonfly project after being tasked with writing code that would allow for government censorship of news. He is certainly not alone in his protest. Dragonfly has been widely criticized by leading human rights groups around the world.
When I worked at Google, as an engineer on Google News, I was asked to write code to censor news articles in China (circa 2006). I refused and they took me off the project and put someone else on it.— Vijay Boyapati (@real_vijay) September 16, 2018
Doesn't surprise me Google is back at it. "Don't be Evil" is a Google myth. https://t.co/VEenWbPxkW
Speaking out against these allegations, Google CEO Sundar Pichai insists that the company has no intention of contributing to censorship in China. In fact, he contends that Google is not even “close to launching a search product” for the Chinese market.
Is Pichai leading Google down a dark road in China or is Boyapati off the mark with his criticsims? Chime in with your opinion on Micgoat.
Share it with the community on Micgoat.
Want to become a contributor? Contact us.
Where communities come together to think freely.
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter.