Saturday , October 1 2022

Google employees pushing to stop the Dragonfly Project



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REUTERS: Eleven employees, made up of engineers and managers from Google, published an open letter Tuesday, urging the company to develop a censored search engine for Chinese users, escalating previous protests against the secret project.

Google has described the search application, known as Project Dragonfly, as an experiment that is not close to launch. But since his details have fallen since August, current and former employees, human rights activists and US lawmakers have criticized Google for not taking a firmer stance against the Chinese government's policy that politically blockable results would be blocked.

The human rights group, Amnesty International, also launched a public petition Tuesday, inviting Google to cancel the Dragonfly. The organization said it would encourage Google employees to sign the petition by targeting them on LinkedIn and protesting outside of Google's offices.

About 1,400 tens of Google workers urged the company in August to improve the supervision of ethically controversial adventures, including Dragonfly.

Google has long tried to have a greater presence in China, the largest internet market in the world. It needs government approval to compete with the country's dominant internet services.

Employees who signed their name in the letter Tuesday said they saw little progress and are expecting more colleagues to publicly support their push to cancel Dragonfly.

The letter expresses its concern with the Chinese government, which pursues dissidents through search data and suppresses the truth through content restrictions.

"We object to technologies that help those who are strong in assaulting vulnerable people wherever they are," employees said in a letter published on the Medium blogging service.

Employees said they no longer believe that Google is "a company that wants to place its values ​​above profit" and cited a series of "disappointments" this year, including the recognition of a big executive charge that was accused of sexual harassment.

This incident triggered global protests at Google, which, like other major technology companies, has seen an increase in employee activism over the past two years as their services have become an integral part of civic infrastructure.

Google was not immediately available for comments.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave in San Francisco, Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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