Google's search engine for China would link searches to phone numbers

Google's search engine for China could link searches to users' phone numbers'

Google's search engine for China could link searches to users' phone numbers'

Last week, 16 USA lawmakers addressed Google CEO Sundar Pichai expressing "serious concerns" about Dragonfly demanding information about the company's China plans, the report noted.

To do so, though, they need to comply with the whims of Chinese authorities.

This follows news that the Dragonfly search engine will block "blacklisted" terms like "human rights", "student protest", and "Nobel Prize". This means individual people's searches could be easily tracked - and any user seeking out information banned by the government could potentially be at risk of interrogation or detention if security agencies were to obtain the search records from Google.

David Cicilline, a U.S. Rep. from Rhode Island, blasted Google with a tweet on Thursday that said the search giant shouldn't be using its vast resources to enable authoritarianism in China. It isn't clear what's led to the change of heart, but since 2010 China's government has if anything become even more keen on surveilling its population.

Any Google operation in China would be a joint venture with a company on the Chinese mainland, and thanks to the wonders of communism, that could well be a company in which the government has a vested interest.

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The report suggests that weather and air quality data would be replaced with officially sanctioned information from Bejing, with some suggesting it will be set up to deliberately under-report air-quality in a country which suffers spectacular pollution.

In case you don't know, the Chinese government has strict regulations requiring companies to censor and disclose the search history of individuals if needed.

In August, around 1400 Google employees signed an open letter to management demanding "to know what we're building" and the implementation of processes to ensure the project meets the company's stated principles. However, the prototype search, dubbed Dragonfly, is raising the eyebrows of human rights advocates this early due to its privacy implications.

One of the names on the list includes former Google Senior Scientist Jack Poulson, who worked for Google in Toronto before resigning last month.

We've been investing for many years to help Chinese users, from developing Android, through mobile apps such as Google Translate and Files Go, and our developer tools.

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