Googles China plan spurs inquiry from US lawmakers, staff departures
Googles China plan spurs inquiry from US lawmakers, staff departures
Google Scientist Resigns Over Censored Search App for China
16 September, 2018, 00:01
"If it was true, I was pretty sure immediately I couldn't continue working there", he told BuzzFeed News.
Sixteen members of the U.S. House of Representatives penned a letter to Google demanding a straight answer on whether the company has any plans to return to China, i.e. its Internet search market. He felt it was his "ethical responsibility to resign in protest of the forfeiture of our public human rights commitments".
This week, a senior Google scientist quit the company in protest over the project, declaring he had left to "avoid contributing to" the "erosion of protection for dissidents". Over 1,700 Google employees have now signed onto a letter circulating internally calling on leadership to provide more information to employees to make "ethically informed decisions" about what they do at the company.
A bipartisan group of USA lawmakers on Thursday asked Alphabet Inc's Google (GOOGL.O) if it will re-enter the Chinesesearch engine market and if it would comply with China's internet censorship policies upon its return.
"The Chinese government extensively violates the rights to freedom of expression and privacy; by accommodating the Chinese authorities' repression of dissent, Google would be actively participating in those violations for millions of internet users in China", the letter says.
A Google spokesperson toldFortune, "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". In response to the issue, Google has stated that a search engine for mainland China "is not close to launching", and that any work on such plans are still "exploratory". It has also refused to engage with human rights groups regarding Dragonfly, ignored reporters' questions, and rebuffed US senators.
This comes days after it was announced that Google Cloud's artificial intelligence (AI) Chief Scientist Fei-Fei Li would be replaced by Andrew Moore, dean of Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science.
The appointment of ombudspeople with meaningful employee input into their selection.
The company's staffers shared the list of names on an email list dedicated to discussions of ethics and transparency issues at Google.
The search engine would remove items that contain certain words or phrases and would apply to image search, suggested search features and automatic spell check.
The search app is said to automatically identify and filter websites blocked by China's "Great Firewall". According to The Intercept, examples that will be censored include British broadcaster BBC and Wikipedia.
Google stopped offering search in China in 2010, saying it could not agree to censorship.
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