After Decade-Long Absence, Google Mulls Relaunching in China

Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai says the company is committed to transparency

More than 3,500 employees signed a letter protesting against the company's work with the Pentagon's surveillance drones programme. "By letting Google's search engine back into China, the Chinese government could give President Trump a political victory, earning some good will".

"We urgently need more transparency, a seat at the table, and a commitment to clear and open processes: employees need to know what we're building".

However, eventually, Google pulled out of China completely in 2010 after several large-scale attacks on the company purportedly by the Chinese government.

The employees are demanding more transparency so they can understand the moral implications of their work, said the New York Times, which obtained a copy of the letter.

Pichai's remarks, shared with CNBC by a Google employee, come in the of wake of internal and external backlash following a report from The Intercept in early August that the company was secretly building a censored version of its search engine to launch in China.

The search engine, which would be app-based, would remove items that contain certain words or phrases and would apply to image search, suggested search features and automatic spell check. And now, it wants to just the opposite with this secret search engine project.

Employees have asked Google to create an ethics review group with rank-and-file workers, appoint ombudspeople to provide independent review and internally publish assessments of projects that raise substantial ethical questions.

"It's quite ridiculous that in the 21st century one of the most powerful countries in the world denies its citizens access to common knowledge", one user wrote.

Former Google software engineer Priyendra Deshwal told Bloomberg, "We could see both sides of the coin. I think if we were to do our mission well, I think we have to think seriously about how we do more in China", Mr Pichai said.

Google's internal confirmation of the project comes at a time of growing concerns about censorship of selected accounts on social media platforms.

Pichai told employees: "We'll definitely be transparent as we get closer to actually having a plan of record here" on Dragonfly, according to the transcript.

Earlier this year, Google dropped "Don't be evil" from its official code of conduct.

The letter and Thursday's meeting follow the publication of an open letter in April, signed by over 1,000 employees, demanding that the company end its collaboration with the Pentagon on artificial intelligence systems created to power the United States military's drone warfare program.

According to media reports, Google will not seek another contract when the current Project Maven contract expires in 2019.

Related News:

  • Time is running out for Brexit deals, warns Danish minister

    Time is running out for Brexit deals, warns Danish minister

    The spokesman said: "As this week's round is at technical level there won't be a meeting between Michel Barnier and Dominic Raab". In a tweet this morning, Mr Hunt said his words should not be misrepresented.
    Redick shares chilling auto  service experience

    Redick shares chilling auto service experience

    Redick said he turned and spotted a large blanket that was moving as it covered what appeared to be a box or cage. They demand the driver pull over, saying they saw a child or small woman in back, according to the hoopster.
    Contact lens found in woman’s eye after 28 years

    Contact lens found in woman’s eye after 28 years

    But the contact lens had lodged itself into her eyelid and stayed there for nearly thirty years. Anyone who wears contact lenses knows how tricky they are to find if you drop them.
  • Trump defends Manafort:

    Trump defends Manafort: "It’s a very sad day for our country"

    A motion by AP, BuzzFeed , CNN, NBC, the New York Times , Politico and the Washington Post asked US District Judge T.S. They sent a note to the judge asking to wrap up at 5 p.m. instead of 5:30 p.m. because a juror had an event to attend.
    Google Is Tracking User Location Without Consent

    Google Is Tracking User Location Without Consent

    You can not turn off Google Play services , which supplies your location to other apps if you leave that service on. For those hoping to hide from Google's tracking algorithm, they have provided a more accurate solution.
    MP bikes to hospital to 'finally have this baby'

    MP bikes to hospital to 'finally have this baby'

    Dozens of people had commented with good luck messages, others commenting on the fact she had cycled and calling her a "rebel". New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern leaves hospital with her baby daughter, Niamh Te Aroha Ardern Gayford on June 21.
  • Microsoft, Amazon release preview of Alexa, Cortana integration

    Microsoft, Amazon release preview of Alexa, Cortana integration

    Using a voice assistant and purchasing from one are two different things, though, and researchers have reported mixed results. The integration works with the command- " Alexa , open Cortana ".
    How Far Will Lebron James and the Lakers go Next Year?

    How Far Will Lebron James and the Lakers go Next Year?

    Steven Adams says LeBron James moving to the LA Lakers will spice up the NBA Western Conference this season. They're followed by Toronto and Philadelphia, with each team given 54.5 wins as their totals to bet on.
    Watch Deontay Wilder Crash Tyson Fury’s Weigh-In, Clash With Fighter’s Dad

    Watch Deontay Wilder Crash Tyson Fury’s Weigh-In, Clash With Fighter’s Dad

    As for Tyson Fury , his comeback was a simple one: "Listen, you can't knock out what you can't hit". Every man who has ever stepped in the ring with me, I've knocked them out in devastating fashion.
  • Can Rishabh Pant become India's Gilchrist?

    Can Rishabh Pant become India's Gilchrist?

    After joining his captain at the crease, Rahane first got into the damage-control mode and then took charge of Indian innings. India captain Virat Kohli hit 97, with Ajinkya Rahane adding 81 as the tourists recovered from a hard start on Saturday.
    Burnley's Jack Cork curls in victor  after vintage display from Joe Hart

    Burnley's Jack Cork curls in victor after vintage display from Joe Hart

    But they made a brighter start on Thursday as Barnes hit the side-netting and Bardsley's powerful strike was well saved.

    Kevin Spacey’s new movie makes just $126 on its opening day

    Following the publication of Rapp's story, many other men came forward to make more Sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey . Ansel Elgort , Taron Egerton , Emma Roberts, Jeremy Irvine, Cary Elwes, Judd Nelson and Billie Lourd are also in the film.


Most liked

Golf behind Timberwolves' draft mishap in 2009? Curry thinks so
"I don't know if that ever came out - that's a story", Curry said on "The Bill Simmons Podcast," as transcribed by CBS Sports. The stunning story will be sure to devastate the Timberwolves fans, even though it was over nine years ago now.

Adorable, high maintenance fat cat Bruno seeks a permanent home
His favourite place for tickles and scritches are the sides of his face and neck. Of course, with a profile like that, Bruno is getting a heckload of attention.

N Korea Urges S Korea to Not Succumb to Sanctions Pressure
Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang last month to flesh out the Trump-Kim agreement, but returned to the United States with little outcome.

Best Buy bought the company behind senior-friendly JitterBug phone
The big electronics retailer, Best Buy , has said that they will be acquiring the health tech company GreatCall for $800 million. GreatCall not only gives Best Buy more services to sell them, it offers the Geek Squad a broader customer base to reach out to.

Motorola One with display notch, 3,000mAh battery gets certified, launch imminent
The device will also house a smaller 3,000mAh battery compare to the 3,780mAH battery that's being rumoured for the One Power. They have been leaked in renders and live images a number of times and we're fairly sure what they are going to look like.

White House counsel has spent 30 hours with Mueller probers
It noted that McGahn played a key role in stopping Trump from firing Mueller, who was made special counsel after Comey's firing. The president denies any collusion, and has repeatedly called the Mueller probe "a witch hunt ".

Satanists unveil Baphomet statue at Arkansas Capitol
The same man responsible for its destruction also destroyed the Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma. The group have chapters all over the world - the largest of which is on Detroit, Michigan.

Permafrost carbon leak could peak within a few decades
Unlike shallow, gradual thawing of terrestrial permafrost, the abrupt thaw beneath thermokarst lakes is irreversible this century. Team members with the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for Polar and Marine Research in Germany then used U.S.

Kevin Spacey’s First Movie Since #MeToo Earned Just $126 On Opening Day
Ansel Elgort , Taron Egerton , Emma Roberts, Jeremy Irvine, Cary Elwes, Judd Nelson and Billie Lourd are also in the film. Following the allegations, Netflix removed Kevin from their political TV show House of Cards .

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Cast: Your Guide To The Film’s 11 Sexiest Stars
Rachel visits her best friend from college Goh Peik Lin, played by a scene-stealing Awkwafina , and then she meets Nick's family. When asked about the chances of a sequel, Chu told E! Constance Wu as Rachel in Warner Bros.

Iran says no OPEC member can seize its market share
He said USA sanctions should not become a tool at the hands of other OPEC member states to assume Iran's share of the market. The reimposed sanctions will hit Iran's gold and precious metals trade and its automotive industry.

Manchester City v Huddersfield: David Silva's baby steals show as City mascot
A delighted Guardiola told Sky Sports: 'Last season Huddersfield played five at the back. "They don't rest. I don't know, now, what can happen but my feeling is that we can be a very good team.

Ugandan police shoot driver, arrest singer-turned-politician
The alleged harassment of Ssentamu, however, has only boosted his popularity and led to calls for a presidential run in 2021. The MPs, according to police, are being charged with treason, one of them Kyagulanyi before the court martial in Gulu .

Former Man City winger sends his old team a warning about Liverpool
"I think somebody who thinks like that, about a situation like that, is an a-hole, to be honest", Klopp told Sky Sports . The Special One has said City might be a rich club that signs the best players but they "cannot buy class".

Top U.S. trade official sees NAFTA 'breakthrough' in days
Canada isn't likely to have a major issue on the new auto rules, but is expected to go to the mat on at least two US demands. Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo plans to travel to Washington on Wednesday for meetings with U.S.