Project Dragonfly was most likely not supposed to be made public this soon. Leaked documents show that Google’s project Dragonfly is essentially a censored version of their world-famous Google search engine. This stripped down version of Google Search is being made for the Chinese market. The Chinese government has some strict rules about internet access in their country and project Dragonfly is being made to address those rules.
According to confidential internal documents obtained by The Intercept, Google’s Chinese search engine—code-named Dragonfly—has been in development since last spring. The documents revealed that work on Dragonfly began to speed up last December following a meeting between Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai and an unnamed “top Chinese official.”
Among the websites that will be censored or blocked entirely are the British Broadcasting Channel (BBC), Wikipedia, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, according to the Intercept.
Google is also working on two mobile apps for search named Maotai and Longfei. The Chinese version of Google will auto-filter any website that doesn’t comply with China’s censorship laws. On the upside, Google will display a disclaimer that says “some results may have been removed due to statutory requirements.”
According to a Google employee who worked on Dragonfly and talked to the Intercept, information about the project was restricted to a “few hundred” employees.
“I’m against large companies and governments collaborating in the oppression of their people, and feel like transparency around what’s being done is in the public interest,” the source told the Intercept. “What is done in China will become a template for many other nations.”
It’s not surprising that Google would be doing this, even after they pulled out once. China is a big market where a lot of money can be made. You just have to play by the Chinese government’s rules.
Last Updated on August 1, 2018.