Whistleblower Reveals Google’s Plans for Censored Version of Search Engine in China – Here’s How it May Differ

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Google is facing backlash following a report that it plans to provide a censored search engine for . Nexter.org explains how Chinese version may differ from worldwide one.

“Dragonfly” project

Google is planning a censored version of its search engine for that will block websites and certain search terms, The Intercept reported on Wednesday citing internal Google documents and people familiar with the plans.

The company originally shut down its Chinese search engine in 2010, citing government attempts to “limit free speech on the web.” But seems that the principles of the company have changed.

The project with a code-named “Dragonfly” has been underway since the spring of 2017, according to the news website. Progress on the project picked up after a December meeting between Google’s Chief Executive Sundar Pichai and a top Chinese government official, it added.

The finalized version could be launched in the next six to nine months, pending approval from Chinese officials, it added.

Google’s main search platform is blocked in along with its video platform YouTube, but it has been attempting to make new inroads into .

What will be banned

The search engine is being built as an Android mobile app and will reportedly “blacklist sensitive queries” and filter out all websites blocked by ’s web censors (including Wikipedia and BBC News). The censorship will extend to Google’s image search, spell check, and suggested search features.

Search terms about human rights, democracy, religion and peaceful protests will be among the words blacklisted in the search engine app, which The Intercept said had already been demonstrated to the Chinese government.

Google-Tiananmen-Censorship-compare-censored-version-pics

Source: Getty Images

The web is heavily censored in , with the country’s so-called Great Firewall stopping citizens from accessing many sites. Information on topics like religion, police brutality, freedom of speech, and democracy are heavily filtered, while specific search topics (like the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and Taiwanese independence) are censored completely.

Advocacy groups report that censorship in the country has increased under President Xi Jinping, extending beyond the web to social media and chat apps.


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Whistleblower Reveals Google’s Plans for Censored Version of Search Engine in China - Here's How it May Differ
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Whistleblower Reveals Google’s Plans for Censored Version of Search Engine in China - Here's How it May Differ
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Google is facing backlash following a report that it plans to provide a censored search engine for China. Nexter.org explains how Chinese version may differ from worldwide one.
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