Jack Poulson is one of several googlers to quit the company over Project Dragonfly, the company's secret plan to launch a Chinese search tool that will incorporate state surveillance and censorship on behalf of China's authoritarian government.
Now, Poulson has sent a letter to the US Senate detailing the internal workings of Project Dragonfly, confirming that the tool is designed to block such queries as "student protest" and "Nobel prize," and to facilitate tracking users whose search history reveals an interest in politically sensitive topics.
Google confirmed that this product has been developed, but insisted that the product is "not close to launch."
The letter alleges Google is working on:
A prototype interface designed to allow a Chinese joint venture company to search for a given user's search queries based on their phone number
An extensive censorship blacklist developed in accordance with Chinese government demands. Among others, it contained the English term "human rights", the Mandarin terms for 'student protest' and 'Nobel prize', and very large numbers of phrases involving 'Xi Jinping' and other members of the CCP
Explicit code to ensure only Chinese government-approved air quality data would be returned in response to Chinese users' search
Ex-Google employee warns of ‘disturbing’ China plans [Dave Lee/BBC]
The letter from 4 senators was addressed to Zhang Yiming, founder and CEO of TikTok owner ByteDance.
“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”
Apple says it is planning to reopen more than 100 US retail stores this week, and that because the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, most locations will only offer curbside or storefront service.
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