For years, a secret Google team planned a Chinese search-engine that would censor search results and spy on users for the Chinese state authorities; when the existence of this plan was leaked, thousands of googlers objected to the plan, senior staff quit (then others followed), and things have only gotten worse since, with the company being outed for lying about the project when they claimed it was just a pilot program and nowhere near launch.
Today, Amnesty is staging protests against Google's China plans at Google offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and Spain. The protest is joined by a petition to the company that claims it is "trading freedom for profit."
I signed the petition.
"This is a watershed moment for Google," said Joe Westby, Amnesty International's researcher on technology and human rights. "As the world's No. 1 search engine, it should be fighting for an internet where information is freely accessible to everyone, not backing the Chinese government's dystopian alternative."
He added, "Many of Google's own staff have spoken out against these plans, unwilling to play a role in the Chinese government's manipulation of information and persecution of dissidents. Their courageous and principled stance puts Google's leadership to shame. Today we are standing with Google staff and asking them to join us in calling on [Google CEO] Sundar Pichai to drop Project Dragonfly and reaffirm Google's commitment to human rights."
Amnesty International To Stage Worldwide Protests Against Google's "Dystopian" Censored Search for China [Ryan Gallgher/The Intercept]