Google Is Reportedly Shutting Down Its Controversial Chinese Search Engine Project
Google’s Project Dragonfly has been one of the most controversial issues associated with the company in modern times. It is a ‘secret’ project taken by the internet giant to set up a search engine in China. While that seems like a pretty normal thing, it drew a lot of flak. This was due to the fact that this search engine was allegedly going to help the Chinese government ‘spy’ on users and censor and control content. But now, reports suggest that Google might have internally shut down this project.
The news of the apparent shutting down of Project Dragonfly brought a lot of cheer and joy from organisations around the world. A lot of people believed that the project aided censorship and surveillance. Which added to the already ongoing Human Rights violations in China. Recently, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was also subjected to a Senate hearing, which dwelled into whether Google has been censoring and controlling content and spying on people.
While the Senate Hearing did not bring out a judgement that might have affected Google’s decision, it seems that the entire movement against the project could have motivated the company to do so. In fact, an open letter signed by 200 engineers from Alphabet Inc, which is Google’s parent company might have added to the already existing internal conflict regarding the project. Even members of Google’s privacy team were repeatedly shut out from meetings regarding Project Dragonfly.
All the dispute rose due to a website, 265.com. This had been purchased by Google way back in 2008. The company then used it for ‘market research’. They allegedly used it to see what Chinese users searched for on Baidu and then went ahead to build a prototype of Dragonfly based on this information. Despite all the issues, the project was one of the key efforts of Google, and receiving backing from most of its top executives. Now that the project has been shut down, we can believe that it is a move in the direction of protection of a users data and the safeguard of freedom on the internet.