Wednesday, 29 August 2018 12:19

Rights groups ask Google to drop China search plan

By
Rights groups ask Google to drop China search plan Pixabay

Google has come under pressure from 14 human rights organisations in the US to drop its plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China.

The Intercept reported that among the 14 were Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, Access Now, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Centre for Democracy and Technology, PEN International, and Human Rights in China.

In an open letter sent to Google chief executive Sundar Pichai, the groups said the move to do a deal of this nature with China was "an alarming capitulation by Google on human rights".

Reports about the proposed project first appeared in the same publication on 1 August, citing internal documents and people who were said to be familiar with the plans.

Subsequently, there were reports that managers at Google were trying to shut down access to any material connected to the project. Another report said that engineers had used used search queries from a Chinese Web directory service owned by the company to develop blacklists for the censored search engine.

Google pulled out of China in 2010, after it had run a censored version of its search engine since 2006. At the time it pulled out, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said that the situation in China reminded him of his home country, the Soviet Union.

The rights groups said: "If Google’s position has indeed changed, then this must be stated publicly, together with a clear explanation of how Google considers it can square such a decision with its responsibilities under international human rights standards and its own corporate values.

"Without these clarifications, it is difficult not to conclude that Google is now willing to compromise its principles to gain access to the Chinese market.”

The new bid to launch a censored search engine was apparently kicked off after a meeting between Google chief executive Sundar Pichai and Wang Huning, a senior figure in the Chinese Communist Party, last December. Work on the search app was begun during the Western spring of 2017 and had been fast-tracked after the Pichai-Huning meeting.

Following the meeting with Huning, Google decided to open an artificial intelligence research centre in Beijing. In May 2018, a Google file management app was released for Chinese Internet users. And in July, Google released a “Guess The Sketch” game on WeChat, the main Chinese messaging and social media platform.

Google is yet to issue any public comment on its bid to relaunch its search engine in China.

BUSINESS WORKS BETTER WITH WINDOWS 1O. MAKE THE SHIFT

You cannot afford to miss this Dell Webinar.

With Windows 7 support ending 14th January 2020, its time to start looking at your options.

This can have significant impacts on your organisation but also presents organisations with an opportunity to fundamentally rethink the way users work.

The Details

When: Thursday, September 26, 2019
Presenter: Dell Technologies
Location: Your Computer

Timezones

QLD, VIC, NSW, ACT & TAS: 11:00 am
SA, NT: 10:30 am
WA: 9:00 am NZ: 1:00 pm

Register and find out all the details you need to know below.

REGISTER!

ADVERTISE ON ITWIRE NEWS SITE & NEWSLETTER

iTWire can help you promote your company, services, and products.

Get more LEADS & MORE SALES

Advertise on the iTWire News Site / Website

Advertise in the iTWire UPDATE / Newsletter

Promote your message via iTWire Sponsored Content/News

Guest Opinion for Home Page exposure

Contact Andrew on 0412 390 000 or email [email protected]

OR CLICK HERE!

Sam Varghese

website statistics

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

VENDOR NEWS & EVENTS

REVIEWS

Recent Comments