Google's China project ties searches to phone numbers


In September 2018, Google was discovered to be prototyping a search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, designed to comply with China's censorship regime. Among other features, Dragonfly would tie users' searches to their personal phone numbers, ensuring the government could track their queries. Among the terms on Google's Mandarin-language blacklist: "human rights", "student protest", and "Nobel prize". One Google source suggested Dragonfly would also force on users potentially manipulated Chinese-provided data on topics such as pollution. Human rights and privacy advocates objected to the search engine, saying it will make Google complicit in China's abuses, and highlighted the privacy-intrusiveness of the proposed design.
writer: Ryan Gallagher
publication: The Intercept


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