Google China halted plans for Google Dragonfly

By Faith Magbanua, December 19, 2018 22:12 PM

Google Dragonfly(Google Screenshot)

Google has reportedly released a statement this week saying that they "effectively ended" plans for a censored search engine in China.

The Intercept, which revealed the existence of Project Dragonfly in August, says Google has been "forced to shut down a data analysis system it was using" to feed the project.

And access to data "integral to Dragonfly... has been suspended for now, which has stopped progress".

According to Google, it had no immediate plans to launch a Chinese search engine.

Citing internal Google documents and inside sources, the Intercept says Project Dragonfly began in the spring of 2017 and pushed forward in December after Google's chief executive, Sundar Pichai, met a Chinese government official,

An Android app with versions called Maotai and Longfei were developed and could be launched within nine months if Chinese government approved, it says.

Using a tool called BeaconTower to check if users' search queries on Beijing-based website 265.com would fall foul of China's censors, Google engineers came up with a list of thousands of banned websites, including the BBC and Wikipedia, which could then be purged from the Dragonfly search engine.

However, members of Google's privacy team confronted the Dragonfly project managers, saying that the system had "been kept secret from them".

And after several deliberations, "Google engineers were told that they were no longer permitted to continue using the 265.com data to help develop Dragonfly, which has since had severe consequences for the project".

Issues with launching a search engine in China?

The so-called great firewall of China is infamous for not allowing its citizens free access to all the content available on the internet.

In the past two years, China imposed increasingly strict rules on foreign companies, including new censorship restrictions.

Some Western sites are blocked outright, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Certain topics such as the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 are also completely blocked.

References to political opposition, dissidents and anti-Communist activity are also banned as are those to free speech and sex.

Any search engine in China would have to comply with the Chinese government's strict rules on censorship.

 

Related Article

Must Read

comments powered by Disqus

More from CCD

Chinese Religion Study Association Establishes Commission to Study Rural Religion

The organization announced the establishment of the Commission for the Study of Rural Religion.

In Memory of My Grandma: Honor God with a Good Reputation and Good Deeds

My grandmother Lin Qingjie raised six children by herself and shared the Lord's love through good deeds and in volunteer ministry.

The Good Shepherd Who Loved God and Men - Rev. Wu Naiwen of Fujian Shima Church

Remembering Reverend Wu who devoted his whole life to Christian ministry in Shima.

Reflection for Upcoming Mid-autumn Festival: Real Reunion Lies in Harmonious Relationships

An article reflecting on the traditional reunion festival in relation to relationships.

Testimony of Rural Female Christian: A Cheerful Heart Is Good Medicine

I am telling this story to testify about a person whose soul was satisfied in faith while living in this world. She is my second aunt (1950-2009), a woman without worries, a servant of God who prayed for joy from God and also pleased Him.

Germany Organist to Perform Recital in Hangzhou Gulou Church

On August 28, 2019, German Professor Jürgen Kursawa will perform an organ recital in Hangzhou Gulou Church of Zhejiang.

Revised Church History Book Released

A third edition of a Christian church history book was published, written by a pastor serving in Jiangsu.

Daughter of Pastor Rewards Students and Teachers for 10 Years

As of August 2019, a fund set up by a pastor's daughter to reward teachers and students had donated up to 300,000 yuan.

“Special” Missionary Richard Wilhelm, Who Translated "I Ching" into German and Committed to Preaching Gospel through Culture

Wilhelm enjoys high reputation in Chinese cultural and academic circles, acclaimed as "a great hero in the transmission of Chinese civilizations in the history of cultural exchanges between China and the West".

Religious Calligraphy Exhibition to Open in Zhejiang Next Week

On August 26, 2019, an art exhibition initiated by the religious community in Hangzhou will be opened in Zhejiang Exhibition Hall.