Nanjing road, Shanghai. © iStock.
In August 2018, a reporter for The Intercept revealed that Google was working on an Android search engine for the Chinese market. Responding to the demands of the country’s authorities, the application was supposed to block searches on human rights, peaceful protests, political dissent, democracy, police brutality, and so on. Of course, this information raised an outcry. Google employees, human rights activists and elected officials urged the company to scrap this project called Dragonfly. This Tuesday, a company representative said that Google had stopped all work on its Chinese search engine. “We have terminated Project Dragonfly,” said Karan Bhatia, Google’s vice president of public policy, at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Joe Westby from Amnesty International commented: “Google must now go one step further and commit to never aid China’s large-scale censorship and surveillance. The company’s past evasiveness on this issue leaves the door open to future abuses.”