Earlier this month, we reported on Google attempting to backtrack on its controversial Project Dragonfly, a censored search engine for the Chinese market. The company said it was just an experimental project. However, development has continued and now Google employees are voicing their concerns.
Over 300 employees including designers, engineers, programmers, and executives have released an open letter urging Google to cease development of Project Dragonfly. Employees had previously voiced concerns and now seem to be escalating their protests.
“We object to technologies that aid the powerful in oppressing the vulnerable, wherever they may be,” the employees said in the letter published on the blogging service Medium.
One problem with implementing Google Search in China is the country’s strict regulatory rules. Basically, the government wants a lot of control and limits exactly what Google would be able to show.
Google’s Project Dragonfly would have helped the company enter the market but would have included major concessions to the government. Amnesty International is also rallying against the software.
On Tuesday, the human rights group filed a public petition to push Google to end development of Project Dragonfly. Furthermore, the petition encourages Google employees to protest outside the company’s offices.
Mountain View has not commented on the open letter from employees. 1,400 employees voiced concerns in August but have seen no progress since. However, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said earlier this month that Project Dragonfly is just an experimental development. He says it is never meant to be released for use.
China seems to disagree. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology told Reuters there is “no indication” from Google that the search will eventually launch.