Senior Google scientist quits in protest of company’s leaked Chinese censorship program

A senior Google research scientist has resigned from Google stating it’s his “ethical responsibility” to do so upon learning that the tech giant had been secretly conspiring with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to create a censored search engine.

Jack Poulson, 32, has quit Google over genuine concerns his work would make him complicit in gross human rights violations in China.

Poulson’s resignation comes on the heels of a once-secret Google project, code-named Dragonfly, being leaked to the media by an anonymous Google insider.

Seven more unnamed Google employees have resigned in succession over the same controversial issue, reports Fox News.

Why is Dragonfly a problem?

Google’s “Dragonfly” is basically a censored version of Google, built especially for China’s totalitarian regime.

©Getty Images | LIU JIN

Two Android app versions of the heavily censored search engine, named “Maotai” and “Longfei,” have already been created, and are purportedly pending CCP approval.

The search engine will blacklist and block all content such as websites, images, and videos the CCP does not want China’s 1.3 billion people seeing—such as search results related to the Chinese regime’s killing of Falun Gong practitioners for their organs, for example.

©Getty Images | JIM WATSON

The project will store users’ data in China, and can be accessed on request by the Chinese regime at any time.

Much like China’s Cisco-built “Great Firewall,” Google’s “Dragonfly” will make it easy for the CCP to track and arrest Chinese netizens—who may then be tortured and killed in jails—for failing to toe the Party line.

©Getty Images | GOH CHAI HIN

This runs counter to the very reason Google pulled out of China in 2010.

But things have changed at Google, it seems, considering the first three words of the company’s corporate code of conduct—“don’t be evil,” along with a detailed explanation of this clause—were quietly removed sometime between April and May, per web archives.

Moral indignation

Poulson says he tried reasoning with his bosses over this issue, but to no avail. Thus, he decided to resign in hopes that doing so would have “some chance of impact,” he said, reports The Intercept.

In Poulson’s resignation letter, he wrote: “Due to my conviction that dissent is fundamental to functioning democracies, I am forced to resign in order to avoid contributing to, or profiting from, the erosion of protection for dissidents.”

“I view our intent to capitulate to censorship and surveillance demands in exchange for access to the Chinese market as a forfeiture of our values and governmental negotiating position across the globe.”

©Getty Images | Chris Jackson

“There is an all-too-real possibility that other nations will attempt to leverage our actions in China in order to demand our compliance with their security demands,” he stated, adding that “there are serious worldwide repercussions to this.”

The New York Times reported that 1,400 Google employees have signed a petition demanding an ombudsman be appointed to vet the issue due to the “urgent moral and ethical issues” that project Dragonfly poses.

As it appears, Google, like Facebook, are dead set on entering the Chinese market. The only question that remains is will they contravene on international law and human rights by collaborating with the Chinese regime?

Watch the report for more on the latest Google controversies:

 
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