Google's China problem is US' China problem

Google has yet to announce its plans for Dragonfly.
Google has yet to announce its plans for Dragonfly.PHOTO: REUTERS

When employees first learnt of the Google project known as Dragonfly, there was an internal uprising. It is easy to see why. The project, a search engine for China, would not only help a totalitarian regime censor the Web, but could also track Internet users.

Thousands of Googlers, as they are known, eventually went public with their opposition, signing an open letter in protest of the project. Is it any surprise that a company that cancelled a contract with the Pentagon to sort through drone video images would be queasy about helping the Chinese Communist Party consolidate control over its people?

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2018, with the headline 'Google's China problem is US' China problem'. Print Edition | Subscribe