However, this version is/will be openly censored to comply with Chinese censorship. The project is known as “Project Dragonfly” and was intended to be confidential.
Employees working on the project were told “to avoid referencing it around our team members, and if they ask [what we’re working on], to deflect questions”.
If Google’s goal is really to make the world’s information universally accessible, isn’t this move a step in the wrong direction?
This isn’t the first time that Google employees have been upset with the company. Recently the company received backlash for a military drone project it was working on with the Pentagon. Unfortunately, I can’t see how either of these projects align with Google’s mission statement.
Perhaps Google has made the decision that allowing any information to flow into China is better than simply ignoring the country’s massive population altogether. China’s internet user base is about 775 million people, double the US population.
While Google hasn’t publicly stated their intentions with China, it looks like the company is far more focused on the profits from China than the free flow of information for everyone.
Alternatives To Google
If Google’s latest decisions worry you, as they have for me, there are plenty of alternative products out there. Perhaps some of these will align with your own values better than Google.