Internal Conflict Allegedly Kills Google's Censored Search Engine


Mar 3, 2018
The Intercept initially broke the report claiming that Google was working on a censored Chinese search engine with the code name "Dragonfly," and now, the publication claims that work on the project has "effectively ended." The report says that the Dragonfly team mined data from the Chinese site, and that Google's internal privacy team was kept in the dark. Word got out, "discussions" were had, and the privacy team effectively shut down the whole project by cutting off access to the 265 data. Google's CEO claimed the company has "no plans" to launch in China last week, and the BBC seemingly corroborated The Intercept's story, as it "understands Project Dragonfly never reached the point of having a full and final privacy review by Google." But many experts seem to think that Google's ambitions in China haven't completely died down either.

Under normal company protocol, analysis of people’s search queries is subject to tight constraints and should be reviewed by the company’s privacy staff, whose job is to safeguard user rights. But the privacy team only found out about the data access after The Intercept revealed it, and were "really pissed," according to one Google source. Members of the privacy team confronted the executives responsible for managing Dragonfly. Following a series of discussions, two sources said, Google engineers were told that they were no longer permitted to continue using the data to help develop Dragonfly, which has since had severe consequences for the project. "The 265 data was integral to Dragonfly," said one source. "Access to the data has been suspended now, which has stopped progress."
Too much money at stake for morals to get in the way. It will still happen but they will take more measures to keep it hush-hush. Not too hard to do when you control the majority of information flow to the public.
Yeah, "publically kills" the project. Meantime Google are busy making a nice little Chinese shell company to do the work quietly, and not under the Google umbrella.