A bipartisan group of congressmen has demanded answers from Google over the development of a censored search engine for China in cooperation with the strict Chinese communist government.
16 members of the House, including Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) who led them, signed an open letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai expressing “serious concerns” over Google’s compliance with the Chinese government on the project, and asking whether the project could lead to surveillance of Americans living in China.
The congressmen then asked Pichai to answer 5 questions, including, “Is Google taking steps to ensure that individual Chinese citizens, or foreigners living in China, including Americans, will not be surveilled or targeted through Google applications or products?”
This week, a senior Google scientist quit the company in protest over the project, declaring he had left to “avoid contributing to” the “erosion of protection for dissidents.”
According to reports, Google’s upcoming censored search engine “will blacklist access to certain websites and restrict search terms related to human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest,” in China.
NEW: Google should not be helping China crack down on free speech and political dissent. I just sent this letter with some of my Republican and Democratic colleagues raising our serious concerns and questions about what they’re doing. pic.twitter.com/fZ0wlabzS7
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) September 13, 2018