It’s another day and another fight for control over the internet. This time, Google’s highly controversial “Dragonfly Project” is the source of debate. Fueled by censorship, ties to personal phone data, privacy issues, and basic human ethics, employees at Google are taking a stand by walking out.

This brand new walkout, caused by the lack of transparency throughout the development of the new search engine, comes on the heels of another walkout sparked by claims of sexual harassment and misconduct. Google’s continued public missteps are causing a critical spotlight to shine on all of their projects, calling into question their business practices.

This has very serious implications not just for China, but for all of us, for freedom of information and internet freedom. It will set a terrible precedent for many other companies who are still trying to do business in China while maintaining the principles of not succumbing to China’s censorship. The biggest search engine in the world obeying the censorship in China is a victory for the Chinese government – it sends a signal that nobody will bother to challenge the censorship anymore.

Patrick Poon, Amnesty International 

The Great Firewall of China, or so the media has come to dub the censored search engine, has been rumored for a while, but was finally admitted to this year. While there have been statements made by Google that they will be unblocking certain sites (like Facebook and Twitter) these sites are only available in select parts of Shanghai for specific tourists.

Google's cenorship project Dragonfly causes mass walkout over human rights.

If you’re wondering what type of “banned sites” and information will be hidden by Dragonfly, let’s take a look: It seems that important historical events like 1989’s Tiananmen Square Massacre, political oppression, humans’ right to free speech, and a whole host of freedoms and liberties often denied by the Chinese government, are being suppressed by Dragonfly.

If Google is happy to capitulate to the Chinese government’s draconian rules on censorship. What’s to stop it cooperating with other repressive governments who control the flow of information and keep tabs on their citizens? As a market leader, Google knows its actions will set a precedent for other tech companies. Sundar Pichai must do the right thing and drop Project Dragonfly for good.

Joe Westby, Amnesty International

We’re taking things to another level here, with public admittance that history is being rewritten, or in a sense, not written at all. This is Google working with an oppressive force to create a false reality whereby digitally omitting events, so they simply disappear from knowledge.

This is a watershed moment for Google. As the world’s No. 1 search engine, it should be fighting for an internet where information is freely accessible to everyone, not backing the Chinese government’s dystopian alternative.

Joe Westby, Amnesty International

The simple act of walking out and demanding attention for an assault on human rights is calling attention to more than just the situation in China. How far will Google go before they stop? What results are being omitted from our own searches? I’m no conspiracy theorist, but we are watching tyrannical control over information be exerted in a malicious way right before our eyes.

What’s next?

Author

Ryan is the content guy at Rareview and thankfully, not related to the Pearsons. Bringing over a decade of writing to the table, as well as a hefty pour of bourbon, his delusions of grandeur keep him writing and drinking.

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