A flying rumor this week that Google is looking to re-enter China with a brand new search engine was enough to take away the sleep of Senate members in the United States. The Senators, however, did not let any time pass before they started asking piercing questions from Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Senators Mark Warner, Tom Cotton, Ron Wyden, Cory Gardner, Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez have sent a letter to Pichai asking if the search engine giant is indeed working on delivering the custom-made search engine to China.
Desperate Step From Google?
Apparently, the search engine would be capable enough to identify and block the search terms and any websites referencing human rights, peaceful protest, democracy, and religion. The Intercept was the first one to report about the existence of a censor-friendly search engine dubbed as Dragonfly. The publication talked about the internal documents that perhaps was enough to prove that such a search engine has been in development for more than a year now. Additionally, Chinese government officials have also had a look at it. Google was compelled to withdraw from mainland China after sharing cold shoulder with the government over censorship and surveillance of the citizens. We do not know if the environment of hostility that was between both the parties exists now or they have come to a common agreement with search engine giant even agreeing to overlook the principals that it stood for.
If that is the case, then American lawmakers are right to be concerned about the intentions of the Mountain View, California based company. The letter started with holding Google on a high pedestal to withdraw its search service from China. The letter then turns into a worrying tone with the Senators considering Google decision as a “worrying precedent for other companies seeking to do business in China.” Senators also talk about the security concerns of the American company doing business with Chinese corporations that are closely linked with the Chinese government.
Even though there is no dearth of the publication houses confirming that Dragonfly is in making at Google, it should be taken with a pinch of salt unless Google releases an official statement.