Hundreds of Google employees signed a protest letter about the company's work on a censorship search mechanism to return to China, the New York Times reported. Officials are asking for more transparency to understand the moral implications of their work, the Times said, which received a copy of the letter.
It was signed by 1,400 employees and circulates in the company's internal communications system, according to the newspaper, citing three people familiar with the document.
The letter argues that the search engine design and Google's apparent willingness to accept China's censorship requirements "raise urgent ethical and ethical issues." "Currently, we do not have the necessary information to make informed ethical decisions about our work, our projects and our work" he said in the letter.
The anger of officials exploded with a report This month in The Intercept, Google secretly builds a search engine that will filter out banned content in China and comply with strict censorship rules in Beijing.
Google removed its search engine from China eight years ago because of censorship and hacking. The new project would be called "Dragonfly". The technology giant had already been criticized this year by thousands of employees who signed a petition against a $ 10 million contract with the US military that was not renewed.
With the secret project, Google officials fear they are working unknowingly on a technology that could help China hide information from its employees.
"We urgently need more transparency, a place at the table and a commitment to clear and open processes: Google employees need to know what we're building," says the Times.
At a municipal officials rally yesterday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company was committed to transparency and that while "exploring many options." It was not about to launch a research product in China, "the Financial Times reported, citing a person at the meeting.
Pichai said Google's stated mission is to "organize information from around the world," Bloomberg News quoted a transcript of the officials' meeting as saying. "China accounts for a fifth of the world's population, we need to think seriously about how we do more in China," Bloomberg said. "I sincerely believe we have a positive impact when we engage in the world and see no reason to be different in China." Pichai said: "We will certainly be transparent as we approach a registration plan here. We certainly plan on engaging more and talking more.