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The communist Chinese government. The company is Google. Once the darling of technology. Now helping to create China's version of Big Brother. I'll explain.
It’s called Project Dragonfly. It’s a search engine designed especially for China. It would allow the authorities there to exercise strong censorship power. If, for example, someone searched for "human rights" or "protests,” the authorities would be alerted and no search results would be shown.
That’s exactly what the government wants: Control what people are allowed to know, and identify "troublemakers." Privacy? Forget about it. Google is complicit in the denial of freedom to over a billion people.
But there's more, and it’s even more troubling. Parts of Dragonfly would be physically in China, and therefore subject to Chinese law. That means the authorities could track individuals through their cell phones. They would know their exact location, and their history. Rounding up dissidents has never been easier. And Google is helping.
I am trying to think why they are doing this. Money maybe? China is a pot of gold to Google. The need to get into a market of 1.2 billion people? I can understand that. But selling your soul to communist dictators remains unsavory at best. Now there is a movement within Google to stop Dragonfly and walk away from it.
I hope it succeeds.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, goes to the White House today. And next week he'll be questioned by Congress. I hope he gets some tough questions. I hope he decides to back away from Dragonfly.
But if the jovial, "Don't be evil" Google guys go through with this, they will confirm my suspicion that they are the modern-day version of George Orwell’s Big Brother. And that is evil!