Many of Google’s services are blocked in China. Google Search was shut down by the company in 2010 thanks to the government’s attempts to “limit free speech on the web,” the company said back then. However, according to a new report, Google wants to return to China and it is developing a censored search engine to do so. The China Google Search would block websites like Wikipedia and limit access to topics like freedom of speech, among other things.
Internal documents from a whistleblower show that Google is developing a censored version of its popular web browser. The project is codenamed “Dragonfly” and has been active since the beginning of last year.
Apparently, Google is building it as an Android app which will “blacklist sensitive queries” and filter out all websites that China’s web censors already block. The same censorship will also be applied to image, spell check, and other features. This concerns many people.
This could set a bad precedent as other nations might follow suit in the future. A spokesperson for Google said that the company doesn’t comment on speculation about future plans. The spokesperson also pointed said that “We provide a number of mobile apps in China, such as Google Translate and Files Go, help Chinese developers, and have made significant investments in Chinese companies like JD.com”
We will have to see how this plays out.