Google has "effectively ended" development of Chinese search engine

Google halted Chinese data collection program after Dragonfly backlash

According to the latest report, Google was developing its Chinese search engine with the help of a Beijing-based website called 265.com.

A Google spokesperson declined today to confirm or deny a report from The Intercept that an internal struggle between Google's privacy team and executives managing its Dragonfly China search engine project has led to an effective shutdown of the effort.

Google has shelved plans to build a filtered search engine for China, after internal company disputes and objections from employees, The Intercept reported Tuesday.

As part of the development, unbeknown to their privacy team, Google were collecting data from a popular Chinese site, 265.com - a Chinese-language web directory service. Development was fragmented to the point that engineers were told to "use different datasets for their work", forgoing the ordinary protocol of running collected search queries by the privacy team.

"Members of Google's privacy team, however, were kept in the dark about the use of 265.com", said the report, quoting sources.

In August The Intercept's Ryan Gallagher revealed that Google had been working in secret on a search engine with censorship and surveillance capabilities aimed at allowing it to operate under China's strict internet controls. Had to read this to the setting of the Chinese Website 265.com.

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The vote barely passed, 206-203, with only five Democrats voting for and 17 Republicans voting against. Still, the bill has faced criticism, including from conservative Republicans.

And access to data "integral to Dragonfly. has been suspended for now, which has stopped progress".

In addition, the history of searches will be attached to the phone numbers users. Google saw backlash towards Dragonfly, both within the company and outside of the company.

After severe backlash from Google employees, US government officials, as well as human rights groups and NGOs, development of the Dragonfly project has effectively ceased, and the project has been shelved. Pichai stated that "right now" there were no plans to launch the search engine, though refused to rule it out in the future. Google really wants to get into China because, well it is the largest country on earth right now with over 1.4 billion people.

Scott Beaumont, Google's leader in China and an indispensable architect of Project Dragonfly said that he didn't feel that his product decisions should be questioned by Google's legal, privacy and security teams. The site operated normally news bulletin with few web search function and general interests which directly routed all the queries to Baidu and then Google was supposed to censor the results and metadata.

'Going ahead with Project Dragonfly would represent a massive capitulation on human rights by one of the world's most powerful companies.

It is unclear whether the setback will end Google CEO Sundar Pichai's quest to re-enter China - it is apparently one of his top priorities - but it looks like the originally reported launch target of January to April of next year has been indefinitely postponed.

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