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Money Google's China plan spurs inquiry from U.S. lawmakers, staff departures

09:27  14 september  2018
09:27  14 september  2018 Source:   reuters.com

Google's Dragonfly would reportedly collect Chinese citizens' phone numbers

  Google's Dragonfly would reportedly collect Chinese citizens' phone numbers A prototype for China's censored search engine would connect users' searches to their personal numbers, The Intercept reports.Sources told the publication that prototypes for Dragonfly link the search app to users' phone numbers, meaning those who search for banned information could be interrogated or detained if security agencies got a hold of Google's search records.

More than 1,000 Google employees, six U . S . senators and at least fourteen human rights groups have written to the company expressing concern about its China ambitions. A security guard and an employee walk past Google ' s logo outside Google China headquarters building in Beijing March 24

Google ’ s main search platform has been blocked in China since 2010, but it has been attempting to make new inroads into the world’ s largest smartphone market by users. Google ’ s re-entry is not guaranteed as China has stepped up scrutiny of business dealings involving U . S . tech firms including

a close up of a box: The logo of Google is pictured during the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris© REUTERS/Charles Platiau The logo of Google is pictured during the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris A bipartisan group of 16 U.S. lawmakers asked Alphabet Inc's Google on Thursday if it would comply with China's internet censorship and surveillance policies should it re-enter the Chinese search engine market.

The questioning added to the pressure on Google to disclose precautions it would take to protect the safety of its users if Chinese regulators allow its search engine to operate.

More than 1,000 Google employees, six U.S. senators and at least fourteen human rights groups have written to the company expressing concern about its China ambitions.

Google defends Gmail data sharing, gives few details on violations

  Google defends Gmail data sharing, gives few details on violations Alphabet Inc's Google gave details about its policies for third-party Gmail add-ons but stopped short of fully addressing questions from U.S. senators about developers who break its email-scanning rules.How user data flows between big technology platforms such as Google and Facebook Inc and their partners has faced scrutiny around the world this year since Facebook revealed it had done little to monitor such relationships.

A bipartisan group of 16 US lawmakers asked Alphabet Inc' s Google on Thursday if it would comply with China ' s internet censorship and surveillance policies should it re-enter the Chinese search engine market.

Google declined to comment directly on the lawmakers ’ letter or the resignations but said in a statement it had been “investing for many years to Reuters reported last month that Google planned to seek government clearance to provide a version of its search engine in China that blocks some

On Thursday, Jack Poulson, a research scientist who had worked for Google for more than two years, said he resigned because he felt the company was not honoring its commitment to human rights norms in designing the search app.

Poulson told Reuters that executives would not specify to him where the company would draw the line on agreeing to Chinese demands.

"Unfortunately, the virtually unanimous response over the course of three very vocal weeks of escalation was: 'I don't know either,'" Poulson said.

He was among a handful who resigned, he told the Intercept online publication, which first reported on his action.

Google will struggle if it re-enters China, says its former country head

  Google will struggle if it re-enters China, says its former country head The odds are stacked against Google if the reports are true and the company is trying to bring its services back to China, according to the former head of Google China. News reports last month uncovered details of internal plans to introduce a search product and a news app in China, moves that would mark a re-entry to the consumer market which Google left in 2010. The plans, which follow a noticeable increase in activity in China from Google, were widely criticized by activists and also raised concern internally from Google employees.

Google declined to comment directly on the lawmakers ’ letter or the resignations but said in a statement it had been “investing for many years to Google ’ s re-entry is not guaranteed as China has stepped up scrutiny of business dealings involving U . S . tech firms including Facebook Inc (FB.O) and

Google ' s main search platform has been blocked in China since 2010, but it has been attempting to make new inroads into the world' s largest smartphone market by users. Google ' s re-entry is not guaranteed as China has stepped up scrutiny of business dealings involving U . S . tech firms including

Google declined to comment directly on the lawmakers' letter or the resignations but said in a statement it had been “investing for many years to help Chinese users" and described its "work on search" for China as "exploratory" and "not close to launching."

Reuters reported last month that Google planned to seek government clearance to provide a version of its search engine in China that blocks some websites and search terms.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, said in their letter on Thursday they had "serious concerns" about the potential step.

The letter asked if Google would "ensure that individual Chinese citizens or foreigners living in China, including Americans, will not be surveilled or targeted through Google applications."

Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat and signer of the letter, wrote on Twitter that "Google should not be helping China crack down on free speech and political dissent."

Google employees discussed changing search results after Trump travel ban

  Google employees discussed changing search results after Trump travel ban Google employees debated changing search results after President Donald Trump's immigration travel ban against predominantly Muslim countries. That's according to internal company emails obtained by the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported that employees in January 2017 wanted to counter what they saw as “islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms ‘Islam’, ‘Muslim’, ’Iran’, etc.” and “prejudiced, algorithmically biased search results from search terms `Mexico’, `Hispanic’, `Latino’, etc." Google says none of the ideas were implemented.

Departures @ (Adds Google comment, details on employee resignation). Sept 13 (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of 16 U . S . lawmakers asked Alphabet Inc' s Google on Thursday if it would comply with China ' s internet censorship and surveillance policies should it re-enter the Chinese search

More than 1,000 Google employees, six U . S . senators and at least fourteen human rights groups have written to the company expressing concern about its China ambitions. On Thursday, Jack Poulson, a research scientist who had worked for Google for more than two years, said he resigned because he

Other signers include Representative Michael McCaul, a Republican who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee.

The company could face questions about China when it testifies on privacy issues before a Senate panel on Sept. 26.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, said on Tuesday that Google would be invited to testify on a number of issues. He wrote on Twitter that Google had worked with China and Russia on censorship but no longer wanted to do a technology deal with the U.S. Defense Department.

Google's main search platform has been blocked in China since 2010, but it has been attempting to make new inroads into the world's largest smartphone market by users.

Google's re-entry is not guaranteed as China has stepped up scrutiny of business dealings involving U.S. tech firms including Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) amid intensifying trade tensions between Beijing and Washington.

(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Paresh Dave in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney)

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