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posted by martyb on Sunday September 23 2018, @06:26AM   Printer-friendly
from the Quis-custodiet-ipsos-custodes? dept.

Google has been aggressively suppressing an internal memo that shared details of Dragonfly, a censored search engine for China that would also track users:

Google bosses have forced employees to delete a confidential memo circulating inside the company that revealed explosive details about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, The Intercept has learned. The memo, authored by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the project, disclosed that the search system, codenamed Dragonfly, would require users to log in to perform searches, track their location — and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have "unilateral access" to the data.

The memo was shared earlier this month among a group of Google employees who have been organizing internal protests over the censored search system, which has been designed to remove content that China's authoritarian Communist Party regime views as sensitive, such as information about democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.

According to three sources familiar with the incident, Google leadership discovered the memo and were furious that secret details about the China censorship were being passed between employees who were not supposed to have any knowledge about it. Subsequently, Google human resources personnel emailed employees who were believed to have accessed or saved copies of the memo and ordered them to immediately delete it from their computers. Emails demanding deletion of the memo contained "pixel trackers" that notified human resource managers when their messages had been read, recipients determined.

[...] Google reportedly maintains an aggressive security and investigation team known as "stopleaks," which is dedicated to preventing unauthorized disclosures. The team is also said to monitor internal discussions. Internal security efforts at Google have ramped up this year as employees have raised ethical concerns around a range of new company projects. Following the revelation by Gizmodo and The Intercept that Google had quietly begun work on a contract with the military last year, known as Project Maven, to develop automated image recognition systems for drone warfare, the communications team moved swiftly to monitor employee activity. The "stopleaks" team, which coordinates with the internal Google communications department, even began monitoring an internal image board used to post messages based on internet memes, according to one former Google employee, for signs of employee sentiment around the Project Maven contract.

Eric Schmidt has predicted that there will be two distinct "Internets" within the decade, with one led by China:

Eric Schmidt, who has been the CEO of Google and executive chairman of its parent company, Alphabet, predicts that within the next decade there will be two distinct internets: one led by the U.S. and the other by China. Schmidt shared his thoughts at a private event in San Francisco on Wednesday night convened by investment firm Village Global VC. The firm enlists tech luminaries — including Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Diane Green — as limited partners, then invests their money into early-stage tech ventures.

At the event, economist Tyler Cowen asked about the possibility of the internet fragmenting into different sub-internets with different regulations and limited access between them in coming years. "What's the chance, say, 10 to 15 years, we have just three to four separate internets?"

Also at CNBC and The Washington Post.

Previously: Google Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China, Leaked Documents Reveal
Uproar at Google after News of Censored China Search App Breaks
"Senior Google Scientist" Resigns over Chinese Search Engine Censorship Project

Related: In Snowden's Wake, Calls for Balkanized Internet Present More Harm than Good
China Begins Enforcing Internet Real-Name Policy


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  • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23 2018, @06:30AM (12 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23 2018, @06:30AM (#738780)

    It was like someone was sprinting through a forest, snapping twigs with every step. That was the sound that the man, Plopham, heard.

    Plopham approached the room in which the sound was originating from. Slowly and carefully, Plopham turned the doorknob and opened the door, revealing the contents of the room. His eyes went wide.

    It was effective. It was efficient. It was the pinnacle of effectiveness & efficiency. Plopham could not believe what he was bearing witness to. Yet, even if he did not believe it, reality remained the same: A snappy man existed there.

    This snappy man was going from child to child and twisting their heads completely backwards, snuffing out their wretched lives instantly. While this was fairly normal, what was out of the ordinary was that he was doing this at a speed that the brain refused to register. To an average person, they would just hear rapid snapping sounds and see the children slump lifelessly to the ground in quick succession.

    "Amazing," Plopham thought. This was a truly grand spectacle, one which made Plopham thankful to be alive to witness it. The spectating man thought the children looked like owls, what with their twisted heads. As the man became lost in thought, he almost failed to notice that the snappy man had finished his snapping. Once Plopham noticed, he surveyed the room.

    Beautiful. The children - all several hundred of them - were naked and their genitals and anuses were bleeding, indicating that they had been properly utilized beforehand. So, not only did the man snap their little necks at an astounding rate, but he had even taken the time to utilize their yummy bodies. Tears began to flow down Plopham's face.

    Unbeknownst to him, this day would eventually be recorded in the history books as 'The Snappening', the day in which mankind began to claw back their rights...

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23 2018, @08:16AM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23 2018, @08:16AM (#738789)

    This shit again? Seriously, how difficult would it be to write some keyword/phrase filters to automatically delete on submission?

    • (Score: 3, Offtopic) by jasassin on Sunday September 23 2018, @08:40AM (9 children)

      by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Sunday September 23 2018, @08:40AM (#738793) Homepage Journal

      Soylentnews doesn't censor. That is what the moderation system is for.

      As for China and Dragonfly, is anyone surprised? Did an internal memo like that need to be surpressed? I think we get the gist of it by now.

      --
      jasassin@gmail.com GPG Key ID: 0x663EB663D1E7F223
      • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by aristarchus on Sunday September 23 2018, @09:14AM (5 children)

        by aristarchus (2645) on Sunday September 23 2018, @09:14AM (#738796) Journal

        Soylentnews doesn't censor. That is what the moderation system is for.

        Yes, but you know what happens to those people whose job it is to filter such filth as this? It is like cops, who see people at their worst, and come to expect the worst, and so become the worst. Why traumatize Soylentils with the responsibility of deep-sixing mr. snuff woose? I think there is no "speech" being censored, just some sicko being denied a platform. Speaking of which, without censorship, could we not do the same with TMB? A limit on journals? Or, perhaps, TMB is our serial "True Detective" author? Of course, we would have to ask TMB to check this out for us.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Sunday September 23 2018, @12:38PM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday September 23 2018, @12:38PM (#738822) Journal
          And you exhibit the key peril of censorship, the ever-expanding scope. There's always more targets that need the iron fist.
          • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23 2018, @05:52PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23 2018, @05:52PM (#738908)

            The first one is always the most difficult.

            There's always more targets

            Since SN has successfully silenced aristarchus, what would a few more be? For the sake of freedom, and being able to be on the new ChinaNet!

            • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Monday September 24 2018, @01:28PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 24 2018, @01:28PM (#739158) Journal

              Since SN has successfully silenced aristarchus

              Premise isn't true.

        • (Score: 0, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23 2018, @01:29PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23 2018, @01:29PM (#738832)

          Presented without comment:

          Speaking of which, without censorship, could we not do the same with TMB? A limit on journals?

          #Free{nick}_NOW!!!

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23 2018, @11:35PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23 2018, @11:35PM (#739000)

          Meh. This is nothing compared to my childhood.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Mykl on Monday September 24 2018, @02:46AM (1 child)

        by Mykl (1112) on Monday September 24 2018, @02:46AM (#739046)

        Soylentnews doesn't censor. That is what the moderation system is for.

        Wrong. SN has censored at least twice in the past off the top of my head - certain references to an Old Testament book as well as a group of people with dark-skinned phalluses. Note how I'm avoiding using their specific terms? It's because this post itself would likely be blocked if I used the keywords.

        So, now that we have established that SN indeed does censor, it's just a question of where we draw the line. I would prefer that these little dimwitted pedo-snuff fantasies fall on the 'censored' side, as they contribute absolutely nothing of value whatsoever, and only serve to turn people away from the site.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25 2018, @12:16AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25 2018, @12:16AM (#739460)

          SN has filtered repetitive spam posts before, but they've never retroactively deleted comments that did make it through. Filtering these pedo-snuff spam posts would seem more difficult.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24 2018, @10:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24 2018, @10:15AM (#739114)

        Soylentnews doesn't censor. That is what the moderation system is for.

        And how easy the moderation system is to game.

        That's why SN is polluted with griefergrunt, alt-wrong and polycell garbage moderated all the way up to 'Insightful'.

        And that's why its other readers are leaving, and not coming back.

    • (Score: 1, Disagree) by c0lo on Sunday September 23 2018, @11:24PM

      by c0lo (156) on Sunday September 23 2018, @11:24PM (#738996) Journal

      Let me assure you, it is very hard and counterproductive by side effects.

      Yours,

      Dick Niggers

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0