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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: 0, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Sunday September 23 2018, @07:39AM (1 child)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Sunday September 23 2018, @07:39AM (#738785) Homepage Journal

    I mean the true interference in the last election was that, if you look at all, virtually all of those companies are super liberal companies in favor of Hillary Clinton. Maybe I did a better job because I’m good with the Twitter and I’m good at Social Media, but the truth is they were all on Hillary Clinton’s side, and if you look at what was going on with Facebook and with Google and all of it, they were very much on her side. Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal? 96% of results on "Trump News" are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation. Will be addressed. Which is, that's why we created the #StopTheBias [twitter.com] hashtag.

    I'm not a fan of Google. But what they're doing for China, so interesting. And what our other Companies -- Cisco and many more -- have done, it's been fabulous for China. Golden Shield. You think China, you don't think terrorists. Not a big problem with terrorists there. And getting their boarder under control is a big part of that. They always say, "oh, we want open boarders!" But, they don't open up that boarder. Smart. And another part of it, they closed up their internet. They know exactly what's happening on their internet. Someone messes with their elections, with their Energy Grid, anything -- they know. We need that here. So that what happened with Puerto Rico, with the Energy Grid in Puerto Rico, doesn't happen again. So that what happened with our 2016 election doesn't happen again. I'm putting SECURITY into our cyber. So many smart people working on our cyber. But, they forgot to put in the Security. I'm the only guy that can do it. I call it my National Cyber Strategy. And Google -- if you're listening -- if you play your cards right, possibly I'll allow you onto our VERY SPECIAL internet. Our SECURE internet. So don't be dumb!!!

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23 2018, @11:41AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23 2018, @11:41AM (#738813)

    > They always say, "oh, we want open boarders!"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_border [wikipedia.org]