Good Google’s evil twin, Bad Google, is at it again.
In addition to doing bad things to advance its political agenda, Google is willing to work with bad governments do bad things.
For example, the authoritarian Chinese government.
Google is working on a mobile version of its search engine, code-named Dragonfly, which would censor search results the way the Chinese government wants. The company is doing so even though it shut down its Chinese-mainland search engine back in 2010 because it “could no longer continue censoring our results” in China. At the time, I praised Google for moving in the right direction.
Now it’s regressing.
And more than regressing. The Intercept reports that Dragonfly goes beyond censorship. How? By linking a user’s search results to his phone number. Critics note that this would abet human rights violations, since users could easily be detained and even jailed for searching for the “wrong” terms.
At least five Google employees have resigned in protest. One, Jack Poulson, a research scientist, says that he regards “our intent to capitulate to censorship and surveillance demands in exchange for access to the Chinese market as a forfeiture of our values and governmental negotiating position across the globe.”
Google no longer promotes what used to be its motto and guide: “Don’t be evil.”
To be sure, that motto did not put a very positive spin on the company’s moral stance. “Always be good” might be better. But I agree with both.
Be good, not evil.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.