• Press Release

Google Must Fully Commit to Never Censor Search in China

July 17, 2019

Demonstrators hold placards as they protest outside the offices of Google in London on January 18, 2019. - A global coalition of 60 human rights and media groups wrote to Google chief executive Sundar Pichai urging him to scrap the "Dragonfly" project, a censored search engine for China, which has already sparked opposition from the US tech giant's own staff. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Responding to the statement by a senior Google executive that the company has “terminated” plans to launch Project Dragonfly, its censored search engine for China, Joe Westby, researcher on technology and human rights at Amnesty Tech, said:

“This is the first time that Google have so clearly confirmed that they have abandoned Project Dragonfly entirely. Its public walk-back on this disastrous project is good news and is in no small part thanks to the campaigning of hundreds of Google employees, 70 plus human rights organizations and thousands of people around the world who demanded the company respect human rights and ‘drop Dragonfly’.

“However, this latest comment still falls short of committing to conclusively dropping its censored search engine for good. In reality Google’s position refusing to rule out working with China on such projects in the future has not changed.

“Google must now go one step further and commit to never aid China’s large-scale censorship and surveillance. The company’s past evasiveness on this issue leaves the door open to future abuses. CEO Sundar Pichai should make a definitive statement that it will not engage in any project in China that undermines human rights full stop.”