Google's China search engine drama

Engadget

The first time many of us heard about China's use of facial recognition on jaywalkers was just this week when a prominent Chinese businesswoman was publicly "named and shamed" for improper street crossing. Turns out, she wasn't even there: China's terrifyingly over-the-top use of tech for citizen surveillance made a mistake. The AI system identified Dong Mingzhu's face from a bus advertisement for her company's products. "[The] president of China's biggest air conditioning maker," wrote The Telegraph, "had her image flashed up on a public display screen in the city of Ningbo, near Shanghai, with a caption saying she had illegally crossed the street on a red light." Shortly after, Ningbo traffic police admitted the mistake and claimed to have "completely upgraded the system to reduce the false recognition rate."


China Appears To Block Microsoft's Bing Search Engine

NPR Technology

This is a visualization of global internet attacks, seen during the 4th China Internet Security Conference in Beijing. Microsoft's Bing search engine is no longer accessible in China, the company reports. This is a visualization of global internet attacks, seen during the 4th China Internet Security Conference in Beijing. Microsoft's Bing search engine is no longer accessible in China, the company reports. The Microsoft search engine, Bing, appears to have been blocked in China since Wednesday.


Ex-Google employee warns of 'disturbing' plans to launch Chinese search engine

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A former employee of Google has warned of the web giant's'disturbing' plans for a search engine in China which could help Beijing monitor its citizens online. Jack Poulson wrote in a letter to the US Senate's commerce committee that the proposed Dragonfly website was'tailored to the censorship and surveillance demands of the Chinese government'. In his letter he also claimed that discussion of the plans among Google employees had been'increasingly stifled'. Mr Poulson was a senior research scientist at Google until he resigned last month in protest at the Dragonfly proposals. A former employee of Google has warned of the web giant's'disturbing' plans for a search engine in China which could help Beijing monitor its citizens online While China is home to the world's largest number of internet users, a 2015 report by US think tank Freedom House found that the country had the most restrictive online use policies of 65 nations it studied, ranking below Iran and Syria.


Inside Google's Plan to Launch a Censored Search Engine in China

Slate

Earlier this month, the Intercept broke the news that Google was building a secret program called Dragonfly, a censored search engine the company was potentially hoping to bring to China. Unlike the Google search that's used in the rest of the world, this search engine would block websites that are banned by the Chinese government and would not answer certain questions that the Chinese government has blacklisted. To learn more about Dragonfly, I recently spoke with Ryan Gallagher, a U.K.-based investigative journalist who reports on digital security and state surveillance issues for the Intercept. In our conversation, part of this week's episode of Slate's technology podcast If Then, we discussed why Google wants so desperately to enter China, why many of its employees oppose the plan, and how even a co-founder of the company may have been kept in the dark as Dragonfly was developed. Gallagher detailed how Google CEO Sundar Pichai has had several highly secretive meetings with the Chinese government about bringing Google to China over the past year--and the timeline of Google's plans to deploy the project once Beijing gave the green light.


Google's prototype Chinese search engine links users' activity to their phone numbers, report claims

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Google's secretive plans in China are attracting renewed scrutiny from privacy advocates. The tech giant is said to be building a prototype version of a censored Chinese search engine that links users' activity to their personal phone number, according to the Intercept. In doing so, it would be able to comply with the Chinese government's censorship requirements, increasing the chances that such a product would launch there in the future. A bipartisan group of 16 US lawmakers asked Google if it would comply with China's internet censorship and surveillance policies should it re-enter the search engine market there While China is home to the world's largest number of internet users, a 2015 report by US think tank Freedom House found that the country had the most restrictive online use policies of 65 nations it studied, ranking below Iran and Syria. But China has maintained that its various forms of web censorship are necessary for protecting its national security.