Google closes controversial Chinese search engine project

Google has stopped the development of China’s controversial censored search engine project.

Speaking at a Senate Judicial Committee hearing, Karan Bhatia, Google’s vice president for public policy, said the company had abandoned the dragonfly project.

The Chief Technology Officer appeared at a hearing in Washington, D.C., to answer questions from legislators about Google’s content policies.

His appearance came a few hours after US President Donald Trump announced that he would consider investigating Google for treason after the technology giant was accused by Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, of allowing Chinese customers to infiltrate.

Karan Bhatia told Republican Senator Josh Hawley at the hearing that Google had found no evidence of infiltration by Chinese intelligence agents and that he had done little work in China.

A company spokesman confirmed that Google does not intend to launch a search service in China and that there is no work in progress on such a project.

Google has been vague on the dragonfly project since its appearance, with disclosed documents indicating that the China-based search application would automatically identify banned sites with the so-called large Chinese firewall, removing them from search results.

This includes information on freedom of expression and political opposition, as well as any negative signals to Chinese governments.

Although the company has already confirmed that it is working on a project called Dragonfly, it has refrained from providing any further details on this subject, other than to say that its development is going well, but it has now clearly indicated that it has completed the project and transferred the team members to new projects.

China’s censored search engine faced a global reaction as further details emerged, Amnesty organizing a demonstration against the project, and Congress invited the company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, to question it.

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