>> Google is planning a return to China, but the project is shrouded in secrecy, and employees are demanding transparency. According to a report by the New York Times on Thursday, a petition calling for more oversight and accountability in the project, racked up more than a thousand signatures. Reuters reported this month, the app is a bid to win approval from Beijing, to provide a mobile search engine in China.
However, employees are concerned that the app would support China's restrictions and free expression and ultimately violate the company's don't be evil code of conduct. The petitions seen by order says, we urgently need more transparency, a seat at the table, and a commitment to clear and open processes. Google employees need to know what we're building.
The company declined to comment. Sources say the project, code named Dragonfly, would block certain websites and search terms. It would also stand in stark contrast to eight years ago when Google left China in protest of Beijing's censorship. Company executives have not commented publicly in Dragonfly. But in a transcript seen by Reuters, Google's Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told employees, quote, it's all very unclear whether Google would return to China at all.
He also said that development is still in the early stages and that sharing information too early could, quote, cause issues.