Google urged to reject Chinese censorship

By agency reporter
August 30, 2018

A coalition of human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders (RSF), wrote to Google CEO Sundar Pichai on 29 August 2018, calling on the California firm to not be complicit in Chinese censorship, and to remain faithful to the values set out in its code of conduct, ethical charter and manifesto for a free and open internet.

Earlier in the month, internal leaks at Google revealed the existence of Dragonfly, a censored search engine project that would allow Google to return to the Chinese market. Ironically, the tech giant had left China in 2010 in rejection of such requests. While the announcement of the project caused an uproar among Google employees, the management team buried its head in the sand and dismissed the revelations as "speculations."

RSF is particularly concerned about the safety of journalists and their sources if Google were to follow the policies of information censorship and digital surveillance led by President Xi Jinping's regime. China occupies the bottom of the RSF Freedom of the Press Index (176th out of 180 countries) and has more than 50 imprisoned journalists.

* Read the full letter here

Signatory organisations:

  • Access Now
  • Amnesty International
  • Article 19
  • Center for Democracy and Technology
  • Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Human Rights in China
  • Human Rights Watch
  • International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  • PEN International
  • Privacy International
  • Reporters sans fronti√®res (RSF)
  • WITNESS

* Human Rights Watch https://www.hrw.org/

* Reporters Without Borders https://rsf.org/en

[Ekk/6]

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