GOOGLE & The great firewall of China: Xi Jinping’s internet shutdown

Flowers left outside Google China’s headquarters after its announcement it might leave the country in 2010. Photo: Wikicommons.

Flowers left outside Google China’s headquarters after its announcement it might leave the country in 2010. Photo: Wikicommons.
  • Drop the Dragonfly programme and publicly commit not to re-launch a search engine in China at the expense of human rights.
  • Guarantee protections for whistle-blowers and other employees speaking out.

|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Internet censorship in China is among the most extensive in the world due to a wide variety of laws and administrative regulations. More than sixty Internet restrictions have been created by the government of China, which have been implemented by provincial branches of state-owned ISPs, companies, and organizations.

Back in 2010, Google made a promise. The largest search engine in the world vowed that it would never support China’s internet censorship. But – skip forward to August 2018 – and it’s a different story.  It’s been revealed that Google’s preparing to go back on its word.

Before President Xi Jinping, the internet was becoming a more vibrant political space for Chinese citizens. But today the country has the largest and most sophisticated online censorship operation in the world.

Guardian

Under the code-name ‘Project Dragonfly’, Google has been working on a secretive programme to re-launch its search engine in China – even if it means cooperating with the Chinese government’s repressive online censorship and surveillance rules.

People using Google in China would be blocked from accessing banned websites like Wikipedia and Facebook. Content from search terms like ‘human rights’ would be banned. 

The Chinese government would even be able to spy on Google’s users – this is a government that routinely sends people to prison for merely sharing their views online.

If Google is willing to trade human rights for profit in China, could they do the same in other countries?  

Stand in solidarity with the staff members at Google who have protested the project and tell Google CEO Sundar Pichai to #DropDragonfly – before it can be launched.  

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