Despite trying to reassure the public and the United States government otherwise, Google’s pact with the Chinese government is becoming increasingly strong.
In an 85-page Google briefing titled “The Good Censor,” which was leaked to Breitbart News this week, Google admitted that Big Tech companies have made a “shift towards censorship” to “maintain global expansion” and “increase revenues.”
Google also claimed that the “free speech ideal was instilled in the DNA of the Silicon Valley startups that now control the majority of our online conversations,” including itself, Facebook, and Twitter, but that free speech has now become a “utopian narrative” that has been “undermined” by “global events,” including the “Rise of the Alt-Right.”
Based on these views, it is now easy to see why Google has been increasing its cooperation with the Chinese government over the past few years.
Ironically, just two years ago, Google employees applauded executives during a company-wide meeting for taking a “very bold stance” against China.
Now, Google is currently working on a censored Chinese search engine, which will blacklist certain websites and terms related to human rights, democracy, and protest, while also destroying anonymity by linking searches to users’ phone numbers.
The search engine project has prompted criticism and concern from Congress, human rights groups, and even Google employees — including a senior scientist who quit the company to “avoid contributing to” the “erosion of protection for dissidents,” through a project which Vice President Mike Pence warned would “strengthen the Communist Party’s censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers.”
Last December, it was also announced that Google would be launching an artificial intelligence research center in China, despite the company’s recent refusal to work with U.S. agencies on artificial intelligence, while in September, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted that the Internet would split into two over the next ten years, forming an American Internet and a Chinese Internet.
A leaked transcript from a Google meeting also provided evidence that Google was making contradictory statements about the progress of the censored search engine project in private.
In September, Google search engine chief Ben Gomes claimed to the BBC, “Right now, all we’ve done is some exploration [with the search engine project], but since we don’t have any plans to launch something, there’s nothing much I can say about it.”
Sources at Google, however, claimed Gomes’ comments were “bullshit” and that Google was preparing for the engine to be “brought off the shelf and quickly deployed.”
Gomes also claimed the project was “extremely important,” declaring, “we are talking about the next billion users,” and describing China as “the most interesting market in the world today.”
Gomes’ description of China as “the most interesting market in the world today” indicates the direction that Google is taking — away from the United States and towards a nation of more concentrated power.