Tech experts are turning down job offers from Google over the company’s development of a censored search engine for China.
Ryan Gallagher, who first exposed at The Intercept last month the existence of the “Dragonfly” project, said on Twitter Thursday that he’s received numerous messages surrounding the backlash.
“I’ve had quite a few messages like this one over the last few weeks — people are turning down job offers from Google because of Dragonfly,” Gallagher said.
A partly-redacted email posted by Gallagher shows a once-potential employee declining an opportunity with the tech giant.
“After reading about project Dragonfly… I lost respect for a company I once admired,” the email says.
The secretive app, which would require users to link their identities to searches while being tracked, was also found in a prototype version to censor results for terms such as “Nobel prize” and “human rights,” documents provided to The Intercept revealed.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence weighed in on the issue Thursday during a speech at the Hudson Institute in which he urged Google to “immediately” end the controversial project.
“Google should immediately end development of the ‘Dragonfly’ app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers,” Pence said.
The project has also led to resignations, internal protest and criticism from human rights organizations.
After weeks of remaining silent, Google Chief Privacy Officer Keith Enright admitted this month to the existence of Dragonfly during a senate hearing.
Enright alleged the app was only in an exploratory phase, despite reporting to the contrary, and even claimed he was unaware whether China censored its citizens when confronted by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
“As the privacy representative for Google I’m not sure that I have an informed opinion on that question,” Enright said.
Google, who is attempting to reenter the Chinese Market, pulled its services from the country in 2010 after it said the Communist government had attempted to both hack and censor users.
FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR