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Google Sends Email to Employees Asking Them to Delete China Search Engine Memo

The China search engine would link users' search history to their personal phone numbers, according to the memo

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In its bid to suppress a memo revealing information about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, Google has sent an email to employees asking them to delete the sensitive document, The Intercept reported.

Authored by a Google engineer familiar with the project, the memo disclosed that the search system would require users in China to log in to perform searches.

Codenamed Dragonfly, the search engine would track the location of users and share the data with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data, said the report on Friday, citing the memo.

The news about Google’s plan to build a censored search engine in China broke in August when The Intercept reported that the search platform would blacklist “sensitive queries” about topics including politics, free speech, democracy, human rights and peaceful protest, triggering internal protests among some Google employees.

Two weeks after that report, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the company’s employees that the China plan was in its “early stages” and “exploratory”.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

A group of Google employees who were organising internal protests over the censored search system got access to the memo detailing information about the project.

The Google leadership, according to the The Intercept report, were furious when they discovered that the memo was being passed among employees who were not supposed to know about about the Dragonfly project.

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The China search engine would link users’ search history to their personal phone numbers, according to the memo.

This means if security agencies were to obtain the search records from Google, individual people could easily be tracked and users seeking out information banned by the government could potentially be at risk of interrogation or detention. (IANS)

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Google Showing Pakistan’s Flag On Being Searched For “Best Toilet Paper in The World”

Google algorithms have often displayed inappropriate search results on certain topics

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The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

Google has been showing Pakistani flag when searched for the “best toilet paper in the world”, the “best China-made toilet paper” or just “toilet paper”.

The glitch on Google Search results was noticed a couple of days after the February 14 terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district that left 49 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel dead.

Screenshots of the search results have gone viral as memes, posts and status updates on several social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Following this, a National Security Committee was also held to discuss Sharif's "misleading" statement.
Pakistan’s Flag. Wikimedia Commons

Apart from images of the Pakistan flags, a search for toilet paper-related queries on Google results into a number of media reports that have been circulating around the subject.

A query to Google about whether the glitch has been taken care of or not went unanswered.

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Google algorithms have often displayed inappropriate search results on certain topics.

Earlier, searching words like “Feku”, “Pappu” and “Idiot” led users to images of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and US President Donald Trump, respectively. (IANS)