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Google Mum on Chinese Search Engine Reports

China's top internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, has not commented on the reported plans

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Google unveils new shopping search features for Indian users. Pixabay

Google declined Wednesday to confirm reports that it plans to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, where its main search platform was previously blocked, along with its YouTube video platform.

“We provide a number of mobile apps in China … [to] help Chinese developers, and have made significant investments in Chinese companies like JD.com. But we don’t comment on speculation about future plans,” a Google spokesperson told VOA in a statement.

The first report on the possible rollout came from The Intercept, and online news publication, which cited internal Google documents and people familiar with the purported plan.

The Intercept said the project, code-named Dragonfly, has been in development since last year. It said the project began to progress more quickly following a December meeting between Google CEO Sundar Pichai and a senior Chinese government official.

Google
A surveillance camera is seen in front of the Google China headquarters in Beijing. (VOA)

Search terms regarding democracy, human rights and peaceful protests will be among those blacklisted in the new search engine app, the report said. It added the search engine had already been demonstrated to Chinese government officials.

The report said a final version could be introduced within six to nine months, pending approval of Chinese officials.

Also Read: Making it Easier to Discover Data in Search- Google

China’s top internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, has not commented on the reported plans.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican and former U.S. presidential candidate, posted on Twitter that Google should be given the “benefit of the doubt” but that the reported plans were still “very disturbing.” (VOA)

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Tech Giant Google Announces Brand New Web Domain For Developers

HTTPS is the secure encrypted version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between a connected browser and website

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

Google has announced a brand new top level domain (TLD) dedicated to developers to allow them to build communities, learn newer technologies and showcase their projects with the new domain name.

“Till February 28, .dev domains are available to register as part of our Early Access Programme, where you can secure your desired domains for an additional fee. Beginning on February 28, .dev domains will be available at a base annual price through your registrar of choice,” Ben Fried Vice President, Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Domains Enthusiast, Google, wrote in a blog-post on Monday.

Along with other big and small companies like GitHub, Mozilla, Netflix, Glitch and Stripe, the tech giant itself has begun using the new domain on some of its own projects like web.dev and opensource.dev.

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

To protect users against ad malwares,tracking injection by Internet service providers and open Wi-Fi threats, the new domain would be secure by default — much like Google’s recently launched .app and .page domains.

Also Read- This is How Twitter Ads Transparency Centre Will Work in India

“The new domain will be secure by default because it requires Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) to connect to all .dev websites. With every .dev website that’s launched, you help move the web to an HTTPS-everywhere future,” the post added.

HTTPS is the secure encrypted version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between a connected browser and website. (IANS)