Vice President Mike Pence, during a speech on Thursday, told Google the company’s work building the search engine Dragofly for China is a bad idea.
The Veep’s speech ticked off a litany of grievances the White House has against China and called on American companies to rethink how they do business with the country.
“…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 new app will reportedly allow Beijing to impose its censorship laws against the Chinese people, something Pence called, “abetting Chinese oppression” during the speech.
The project isn’t just drawing heat from the Trump administration, last month Buzzfeed published a list of seven employees who quit Google over a lack of transparency around projects like this largely secretive Dragonfly search engine for China.
Dragonfly was made public just last month when The Intercept published secret internal documents marked “Google confidential” confirming the existence of the project. An anonymous source who said they had “moral and ethical” concerns about Google’s work to enable prolific Chinese censorship, leaked the documents, adding:
“I’m against large companies and governments collaborating in the oppression of their people, and feel like transparency around what’s being done is in the public interest,” the source said. “What is done in China will become a template for many other nations.”
It will be interesting to see how much, if any, effect the Vice President’s words will have other the tech juggernaut and Dragonfly. Smart money is on “very little.”