Six members of the US Senate have questioned Google in a letter, regarding its rumoured move to introduce a censored search engine in China.
The US Senators questioned the rationale behind the move and asked if Google is partnering with Tencent in order to re-enter the Chinese market.
In 2010, Google had shut shop in China after Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists had been accessed using phishing, before which the company was running a censored version of its search engine.
“These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered — combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web —have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China,” Google had said at that time.
The senators asked what had changed between that time and now which prompted Google to re-enter the Chinese market.
“It is a coup for the Chinese Government and Communist Party to force Google — the biggest search engine in the world — to comply with their onerous censorship requirements, and sets a worrying precedent for other companies seeking to do business in China without compromising their core values,” the senators said.
Furthermore the senate members asked if Google would give up a user’s search history if demanded by the Chinese government, in the letter.
The letter was signed by both Democratic and Republican senators including Marco Rubio and Cory Gardner.
Earlier, reports had revealed that Google was working on a censored search engine called project Dragonfly for China, in the wake of the antitrust fine in Europe which meant that the company wouldn’t be able to pre-install their search agent on Android phones.
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