Dragonfly project will allow to monitor the activity of users and open the message is the latest sign of the disruption of workers in the technology company.
A group of Google employees released an open letter on Tuesday calling on the employer to scrap plans to build a censored search engine in China, the latest expression of labor unrest at the company, which earlier this month saw thousands of initial stages of dealing with sexual issues. Cases of misconduct.
Google’s plan to return to China, known as Project Dragonfly, which will allow the Chinese government to blacklist certain search terms and control air quality data, has brought a major internal reaction since it was first published in August. More than 1,400 Google employees signed an internal petition criticizing the lack of transparency on the project, and at least one employee resigned in protest.
But Tuesday’s speech, originally signed by nine existing employees of Google, is a bold move for employees of a company that gives them internal transparency, but considers the leak to be “Googley.” The organizers said they would keep the message fixed as more staff signed it; by midday there were more than 50 locations.
“Many of us accepted Google to work with the company’s values in mind, including its previous position on Chinese censorship and control, and understand that Google was willing to put its values above its profits,” the letter said. “After a year of disappointments … we no longer believe this is the case.”
The dragonfly project has been heavily criticized by human rights organizations, and a group warned that “by accommodating Chinese repression of the opposition, Google will actively participate” in human rights violations. The project is said to allow a Chinese company partnering with Google to access the user search history by querying their phone numbers.
“Giving the Chinese government access to user data, as required by Chinese law, will make Google complicit in persecution and human rights abuses,” Google staff wrote in their letter. “Dragonfly will also enable the censorship and misinformation directed by the government, destabilize the basic truth on which the deliberations and the popular opposition are based …
“We refuse to build techniques that help the powerful in suppressing the weak, wherever they are.”
Google did not respond immediately to the request to comment.
The recent protest comes amid a growing labor movement of technology workers, focusing not only on working conditions, but also on ethical considerations related to the work itself. In recent months, corporate employees, including Microsoft, Amazon, and Salesforce, have been talking internally about their employers’ actions to implement immigration, customs (ICE) or customs and border protection (CBP) procedures in the United States amidst a crackdown campaign By Trump Administration.
In April, anonymous Google employees protested the company’s work to help the US Department of Defense deploy artificial intelligence and automated learning to analyze unmanned aerial footage. There were mass labor protests following a New York Times report that revealed allegations of sexual harassment and abuse by a number of Google executives, and one reportedly received a $ 90 million reward package.
Thousands of Google employees have come out in the workplace around the world. Since then, Google has joined some of the workers’ demands – including the termination of forced arbitration in cases of harassment or discrimination.