back to article Protestors beg Google not to build censored Project Dragonfly search engine

A small handful of protesters turned up outside Google’s London HQ today to protest against the ad company’s censored search engine, developed as part of an unholy bargain to gain access to the Chinese market. Gloria Montgomery, director of the Tibet Society, told The Register outside Google’s King’s Cross offices: “We didn’t …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missed opportunity

    That alternate Google logo incorporating the Chinese flag... they should have used the wrong Chinese flag to wind-up China as well.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google are happily betting that the party will endure

    ...because if there were (shock, horror) an outbreak of lasting democracy in China, that democratic government would undoubtedly decide to hold accountable those foreign companies who knowingly collaborated - both formally through its courts, and informally as people would reject Google's offerings.

    At the moment you'd have to say there's no sign that democracy is going to arrive any time soon. But one day it might.

  3. bombastic bob Silver badge

    in some ways I can't blame Google for doing business

    Truly Google wants to "make a buck" and their CUSTOMER (China) wants something specific. Can you blame them for wanting to do business?

    Ethical questions regarding business choices aside, SOME businesses are ostracized and criticized and even SUED for sticking to THEIR "morality" (at least in the USA).

    So which is it for Google - do the 'Dragonfly' for their customer, because they're NOT putting morality in front of business? Or do NOT do the 'special' search engine, thus "discriminating" against them?

    Rock meet hard place. Damned [whether you do or do not].

    1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: in some ways I can't blame Google for doing business

      A good part of the problem is the blatant hypocrisy of the whole situation. Not many companies presumed of having an official "don't do evil" policy

      Of course they dropped that motto when they decided they wanted to maximize profit at any cost... and yes, maximizing profit is the whole ethos of any self-respecting capitalist company, but pretending they have a moral compass, and then getting in bed with the Communist Party of China is what got them in *that* hard place to begin with

      1. #define INFINITY -1

        Re: in some ways I can't blame Google for doing business

        IMO in its true meaning 'hypocrisy' cannot be applied to businesses involving more than one. It is the job of the marketing department to say whatever is within the law to attract customers. From there down, it all depends on the feedback loops, whether the business follows through. And if the marketing campaign used vague terms, you can almost guarantee there's no business sense to follow through.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: in some ways I can't blame Google for doing business

      The dictators in Beijing are NOT the customers.

      Google are just being greedy wimps; if the Pirate Bay can survive the server seizing and IP blocking, so can the world largest search engine, they could afford (and have the tech), to have a billion IP redirects running at a time, and no way could the GFWoC stop all of them; hell, I managed to get through from Beijing for half an hour before getting blocked again, without even using a VPN service.

      Anon, cos I have relatives there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: in some ways I can't blame Google for doing business

        I don't think you understand the technology behind the great firewall. For all intent and purposes, there is only one data link going out of China, and they only let through the traffic that they like. If they don't recognize the IP, it doesn't go through.

    3. N2

      Re: in some ways I can't blame Google for doing business

      Theyre just in it for the money.

      Google couldn't care less if blood is spilled as a result of their activities, but if they built an app to track white rhino for poachers, there would be outrage.

    4. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: in some ways I can't blame Google for doing business

      @bombastic bob

      Well said. In this case its a hand full of people protesting that Google chooses to follow the law in other countries.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Chinese gov is never going to give foreign companies the same access as domestic companies and I don't blame them. In all but very few instances that is how govs should do it. Western govs have lost the plot there chasing the ever increasing profit margin and that's starting fail.

    1. Mark 85

      I posit that with leadership changes here in the west (possible but not likely) that each country or blcic could demand their own version of Google. I wonder what Google would do then? The quest for profit usually leads to a company willing to do almost anything for it to keep the shareholders happy.

      1. Nicolas Charbonnier

        Many search results are already blocked on Google products in Germany, in Turkey, in Saudi Arabia, many other places, in the USA Google is taking down millions of search results by complying with that supposed copyright law that they have over there. And every day Google is pretty much filtering out billions of pages and it varies in every country, that's pretty much how a search engine is working. And Google gives back door access to users Gmail and other private data to law enforcement in the USA every single day. In China supposedly they want to block search results on the tiananmen stuff, who cares really.

        1. ds6

          That's another thing I don't get—compared to the things Google/Alphabet/et al. do in other countries including censorship of search results, are people just blind to how things really work, or seeing what they only want to see? It's no secret China is responsible for lots of bad stuff and censoring it is morally questionable, but other countries demand that of Google all the time.

          The problem is the platform. Until Google is challenged and it stops making money, it will never stop.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's not far from that already, is it? Most obviously here in the EU Google is forced to block search results under the "right to be forgotten" that are freely available elsewhere in the world. I'm not equating the Chinese and EU governments in terms of human rights, but every company has to abide by the laws of the country they're operating in - or not operate there at all.

  5. karlkarl Silver badge

    Would a valid "Googlewhack" game submission from Dragonfly still count?

    I bet the limited number of non-blacklisted results would make it really possible :)

  6. Peter Galbavy

    Because, of course, Google searches are not already censored in the "free world".

  7. Nicolas Charbonnier

    These protesters are probably paid off by Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu.

    Don't like spying? Then block Google in the USA and Europe, haven't you seen Snowden's revelations, the CIA and NSA are listening to everything you search and do online.

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