Google acceptance of China's extreme censorship would be 'dark day for internet freedom'

‘It is impossible to see how such a move is compatible with Google’s ‘Do the right thing’ motto’ – Patrick Poon

Responding to a report in The Intercept that Google is allegedly developing a search engine app that complies with strict Chinese censorship rules in order to re-enter the search market in the country, Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International, commented:

“It will be a dark day for internet freedom if Google has acquiesced to China’s extreme censorship rules to gain market access. It is impossible to see how such a move is compatible with Google’s ‘Do the right thing’ motto, and we are calling on the company to change course.

“For the world’s biggest search engine to adopt such extreme measures would be a gross attack on freedom of information and internet freedom. In putting profits before human rights, Google would be setting a chilling precedent and handing the Chinese government a victory.

“This also raises serious questions as to what safeguards Google is putting in place to protect users’ privacy. Would Google rollover and hand over personal data should the Chinese authorities request it?”

The acceptance of China’s restrictive censorship laws would be an apparent reversal of Google’s much praised 2010 decision to defy the censors.

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