Reblog Google's chief executive defended his company's plan to explore a search engine tailored for users in China despite concerns that would mean complying with the country's strict internet censors.
"I take a long-term view of this", he said.
He also said Google will work with the United States armed forces in the future and "greatly respects what they do to protect our country". We wanted to learn what it would look like if we were in China, so that's what we built internally.
In September, Google reportedly developed a prototype of "Dragonfly" that linked users' search history to their personal phone numbers allowing security agencies to easily track users seeking out information banned by the government. Pichai specifically mentioned the problem of fake cancer treatments in search results - an issue Baidu has struggled with in the past.
Google has previously operated a search engine in China at Google.cn but this project was shut down in 2010 after a "sophisticated cyber attack originating from China" that allegedly targeted human rights activists in the country. "China will teach us things that we don't know", Gomes said.
At 25th Wired Annual Summit, Pichai elaborated that for Google it is "Important to explore the Chinese market". Various Google employees suggested the company to drop off this research. The company had a version of its search engine running in China in 2006.
Last month, Google research scientist Jack Poulson publicly resigned from the internet giant and has slammed the project to relaunch a search product in China as "unethical" and antithetical to the company's values. The concerns that U.S. officials, Google employees and civil rights activists alike have, are that if Google did release a version that complies with the Chinese government's heavy restrictions, it will be helping it in limiting free speech.
In August, Google employees revolted over the controversial project, with more than 1,000 of them writing a letter to company management expressing their displeasure with the proposed search engine.
This has angered some employees who fear they have been unwittingly working on technology that will help China suppress free expression.
Google's hardly the only tech company that plays footsie with China's totalitarian regime.
Prior to this, information about Project Dragonfly has been limited to initial revelations first reported by The Intercept, the ensuing internal leaks, and reports of Google representatives' conversations with Congress.