Google employees have promised $200,000 to striking workers which include engineers who have decided to go against the company’s work for China on a censored search engine. A well-known engineer began the fund following reports that suggested avoidance of standard internal checks. News said that development of project Dragonfly was happening with no oversight of security and privacy teams. The search giant said that the project had been subjected to checks, more of which would be done later.
Intercept reported that senior Google employees have worries regarding Dragonfly’s development. The news site claims that the firm has chosen to ignore human rights issues brought to light during early meetings and that development wasn’t undergoing standard checks. Although not much has been revealed about Dragonfly, it is a restricted search engine in all probability which has been created with the Chinese government’s co-operation. China makes use of several technical measures to censor and restrict online content that is available to its citizens.
With the release of this article, Liz Fong-Jones who is a senior Google engineer suggested the formation of a fund which will support staff members going on strike over project Dragonfly. She said that she’d match funds worth $100,000 which was met by other company staff within hours. The funding drive was called for soon after numerous workers signed a letter telling Google to drop its Dragonfly project. Early November saw thousands of staff members walk out in protest at Google’s way of handling reports of inappropriate behavior including sexual harassment by senior managers.
Google defended itself against the Intercept story by saying that Dragonfly is simply an exploratory project and nothing has been decided about if it will be launched or not. The firm added that development of Dragonfly had undergone consultancy of security and privacy engineers. This was confirmed by the privacy and security director of Google, Heather Adkins.