Google Employees Protest Secret Work On Censored Search Engine For China (nytimes.com)

According to The New York Times, “Hundreds of Google employees, upset at the company’s decision to secretly build a censored version of its search engine for China, have signed a letter demanding more transparency to understand the ethical consequences of their work (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source).” In the letter, the employees wrote that the project and Google’s apparent willingness to abide by China’s censorship requirements “raise urgent moral and ethical issues.” They added, “Currently we do not have the information required to make ethically-informed decisions about our work, our projects, and our employment.” From the report: The letter is circulating on Google’s internal communication systems and is signed by about 1,000 employees, according to two people familiar with the document, who were not authorized to speak publicly. The letter also called on Google to allow employees to participate in ethical reviews of the company’s products, to appoint external representatives to ensure transparency and to publish an ethical assessment of controversial projects. The document referred to the situation as a “code yellow,” a process used in engineering to address critical problems that impact several teams.

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