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Ryan Gallagher @rj_gallagher
, 10 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
NEW: Google executives misled staff in a meeting Thursday on the company's China censorship plans. Here's 13 questions they've been dodging & must answer. #Dragonfly…
Google CEO Sundar Pichai claimed in the meeting that Dragonfly was an “exploratory” project -- which contradicts information contained in internal Google documents & statements made by senior Google officials on the project, seen by The Intercept.
As recently as last month, Google’s search engine chief Ben Gomes told Google staff who were working on Dragonfly that they should have it ready to be “brought off the shelf and quickly deployed.”
The employees working on Dragonfly were told that the main barrier to launching it was the ongoing trade war between the US and China, which had slowed down negotiations with officials in Beijing, whose approval Google needed to launch the censored search platform.
Through the process, Pichai repeatedly traveled to China, meeting with top Communist Party officials, such as Wang Huning, one of President Xi Jinping’s top advisors. Dragonfly was *well* beyond the “exploratory” stage.
Incredibly, all of this was apparently not disclosed to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who claimed on Thursday he knew nothing about Dragonfly until we exposed it & a massive backlash ensued.
That is stunning given Brin's well-documented opposition to China censorship. It was Brin who pushed in 2010 for Google to cease operating a censored search in China. Why was he not told about Dragonfly, a project w/ massive political & strategic ramifications for Google?
Here are the questions we have asked @Google_Comms to answer. 1/3
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