Amnesty International, the London-based organization which focuses on human rights (with some exceptions, more on that later), has started a petition calling on Google to stop working with the Chinese government to censor and spy on its citizens.
“In 2010, the largest search engine in the world made a promise not to support China’s censorship of the internet. But in August 2018 it was revealed that Google was preparing to break their promise,” Amnesty International wrote.
The organization is referring to Dragonfly, a prototype search engine developed by Google that would remove content the Chinese government disapproved of, such as websites like Facebook or Wikipedia. It would also allow the communist regime to see which citizens were searching for terms like “human rights,” “Nobel prize,” and “student protest.”
Considering that the Chinese government uses a social-credit system to rank and punish citizens, a search engine like Dragonfly could be used to further control the population.
“If Google is willing to trade human rights for profit in China, could they do the same in other countries?” Amnesty International asked.
The organization is calling on Google to “Drop the Dragonfly programme and publicly commit not to re-launch a search engine in China at the expense of human rights,” and to “Guarantee protections for whistle-blowers and other employees speaking out.”
The campaign coincides with an article published on Medium from authors who say they are Google employees and are against Dragonfly. Amnesty International tweeted out a link to the article on Tuesday.
Amnesty International can sometimes be a hit or miss when it comes to human rights abuses, but it’s good to see them support free speech in China.
The group is not always steadfast in its support of human rights, as it has shown an anti-Israel bias. In 2015, the organization released a “fundamentally flawed” report against Israel, claiming the nation may have committed “crimes against humanity” when it defended itself from Hamas terrorists — while ignoring the actions of the terrorists.
More recently, the organization joined an anti-Disney effort by celebrities who claim that princes kissing sleeping princesses (in order to save their lives with “true love’s kiss”) is akin to sexual assault. The group created a parody video showing a prince molesting a sleeping princess while spouting feminist-imagined misogynistic catch phrases.
The organization is also constantly accusing the Trump administration of human rights abuses in a way it simply didn’t do under President Barack Obama (Obama was knocked for continuing certain programs the organization believed started under President George W. Bush, which was the main reason for their complaints).
But praise where praise is deserved.