Jeremy Hunt, the foreign minister of the United Kingdom, has lashed out at Google over its plans to develop a censored version of its search engine in China while lagging on its efforts to remove the sensitive content on child abuse.
On Thursday morning, Hunt said in a tweet: “Seems extraordinary that Google is considering censoring its content to get into China but won’t cooperate with the UK, the US and other Five Eyes countries in removing child abuse content.
“They used to be so proud of being values-driven…”
One of the spokespersons for Google denied that the company has failed to cooperate with governments, stating: “We agree with Jeremy Hunt that child sexual abuse is abhorrent and must be removed, that’s why we co-operate with governments to fight child sexual abuse online and why we offered to send a Google policy expert to the Five Eyes conference.”
He added: “Partnership is very important to fighting this problem and so we also work closely with other tech companies, the Internet Watch Foundation and NCMEC to keep child sexual abuse imagery off the web.”
Earlier this month, it was reported that Google is currently working on a censored search engine for China under the codename Project Dragonfly.
The search results on the new site will not include the links to sites that concentrate on topics that are considered troublesome by the government of China. This will include the entire websites including Wikipedia and BBC News.
A widespread backlash from the own employees of Google came after the news. Approximately 1,400 signed a letter to executives asking transparency regarding the project.
Google was known as “The Great Firewall of China.”It used to operate a censored version of its main site in China up until March of 2010.
This comes as Google continues to be under fire from Donald Trump, the President of the US, over what he claims to be a censored version of its search results that prioritise negative news stories that are from “leftwing media” sources.