How Google profits from censorship… A potent cocktail for killing free society… A Declaration of Digital Rights…
Look no further than Project Dragonfly.
It’s the codename of Google’s secret project to build a censored version of its search engine for the Chinese government.
Web users in China can’t access regular Google search. The ruling Communist Party blocks it with its so-called Great Firewall – a suite of censorship technologies that stop Chinese internet users from seeing the same internet people outside of China see.
But thanks to Dragonfly, Communist Party bosses won’t have to block Google anymore with their firewall. Google’s new search app will feed Chinese internet users only the information the Party wants it to feed them.
If you go online in China, you’ll find zero references to the words “dissident,” “protest,” “human rights,” “democracy,” or “anticommunism.”
The Party blocks these. It also blocks the websites of Western newspapers along with Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
And forget about brushing up on your Chinese history. The Chinese web has no reference to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre (when government tanks and troops opened fire on pro-democracy protesters, killing hundreds, if not thousands).
The Party also blacklists mentions of books about authoritarian regimes – including George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm.
But management’s decision to aid and abet censorship doesn’t sit right with everyone at the company.
Jack Poulson was a senior research scientist in the company’s machine learning group. He quit over the censored search app.
And his resignation letter doesn’t pull any punches. As Poulson told the higher-ups at Google…
Due to my conviction that dissent is fundamental to functioning democracies, I am forced to resign in order to avoid contributing to, or profiting from, the erosion of protection for dissidents.
I view our intent to capitulate to censorship and surveillance demands in exchange for access to the Chinese market as a forfeiture of our values and governmental negotiating position across the globe.
Besides censoring content, Google will harvest the web search data on the more than 800 million Chinese internet users.
It’s agreed to host the data on the servers of the Chinese company it’s in a joint venture with.
In China, that means full government access. All search queries on Dragonfly will be available to the same Chinese intelligence agencies that routinely target political activists and journalists.
We know from the Edward Snowden leak in 2013 that Google, Facebook, and other Big Tech companies gave the NSA “direct access” to the personal data they collected on their users.
They did this under a secret-court-approved program called PRISM.
That system has since been overhauled. But according to a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that came out earlier this year, the NSA is ramping up its collection of U.S. phone records.
In 2017, it scooped up more than 534 million records of calls and texts from U.S. cell phone providers such as AT&T and Verizon. That’s more than three times the size of its haul in 2016.
As we told you when we launched The Daily Cut, Google threatened to ban all ads from the Legacy Research publishing alliance – Bonner & Partners, Casey Research, Palm Beach Research Group, and Delta Report – if we didn’t comply with its editorial guidelines.
When we refused, the company “de-platformed” us.
As he’s been telling readers of The Bill Bonner Letter (if you’re signed-up you can catch up in full here), in the wrong hands, data mining, the internet, facial recognition, and artificial intelligence are a potent cocktail for killing free society. Dan…
We continue to hurtle pell-mell for a hellish technological, dystopian, prison surveillance state.
“Shadow banning,” “de-platforming,” and outright censorship are becoming commonplace on the internet. It’s getting worse by the day. It’s time to do something about it.
As related to digital privacy, Dan’s proposals are as follows…
A complete ban on the use of facial recognition technology by the government to prevent a permanent surveillance state from destroying liberty in America.
A right to cash, guaranteeing that it will never be abolished and that private citizens have the right to engage in win-win commerce with bearer instruments and no state supervision.
The rights to digital privacy, so you can own your data, sell it, take it with you, or keep it private.
If there’s enough interest, Dan will – with whatever resources Legacy Research puts at his disposal – ramp up a campaign to get elected officials to sign on to our goals.
He’s even proposed holding his own non-binding, online Constitutional Convention to mobilize the American public to wake up about the threat to their freedoms from a digital police state.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on Dan’s ideas. Write us at [email protected].
Got a question for Dan or me? Or maybe you just want to chat in person?
From October 17–19, you can do that at the exclusive Fairmont Southampton Hotel in Bermuda.
Dan and I will be there for the first annual Legacy Investment Summit. Bill Bonner, Doug Casey, Teeka Tiwari, Jeff Clark, and the rest of the Legacy Research team will also be there… plus a half-dozen special guest speakers.
September 19, 2018