An 85-page briefing entitled “The Good Censor”, exclusively leaked to Breitbart News from within Google reveals that government requests for Google to censor content have nearly tripled since 2016, although it does not say that Google shouldn’t cooperate.
The briefing was the product of extensive research on the part of Google. This included expert interviews with MIT Tech Review editor-in-chief Jason Pontin, Atlantic staff writer and tech critic Franklin Foer, and academic Kalev Leetaru. 35 cultural observers and 7 cultural leaders from seven countries on five continents were consulted to produce it. It can be read in full here.
Pages 66-73 of the briefing admits that tech platforms including Google, Facebook and Twitter underwent a “shift towards censorship” over the past few years.
Responding to the leak, an official Google source said the document should be considered internal research, and not an official company position.
Page 43 of the document includes data from within the Silicon Valley giant on government censorship requests.
The data shows a more than threefold increase in requests since 2016, although it does not identify which governments made the requests.
The data shows that YouTube is the main target – just over 50 percent of censorship requests relate to Google’s video-hosting subsidiary company, compared to 19.8 percent for Google search.
The briefing concludes that Google will have to continue its move towards censorship if it wishes to appease national governments and continue its global expansion. It also cites appeasing advertisers as a justification for censorship.
This part of the briefing seems to now be reflected in company policy. Google’s controversial development of a censored search engine, aimed at gaining entry to the Chinese market by appeasing its authoritarian communist government, is a clear example of Google complying with a foreign censorship regime in order to expand globally.
The search engine, codenamed “Dragonfly,” will contain a list of blacklisted search terms, and will link searches to Chinese users’ personal phone numbers. Vice President Mike Pence has urged Google to discontinue Dragonfly’s development.
Read The Good Censor in full:
The Good Censor – GOOGLE LEAK by on Scribd
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter, Gab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to email@example.com.