A bipartisan group of lawmakers is demanding answers from Google after multiple media reports detailed the internet giant’s plans to develop a censored search engine allowing it to break into the Chinese market.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) led the group of 16 House members in a letter sent to Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday.
“Google should not be helping China crack down on free speech and political dissent,” Cicilline wrote in a tweet.
Among the lawmakers that signed on to the letter were Reps. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).
NEW: Google should not be helping China crack down on free speech and political dissent. I just sent this letter with some of my Republican and Democratic colleagues raising our serious concerns and questions about what they’re doing. pic.twitter.com/fZ0wlabzS7
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) September 13, 2018
Google operated in China until 2010 when it pulled out over concerns about free expression in the Communist nation.
Last month, The Intercept reported that Google had launched a project to develop a censored search service in order to comply with Chinese speech restrictions after a meeting between Pichai and Communist Party officials.
The project has reportedly prompted a handful of Google employees, including research scientist Jack Poulson, to resign.
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