Google is reportedly developing a prototype system that will link Chinese service users' searches to their personal phone numbers.
Yes, it is the new search service that Google is preparing to comply with China's censorship requirements.
The Intercept he says that Dragonfly an Android app is a secret program revealed after a complaint last month. The app could link to a user's phone number, making it very easy to track individual searches of users of the service.
The location of Dragonfly, in addition to searching for the terms "human rights", "student protest" and "Nobel Prize" from a hardcoded blacklist, may also include data processed by the Chinese government. So users could read completely different results for Chinese activist and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo.
Sources also told Intercept that "hardcoded" results apply to almost everything. This will make it possible to replace the weather and the effects of air pollution with processed data from China.
Google has not confirmed the existence of Dragonfly, although it has said that it is conducting "exploratory" work for a search service in China.
The above references have cause reactions inside and outside the company. About 1.400 Google employees have signed a letter requiring more information about the project. The Intercept he says that Google's senior researcher, Jack Poulson, has resigned for the project, indicating that there are a total of five workers left behind by Dragonfly.
Google left mainland China in 2010 when it discovered a phishing attack targeting human rights activists. The Chinese government has restricted the rights of internet users since 2010 and at the same time is extending a high-tech social control regime that includes "social loyalty" results and a sophisticated surveillance device to monitor Muslims in Xinjiang.
Let's say that even without linking a phone number with censored terms, searches on Dragonfly will not be safe.
Poulson voiced concern that user data will simply be hosted in China, which means that government agencies will be able to access them. However, the feature mentioned adds another level of control and suggests Google's willingness to make surveillance much easier.