Google Censorship Plan Is “Not Right” and “Stupid,” Says Former Google Head of Free Expression

Ruan Gallagher:

GOOGLE’S FORMER HEAD of free expression issues in Asia has slammed the internet’s giant’s plan to launch a censored search engine in China, calling it a “stupid move” that would violate widely–held human rights principles.

As The Intercept first reported last week, Google has been quietly developing a search platform for China that would remove content that China’s authoritarian government views as sensitive, such as information about political opponents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest. It would “blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown” at all when people enter certain words or phrases, according to internal Google documents.

Lokman Tsui, Google’s head of free expression for Asia and the Pacific between 2011 and 2014, read the leaked censorship plans and said he was disturbed by the details. “This is just a really bad idea, a stupid, stupid move,” he told The Intercept in an interview. “I feel compelled to speak out and say that this is not right.”