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Google’s Chinese Search Engine Links Searches to Phone Numbers for Government Use

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Google China, a subsidiary of the planet’s most powerful tech company, has created a search engine that links users’ searches to their phone numbers at the behest of the communist regime, according to a new report.

“The search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, was designed for Android devices, and would remove content deemed sensitive by China’s ruling Communist Party regime, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest,” the report said.

Certain terms have been blacklisted by the Chinese government, including “Human Rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize,”  according to the report.

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“Sources familiar with the project said that prototypes of the search engine linked the search app on a user’s Android smartphone with their phone number,” the report said. “This means individual people’s searches could be easily tracked – and any user seeking out information banned by the government could potentially be at risk of interrogation or detention if security agencies were to obtain the search records from Google.” 

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This type of tracking is critical to the oppressive regime that has already begun implementing a “social credit score” system, used by the government to keep track of whether the citizenry is behaving according to accepted standard. A person’s score reportedly increases or decreases based on hundreds of factors. For example, bad driving or sharing “fake news” can decrease a person’s score. The system will be fully implemented by 2020.

Not all of Google’s employees are happy with the tech giant aiding and abetting tyranny.

Jack Poulson, a former Google senior research scientist, was one of five senior Google employees  to quit in protest of Dragonfly.

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,” Poulson reportedly said in his resignation letter.

In August, 14 human rights groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders, reportedly penned an open letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai saying that its censored search engine represented “an alarming capitulation by Google on human rights” and has could result in the company “directly contributing to, or [becoming] complicit in, human rights violations.”

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Pope Francis Prays For Coronavirus Relief in Unprecedented Empty Vatican Audience

The Pope appeared alone.

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Pope Francis prayed that God would comfort Italy and the world in the midst of the raging Chinese coronavirus epidemic, appearing in an unprecedented Vatican audience in Saint Peter’s Square. Papal events at the Vatican are almost always filled with pilgrims and the faithful, but the ceremony overseen by the Pope was entirely empty on account of the strict quarantine imposed on Italy as the nation reels from an unmatched death count from the disease.

Imagery of the event revealed the striking emptiness of the Vatican square, the overcast and rainy weather adding to the solemn nature of the papal event.

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May God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace,”  said the Pope at the event. “Lord, bless the world. Give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts.”

The Pope encouraged prayer from the faithful for those directly involved in the response to the historic health epidemic- healthcare workers, doctors, grocery employees, police and volunteers.

The Pope chose to deliver the traditional ‘Urbi et Orbi’ address at the event, a Vatican tradition that is usually reserved for Christmas and Easter. The prayer implied the likely cancellation of Vatican Easter proceedings, with the devastation caused by the coronavirus in Italy likely precluding any major gatherings within the coming months, at least. Reports indicate that the Pope will celebrate traditional Good Friday and Easter Sunday masses, but alone, in a manner similar to Friday’s papal appearance.

Catholic Sunday Masses have been entirely cancelled in Italy, a nearly entirely unprecedented development that speaks to the gravity of the situation in the disease-stricken country. The nation had its worst day in terms of casualties on Friday, with deaths rising to 9,134, with a total national count of almost 87,000.

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