Google’s Project Dragonfly has officially been terminated. The company’s officials have, in two separate occasions, confirmed that the controversial search engine idea is dead and buried.
Engadget reported that Google’s VP of public policy, Karan Bhatia, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the work on this project has been ‘terminated’.
The company’s spokesperson later expanded on this news, saying that the company now has ‘no plans’ to launch a search engine in China, and that the company is not working on such a project, at all.
Project Dragonfly was marred with controversy since day one. The public was first introduced to the project when a group of employees released a public letter, condemning it. In the letter, it was said that the project was kept under a veil of secrecy and that it was organised in a way that even the employees didn’t know what they were working on.
Project Dragonfly was supposed to be a search engine for the Chinese region, which would comply with strict Chinese law. That means, among other things, censorship, as Dragonfly would allow the Chinese government to omit certain websites from search engine results, and block access to various sites.
This wasn’t the only time Google’s employees voiced their disagreement with their company’s projects. Some 4,000 employees signed a petition against the company working with the Pentagon, which made Google not renew the contract.
However, we can’t know for certain if it was the public backlash that forced Google’s hand, or something entirely different.