The Google logo in Beijing. Photo: Visual China Group/Getty Images

Google's upper management is forcing employees to delete a confidential memo detailing a censored search engine the company is planning to launch in China, reports The Intercept.

Why it matters: Google employees have had internal protests over the search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, given the engine would enable the company to censor and track Chinese citizens.

The details: The search engine requires users to log in to use its search features and tracks user's locations. It shares user's history with a Chinese partner. All searches would be connected to a personal phone number and user movements, along with the IP address of the device they used, would be recorded.

Driving the news: The memo was released earlier this month, but Google personnel is emailing employees who they believe have saved copies of the memo with an order to immediately delete it.

  • The emails are being tracked with "pixel trackers" notifying human resources managers when the messages have been read.

Go deeper

3 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

America's coronavirus outbreak is slowing down after a summer of explosive growth.

By the numbers: The U.S. is averaging roughly 52,000 new cases per day — still a lot of cases, but about 10.5% fewer than it was averaging last week.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand confirmed Thursday there are now 13 local cases linked to the four who tested positive for COVID-19, ending 102 days with no community spread. Auckland locked down Wednesday for 72 hours and the rest of NZ is under lesser restrictions.

By the numbers: Over 749,400 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and over 20.6 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. More than 12.8 million have recovered from the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,624,316 — Total deaths: 749,421— Total recoveries: 12,831,800Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,197,147 — Total deaths: 166,027 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: U.S. records deadliest coronavirus day of the summer — America's two-sided COVID-19 response
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.