Sep 22, 2018

Google hushing employees on Chinese search engine

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.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.