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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaking at the Google I/O 2018 Conference. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

About 1,000 Google employees have signed a letter asking for more transparency from Google about the expected rollout of Dragonfly, a censored search engine designed for the Chinese market, per The New York Times.

Why it matters: Google withdrew from China eight years ago in protest of government hacking. Employees now want to know if the company’s willingness to acquiesce to Chinese demands to limit access to information online could violate Google's famous unofficial motto: "Don't Be Evil."

  • An excerpt from the letter: "Currently we do not have the information required to make ethically-informed decisions about our work, our projects, and our employment."
  • A Google employee told BuzzFeed News: "Google’s mission statement literally says, 'Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.' Censorship directly contradicts making information accessible. ... It’s like Google capitulating to an oppressive organization. … First it was the military industrial complex, now it’s China."
  • Worth noting: Even with the work on the revamped search engine, the Chinese government hasn’t approved Google’s return to the country — yet.

The other side: Some Google employees think a return to China is worthwhile, arguing it could bring better — even if limited — access to information to the world's largest base of internet users, especially since the company's exit years ago failed to spur the Chinese government to take any action.

Go deeper: How U.S. tech gets entangled in China's surveillance state.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

6 hours ago - Health

WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron leads to more severe disease

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency's statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.

11 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.