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.

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Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.