Google has shut down the data collection program in China and struck a major blow to the controversial Dragonfly project, according to news reports.
According to the report, Google is still finding the options for Chinese web searches in an effort to release the search engine that will work in according to the country’s censorship regime, although an official rollout of the search engine seems to have been indefinitely postponed.
But in the face of widespread opposition from inside the company, Google executives have stopped one of the project’s most central data sources, making the ongoing work far more difficult.
This move came as a result after hundreds of Google employees raised internal complaints that this project was kept a secret from them.
The report also stated that the Google employees, working on the Dragonfly project, “had been using a Beijing-based website to help develop blacklists for the censored search engine”.
There is a Chinese-language website with the name of www.265.com is which was bought by Google in 2008 from a billionaire Chinese entrepreneur.
The engineers who were working on the DragonFly project had obtained large datasets showing queries that Chinese people were entering into the 265.com search engine.
According to the new report, that website was closed down shortly, and the remaining Dragonfly team is facing a lot of problem in going ahead with the project without the main data source.
Google had released a search engine back in 2006 in China but closed it in 2010, after the Chinese government efforts to limit free speech and block websites.