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Google’s prototype Chinese search engine reportedly links searches to phone numbers

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Google is reportedly building a prototype system that would tie Chinese users’ Google searches to their personal phone numbers, as part of a new search service that would comply with the Chinese government’s censorship requirements. The Intercept writes that the “Dragonfly” Android app, a secret project revealed by a whistleblower last month, could be linked to a user’s phone number — making it simple to track individual users’ searches.

This tracking would be in addition to Dragonfly’s blacklisting of terms like “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize,” which might normally pull up news about Chinese activist and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo. Sources have also told The Intercept that it’s “essentially hardcoded” to replace…

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