Another day, another tech executive being grilled in front of Congress. On the menu today: Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Pichai had a lot of questions to answer at a hearing in front of a stern-faced House Judiciary Committee. He was asked to to attend the hearing to discuss topics ranging from Google’s data collection policies to why Donald Trump’s face shows up when you google the word “idiot.”
But the topic that kept coming up throughout the hearing was Google’s Dragonfly — a secretive mission to develop a censored search engine in China, first uncovered by The Intercept back in August.
Dragonfly allegedly is — or was — a modified search engine that blacklists controversial search terms, tracks the user’s IP address, and shares sensitive data with Chinese authorities.
But in today’s hearing, Pichai denied that Google had any plans to launch any search product in China — at least any time soon. He didn’t even mention China at all in his opening remarks, as Recode pointed out.
“Right now we have no plans to launch in China,” said Pichai at the hearing.
But It’s Real
Pichai didn’t deny Dragonfly’s existence, though. According to Pichai, Google had over 100 people working on it at one point, and the project had been “underway for a while.”
But will Google’s Dragonfly ever launch in China? That’s becoming increasingly unlikely.
READ MORE: Google CEO Says No Plan to ‘Launch’ Censored Search Engine in China [Motherboard]