Employees monitored Google’s code to see if the censored search engine is still being worked on

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Some Google employees believe they found evidence that Google’s plans to launch a censored search engine — codenamed “Dragonfly” — in China are still ongoing, according to a new report from The Intercept. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai told US regulators last year that Google had “no plans” to launch the censored search engine “right now.” But some Google employees, unsatisfied and suspicious, have found internal evidence that suggests development has continued.

Employees spotted around 500 changes to Dragonfly-related code in December. Another 400 changes were made to the code in January, indicating to the employees that the project was still ongoing. They also investigated the company budgeting plans and saw that about 100 workers were still grouped under the budget associated with Project Dragonfly.

Reached for comment, Google denied that work had continued on Dragonfly. “This speculation is wholly inaccurate. Quite simply: there’s no work happening on Dragonfly,” a Google representative told The Verge. “As we’ve said for many months, we have no plans to launch Search in China and there is no work being undertaken on such a project. Team members have moved to new projects.”

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