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Google should end work on Dragonfly search engine for China, says Pence

US Vice President Mike Pence called for Google stop the development of a secretive search project.

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US Vice President Mike Pence doesn't want Google to build a censored search engine for China.

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US Vice President Mike Pence is calling on Google to end its reported efforts to build a censored search engine for China.

Pence spoke Thursday at the Republican National Lawyers Association, saying "Google should immediately end development of the 'Dragonfly' app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers."

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for further comment.

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So far, Google hasn't acknowledged much about Dragonfly, which is reportedly a censored search engine that could give the government the ability to target political activists and journalists. The Intercept reported in September that a Dragonfly prototype would link searches to users' phone numbers. 

Google employees have even resigned over the matter, according to the Intercept and BuzzFeed News. 

Google on Thursday reiterated that its work on a search product for China "has been exploratory."

"We've been investing for many years to help Chinese users, from developing Android, through mobile apps such as Google Translate and Files Go, and our developer tools," said a Google representative in an emailed statement. "But our work on search has been exploratory, and we are not close to launching a search product in China." 

Update, 11:48 a.m. PT: Adds statement from Google. 

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