10.13.18. Dragonfly: The Great Firewall of China


On this edition of Middle Theory, we look at Google’s decision to bring its search engine services to China with its “Dragonfly” project, and the broader history of censorship in the East. 

Micah is fresh back from the Southeast this week, where he spent several days moving from location to location while trying to outrun Hurricane Michael. Upon returning, we begin our survey of news and events by looking at backlash from anarchists in New York after a Republican club scheduled an appearance by Gavin McInnes, a cofounder of VICE who has emerged as a controversial figure after espousing conservative views.

However, the big story we look at this week is the decision by Google to bring its search engine services to China, in an operation the country is calling “Dragonfly.” Google has managed to arouse controversy with the decision, after stating that it agrees to comply with the country’s regulations pertaining to censorship of certain terms. Among these are “Nobel Prize” and “student protest,” a  pair of terms that are intimately linked with the history of authoritarianism and censorship in communist China. We examine the history of this association, as well as what it means for the future of the country and Google’s operations there.

A special thank you to those who donated to the podcast this week:

  • Rune Erickson
  • Erica Keijzer
  • Peter Yarnold
  • Mark Stephan
  • Cathy Quast

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