Green light for Green Dam, despite US complaints

Robert Clark
23 Jun 2009

The Chinese government has vowed to go ahead with its Green Dam web filtering system, despite complaints from the US government and outrage online.

The MIIT has said it will go ahead with the filtering program from July 1, when all PCs shipped in China will be required to contain the Green Dam-Youth Escort software.

The US Embassy has begun urgent talks with the Chinese officials over the software because of its potential impact on trade and on internet freedom in China.

US representatives complained that the requirement was a burden for computer-makers and would set a dangerous precedent, WSJ Online reported.

The MIIT unveiled its plan for the filtering software just two weeks ago, saying it was to protect youth from online pornography and violence. Since then critics have pointed out that the software contains dangerous flaws that could open up PCs to virus and phishing attacks, and that it can also be used to block sensitive political topics.

Solid Oak, a US software filtering firm, has taken an injunctionagainst US PC-makers, claiming that Green Dam contains some of its own code.

In the face of the criticism, the MIIT has said that users will be free to uninstall or turn off Green Dam, but insists it will be compulsory for PCs and laptops to be sold with the software installed.

Outspoken artist Ai Weiwei, who co-designed the "Bird's Nest" Olympic stadium, has called for Chinese internet users to go offline on July 1 as a protest, reported.

"Stop any online activities, including working, reading, chatting, blogging, gaming and mailing," said Ai, in a Twitter message. "Don't explain your behavior."

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