US to China: Green Dam breaches WTO rules

Robert Clark
25 Jun 2009

Green Dam web filtering plan could be in breach of World Trade Organization rules and should be dropped, two top US officials have told China.

The new rule, requiring all PCs in China to ship with the filtering software, is to start on July 1.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke have written to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Commerce, warning that the new rules raised "fundamental questions" about WTO rules.

"China is putting companies in an untenable position by requiring them, with virtually no public notice, to pre-install software that appears to have broad-based censorship implications and network security issues," Locke said.

Japanese officials also met with the MIIT on Wednesday to raise concerns about Green Dam, WSJ Onlinereported.

The MIIT announced the web filtering plan just two weeks ago, ordering all PCs to ship with the locally-developed software, Green Dam-Youth Escort. Green Dam has since been attacked for blocking political content, containing dangerous backdoors and allegedly using code from a Californian software firm.

Mainland media reported yesterday that Jinhui Computer, the Henan-based developer of Green Dam, said its servers had been attacked and it had received more than 1,000 phone calls from angry net users. The general manager, Bryan Zhang , said he had a received a death threat.

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