Posted by: kenwbudd | August 2, 2009

China makes Internet Filtering Software Mandatory

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) mandated that everyone must install filtering software known as Green Dam Youth Escort. More of a chaperone or minder than an escort. The Filtering Bully is content-control software.

The decree ensures that, depending on your interpretation, it is provided or installed on every computer sold in China. This applies to all global computer manufacturers and suppliers supplying China with equipment.

The wide spread use of Internet Censorship is an obvious indication of the Chinese government’s determined efforts to suppress the growth and freedom of the Chinese people and to prevent the free exchange of news and views with other peoples, countries and cultures.

‘Net Users Outraged
The ensuing outrage by Chinese netizens has created a slight back peddling by MIIT on their determined stance and a slight softening of the tone of their mandate. The netizens see it as another barrier to censor and restrict their access to the global village, via the internet.

Government links to software
Whether or not the mandate or the program survives the outcry, is currently a heated subject of debate. However, it is not surprising that the companies involved in producing the software are known to have close government and military ties.

Site License
The government has already paid the equivalent of $6M for the software. This covers a site license for the entire country, a user base that is potentially 4 times the size of the US population.

US Computer Makers Reluctant
US computer manufacturers are dragging their feet on this emotive issue due to moral grounds thinly disguised as ‘ copyright concerns.’

Sony Capitulates
Japanese manufacturer Sony has reportedly already started to comply, for fear of sanctions against the company and a reduction in revenues from its largest and most aggressive neighbour.

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