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China Requiring Filters on PCs

According to the New York Times, China will soon require PC manufacturers to provide machines with pre-installed "Green Dam" software that "blocks" harmful websites.

The country already filters out certain websites as it is, especially those pertaining to the banned spiritual movement Falun Gong, anything related to the Dalai Lama, and the crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters back in 1989. The new software will take Internet filtering to the next level by weeding out pornography and what China considers "unhealthy information."

Beginning July 1, the government will have the ability to update new PCs with a list of banned websites, and will refresh the list with new additions similar to distribution methods used by Symantec and McAfee. “This is a very bad thing,” said Charles Mok, chairman of the Internet Society, an advocacy group in Hong Kong. “It’s like downloading spyware onto your computer, but the government is the spy.” Free-speech advocates are also in an uproar, afraid that the new software will filter out access to uncensored news and information provided within and outside China.

The company behind the Green Dam software said that it was designed to filter out sexually explicit images and words. Computer experts think differently, and believe that the government will gain access to personal information and have the ability to monitor Internet use through the software. Many American PC manufacturers are already on red alert, claiming that there was no consultation or advance warning from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the government branch that actually issued the directive. There's even speculation that the software is actually a government-controlled Trojan horse built for greater Internet control.

However, Zhang, Chenming of Jinhui Computer System Engineering, one of the creators behind the Green Dam software, said that the concerns were overblown. The sole purpose of Green Wall is to neutralize programs designed to override China's "Great Firewall," and nothing more. He even added that end-users can actually turn off Green Wall, or delete the program altogether. "A parent can still use the computer to go to porn," he added.

Currently the government-funded Green Dam software is available as a free download from the official website, enabling existing PC users to obtain the same service offered by new PC owners after July 1. So far, the program has been downloaded 3.2 million times, however the New York Times said that the overall number includes thousands of schools that were required to download Green Dam before the end of May. According to the official Green Dam website, Lenovo, Inspur, and Hedy signed on to install the software on 52 million new computers.

American engineers have already dissected the software, describing it as "technically flawed," and can even crash PCs. End-users leaving comments on the Green Wall website expressed their negative opinions of the sketchy software, complaining that pornography still slipped through the software's defenses, and that the program even slowed down their computers. “It seems pretty lousy so far,” read one posting. “It’s not very powerful, I can’t surf the Internet normally and it’s affecting the operation of other software.” But, like any other government cover-up, most of the comments had been deleted by Monday night.

  • mitzz
    Awesome another form of control against their people. This makes me wished I lived in china...... Not.
  • Ciuy
    LOL China is flucked !!! Wouldnt want to be in China after July 1. No more porn for China , omg wont that bankrupt the porn industry???
  • Tindytim
    Currently the government-funded Green Dam software is available as a free download from the official website

    I'm gonna get me a copy!
  • tenor77
    You know those people that are so flawed it's impossible to pick out their worst quality? I feel that way about China's government.
    History- lost
    Human rights-violated
    I should go on, but you get the point
  • They will just go back to shagging there kids and leaving the girls in dying rooms.
  • lahire149
    uhh... just install Linux?

    It's not like this software won't have a ton of loopholes for even the not so tech savy to easily bypass
  • IzzyCraft
    How is this news...
  • snowysoul
    China control is way to strict and lying all the time about what their intentions are. Any news about China is most often about them doing something to gain more control over their citizens and control the flow of information.
  • gorehound
    i love their movies, food, and the people i have met.
    to bad about their repressive goverment.i think they are in need of a new revolution as their goverment is probably worse than the one it originallly overthrew.
  • v1ze
    How isn't this news...