Green Dam Filtering into Computers
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Controversial Internet filter Green Dam will be included with some PC packages sold in China, despite a decision to delay the software's launch.
"The Green Dam porn filter will be included in all PCs participating in our August promotion, which targets students and their parents," said Wu Shaodong, an Acer sales representative in Beijing.
Wu believed the free porn filter would make Acer PCs more appealing to parents who want to protect their children from harmful content on the Internet.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) delayed the July 1 launch for the Green Dam-Youth Escort filtering software, which would have been mandatory for any new PC produced or sold in China.
The software is designed to block violence and pornography but users have repeatedly raised concerns about privacy.
The software also contains security flaws and may infringe on intellectual property.
Wu didn't think the software's alleged security problems were an issue because all software contained them.
"We will definitely introduce Green Dam to buyers during sales," Wu said.
Feng Erbei, a Lenovo Thinkpad sales representative in Beijing, said: "All the latest models of Thinkpad have been delivered with Green Dam included since the beginning of the month."
Users could choose to install the software by clicking on a Green Dam desktop icon that is pre-installed on Thinkpad, according to Feng.
"We never mention the existence of the software during sales, because we don't want to turn customers away," said Feng.
A MIIT official said the ministry haven't decided on a new deadline for PC manufacturers to include software.
Without a deadline, some manufacturers have taken no action on the software.
Sales representatives of Dell and HP claimed the Green Dam porn filter hadn't been included in their PC packages and no instructions regarding the distribution of the software had been received from the manufacturers.
"It is understandable for some PC manufacturers to react slowly in implementing the directive without a deadline," said the official.
Meanwhile, Zhao Huiqin, the chairman of Zhengzhou Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co, one of Green Dam's developers, was said to have a close relationship with Wang Youjie, the ex-Party Secretary of Zhengzhou, who was sentenced to life in prison for corruption in 2007.
Wang once instructed the local finance bureau to give the Jinhui company a two-million yuan ($292,000) loan, which was crucial to the company's survival when the company faced financial trouble in 1998, China Business News reported yesterday.
The company was taken to court by the finance bureau for not paying back the loan on time in 2002.
The company still has not paid back in full the two million yuan it owes the government, although it won the 21.8-million yuan bid to develop Green Dam last year.
(China Daily July 22, 2009)