NYTimes.com: China Requires Censorship Software on New PCs

NYTimes.com: China Requires Censorship Software on New PCs

China has issued a sweeping directive requiring all personal computers sold in the country to include sophisticated software that can filter out pornography and other “unhealthy information” from the Internet.

“This is a very bad thing,” said Charles Mok, chairman of the Hong Kong chapter of the Internet Society, an international advisory group on Internet standards. “It’s like downloading spyware onto your computer, but the government is the spy.”

Called Green Dam — a reference to slogans that describe a smut-free Internet as “green” — the software is designed to filter out sexually explicit images and words, according to the company that designed it. Computer experts, however, warn that once installed, the software could be directed to block all manner of content or allow the government to monitor Internet use and collect personal information.

China has been blocking and filtering information for a long time, but not like this.  The ability for the government to monitor, block, and capture personal information on an individual’s PC is frightening.  The Chinese government in the attempt to control information might unwittingly be creating a bigger issue and battle than democracy- the right to privacy.

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