Print 18 comment(s) - last by SSDMaster.. on Jun 29 at 9:23 AM

Companies still frustrated with Chinese order to install filtering software

As China continues to cause Internet privacy advocates to shake their heads in disbelief, access to Google has been blocked in some parts of the country.

Google has been accused of spreading pornography -- breaking strict Chinese law -- and now both the and its Chinese language counterpart have been unavailable.  Furthermore, Gmail and several other Google-based services also were disabled since Wednesday afternoon China time.

To avoid the ban in China, Microsoft's Bing search engine is reportedly filtering out some sensitive searches carried out through the search portal written in traditional Chinese.  Any IP address based in China filters out content deemed inappropriate by the Chinese government, allowing the search engine to continue operating in the country.

Foreign companies operating inside China must tread carefully, with YouTube, Wikipedia, and a handful of news web sites also facing temporary bans.

The temporary Google block comes at the same time PC manufacturers are working to install the mandatory "Green Dam Youth Escort" software on all desktop PCs and laptops sold in the country.  The filter has drawn international criticism, with US officials pleading with China to leave behind its plans to use the filter.

There has been concern not only because of major censorship issues, but possible security holes and pirated software used in the filtering software.  But since the Chinese market has so many tech consumers, manufacturers are willing to install the filter and put up with other unusual demands.

"Mandating technically flawed Green Dam software and denying manufacturers and consumers freedom to select filtering software is an unnecessary and unjustified means to achieve that objective, and poses a serious barrier to trade," according to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

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Why are supporting these Commie Bastids again?
By Pneumothorax on 6/25/2009 5:39:29 PM , Rating: 3
Oh yeah, because they pwn us. "Don't worry Mr. Dragon Loanshark, we'll comply"

RE: Why are supporting these Commie Bastids again?
By TomZ on 6/25/2009 5:44:24 PM , Rating: 3
We've found ourselves in a pretty bad situation with respect to the Chinese, that's for sure. I think if they wanted, they could destroy our currency and even our economy. Of course they would be destroying their own economy in the process. Mutually assured destruction maybe?

RE: Why are supporting these Commie Bastids again?
By rudy on 6/25/2009 6:15:35 PM , Rating: 3
If they were willing to sacrifice their own economy to do it yes, that is the state of the global economy everyone can wreck anyone else but in the process it would be suicide. If China takes down the US then whom will they sell their crap to? The US will be out and with it will crash a multitude of other countries that export to us and so China would not be able to sell to them either. The scary thing is that maybe in 10 years or so they may have an internally grown economy strong enough to leave us in the dust and do that to us. But the only reason they would want to is if they wanted to have a stronger currency so they could buy stuff from us. Since we export nothing I doubt they would have a reason to.

By Nfarce on 6/25/2009 11:24:05 PM , Rating: 3
Since we export nothing I doubt they would have a reason to.

I'd hardly consider exporting $1,840,000,000,000 in 2008 as "nothing." But, if you say so, I'm sure a those jobs involved with those exports are "nothing" as well...

By TSS on 6/26/2009 7:25:21 AM , Rating: 1
actually the chinese stimulus package of around 600 billion has gone mostly to spurring domestic demand, so not to stimulate the export sector. also theirs been reports of china investing their huge dollars reserves(so unloading them) and their becomming suspicious of US treasury bonds. don't forget that their also still keeping their yuan artificially low because of the dollar reserves they have.

i'd be willing to bet china is currently setting everything up to change it's export business to domestic demand. if they then drop the dollar and increase the yuan's value while the rest of the world's currency's are getting worth less (because of more money printed), they'd be in one hell of a position for imports.

in that case the USA would also be severly weakened as the yuan rises in value (making imports from china much more expensive), while consumption would have to decrease and with it the economy because it rely's on consumption. with a lack of cheap domestic supply, the USA's economy would drop below even great depression levels.

in the very worst case, oil becomes scarce too, which in the above example would allow china to be in a much better position to negotiate contracts (stronger yuan = more buying power) for the remaining oil, one of the few things they don't have in ample supply. should we ever see oil at ridicolous prices (250 a barrel and upwards), i'll bet the chinese would accelerate that plan.

don't think the chinese would have any imports reason behind it. i'll bet their just itching for a shot at beeing the dominant global superpower, and with finances going the way they are now (and getting worse), i'll see them trying within my lifetime.

By m1ldslide1 on 6/25/2009 5:45:02 PM , Rating: 2
Corporations like Google and MS support this garbage because there is money to be made. Remember coke and IBM doing business with the Nazis? I'm not equating China with Nazi Germany by any stretch, but to expect corporations pursue any course other than that which is most profitable is naive, no matter what the societal implications of their actions.

By Motoman on 6/26/2009 11:47:40 AM , Rating: 4
Remember coke and IBM doing business with the Nazis?

...not to mention both Catholic and protestant churches falling over themselves to buddy up to the Nazis when they were winning the war...

But anyway, back on topic, I am thoroughly disgusted with Google, or any other company, that complies with China's anti-information laws at all. Google is aiding and abetting China's inethical lets-keep-the-people-ignorant laws, and I for one find it deeply disturbing that the company that "does no evil" complies with such Chinese directives...because those directives are evil.

Why Porns not Guns
By SpaceJumper on 6/25/2009 7:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
I think, let's be fair, the Chinese government should be blocking military guns and weapons for the reason of indecent exposure.
I find, if a policeman is walking on the street and carrying a hand gun or a AK47. I would definitely say that is really an indecent exposure.
I rather see a naked woman than a policeman carrying a gun on the web page.

RE: Why Porns not Guns
By DigitalFreak on 6/25/2009 9:48:47 PM , Rating: 5
I'd rather see a naked police woman carrying a gun.

RE: Why Porns not Guns
By SSDMaster on 6/29/2009 9:23:32 AM , Rating: 2
I'd rather see a naked woman carrying a gun searching google for porn.

By zsunjian on 6/25/2009 5:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
What on earth does gmail has to do with spreading p0rn? Plus from what I've heard, there are so many sites and QQ chat groups within China dedicated to p0rn that Google is hardly the best source... With gender ratio of 1.134:1 (M:F) between 15-64 yrs old, what do they expect all the single guys to do? lol
At any rate, making sure what kids do and don't do online is up to the parents. I hardly think their post-olympics increased censoring efforts (Green Dam and so forth) has p0rn as its primary target.

RE: Gmail??
By PandaBear on 6/25/2009 6:09:45 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't. Google is one of the companies the have a weaker search engine filter/censor than the home grown search engines and Yahoo China. China is just using this to retaliate those who do not comply with its dictatorial rule.

RE: Gmail??
By Alareth on 6/25/2009 6:22:37 PM , Rating: 4
You may be able to reach it initially at but it redirects you to once you login.

In the process it becomes a casualty of the block on the primary domain.

Stone age
By Danger D on 6/25/2009 5:47:15 PM , Rating: 2
If tech companies decided instead to NOT do business with China, that country would have a really hard time competing in the global marketplace. Given China's desire to be a powerhouse economy, I think that within a year of having no access to new technology, their leaders would be forced to embrace it.

RE: Stone age
By zsunjian on 6/25/2009 5:54:27 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, but what do the companies have to gain from this? They might talk the talk for the sake of PR, but at the end of day pursuing profits is in the definition of a company. Imagine Google giving up all business within China (or any other sizable nation) and just let its competitor take over for a year; and don't forget the domestic players there. Many of them aren't the most creative companies, but they are often exceedingly good at imitation.

RE: Stone age
By Danger D on 6/26/2009 9:33:56 AM , Rating: 3
PR is often more important (from a business perspective) than product. Look at apple.

Hacker united
By PandaBear on 6/25/2009 5:39:24 PM , Rating: 5
Let's exploit the security flaw in the God Damn You Mascot software and render the Chinese filter useless, and DDOS attack the communist controlled server.

RE: Hacker united
By xsilver on 6/26/2009 7:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
maybe the chinese are just trying to hide the death of michael jackson? I mean the chinese are just about up to the 80's in culture and dress sense? He could have a posthumous career over there.

RIP michael, we loved you, too bad you loved little kids and not us.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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