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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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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.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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