China is sticking to its guns and requiring PC makers to bundle the Internet filtering software Green Dam by July 1, despite concerns the software will expose users to security risks…and even allegations the software contains stolen code. Now, electronics giant Sony is apparently the first computer maker to include Green Dam in the default software included with its computers bound for China…although the company is apparently including a disclaimer warning that it is not responsible for any problems or damage users may incur from using the software.
According to the Chinese government, Green Dam Youth Escort is designed to protect users—particularly children—from adult content and other material the regime deems inappropriate or dangerous; China announced the bundling requirement at the beginning of June, and set a July 1 deadline for PC makers to include the software on their new systems. By mid-June, the regime had "clarified" its policy, saying that PC makers were required to include the Green Dam setup package as part of their default software, but users would have the option to install and use it.
China has emphasized the software’s utility in blocking pornography, but tests of the software also have found it blocks politically sensitive topics and terms. The regime’s requirement that Green Dam be included in new computers software bundles has engendered a notable public backlash, both internationally and within China. To protest the requirement, many Chinese plan to turn off their computers altogether on July 1.
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