A US software firm claims that China’s Green Dam Youth Escort censorship software has liberally lifted code from its own cyber-filtering product.
Solid Oak Software of Santa Barbara claims that the Green Dam package — which Beijing has declared must be delivered with all PCs shipped in the People’s Republic as part of its great battle against pornography — incorporates code from its own Cybersitter program.
Solid Oak is seeking an injunction against the Chinese developer of Green Dam, Jinhui Computer System Engineering.
Solid Oak president Brian Milburn told Reuters he had been tipped off via an anonymous email. ‘We found actual proprietary code areas within the Green Dam program itself which are incredibly suspicious because they use our proprietary encryption methods. There’s a lot more to it than just a list of bad words.’
Jinhui boss Bryan Zhang told a local paper: ‘That’s impossible.’
The Register reports that the code spat is the latest controversy to engulf Green Dam.
But note China Daily reported that according to official the authorities are only requiring PC makers to include the porn-filtering software, the Green Dam-Youth Escort program, in their products and not making it mandatory for consumers to use the filter.
An official of the department of software service under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, who did not want to be named, said, ‘The PC makers only need to save the setup files of the program on the hard drives of the computers, or provide CD-ROMs containing the program with their PC packages.’
The official said PC users have the ‘final say’ over installing the filter and recent reports of the government compelling them to use the software was ‘a misunderstanding’.
‘The government only provides the Green Dam-Youth Escort software for free.’