In the United States a computer industry lobbying group is calling on the Obama administration to intervene in China’s move to force PC makers to pre-install censoring software on all new computers.
Note the no one from this group has ever raised a murmur about Microsoft doing very much the same thing. The Chinese initiative is basically about stopping pornography. The Microsoft initiative is about stopping pirated software. Two separate issues; two similar techniques.
When the computer on which this is being written is switched on there is always and ever an attempt by Microsoft to report back to Schloss Redmond what software is being used.
The new regulation in China has all sorts of activists asking for action becacuse the measure requires computer manufacturers to include the filtering software on all new machines by July 1.
A team of researchers at the University of Michigan said tests of the software — dubbed Green Dam-Youth Escort — found that it blocked not only pornography but also some political content and contained programming errors that allow malicious Web sites to steal private data, send spam or turn the computer into a host to launch other attacks.
The Global Network Initiative, a group that includes Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and academic and human rights organizations, endorsed a code of ethics last year that commits companies to ‘respect, protect and advance user rights to freedom of expression and privacy’. The idea of Microsoft signing a code of ethics would be laughable if it were not so tragic.
Mercury News reports that some observers believe that the global outcry, including lawsuits filed by Chinese, and apparent buggy nature of Green Dam, could cause the government to back down.