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China Testing Mac Version of Green Dam Web Filter
China Testing Mac Version of Green Dam Web Filter

By Mike Kent
July 3, 2009 8:21AM

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China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology says the Green Dam mandate has only been delayed. Publisher Jinhui Computer System Engineering is reportedly testing a version of Green Dam for Apple's Mac computers, which have been exempt. Tests found Green Dam to be vulnerable to malware and ineffective, even blocking images of Garfield.

Despite the delay in China's requirement to install Green Dam Web-filtering software on all new PCs, the controversy is not dead. PC makers are including the software with new PCs even though the July 1 deadline has been postponed indefinitely.

On Thursday, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology told China Daily that the mandate has not been canceled, only delayed. News media reported that China definitely plans to require Green Dam.

In addition, Green Dam publisher Jinhui Computer System Engineering is reportedly testing a version for Apple's Mac computers, which so far have been exempt.

China says the Green Dam-Youth Escort software is meant to protect young people from pornography and violence on the Web. However, opponents say it would be used for political repression. A survey found that many Chinese would not pay for the software after a one-year free trial period.

China originally directed all PC makers to pre-install Green Dam on all PCs sold in China, with a July 1 deadline. However, the ministry delayed the deadline on June 30. Earlier, it had modified its mandate to say that the Green Dam CDs could be included with new PCs rather than pre-installed.

Multiple tests found the software vulnerable to malware, and Sony has included a disclaimer about the software with its PCs. Tests also showed Green Dam blocked images of cartoon cat Garfield and roast pork, and returned links to both soft- and hard-core pornography.

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