At the OpenNet Initiative, we’ve spent much of this week looking hard at the Chinese Green Dam software that the state is asking all PC manufacturers to ship with their hardware. The analysis highlights — and confirms — a variety of problems with the software.
As we argue in this ONI Bulletin, this announcement is a big deal and augurs poorly for the development of the Internet and its usage in China. “As a policy decision, mandating the installation of a specific software product is both unprecedented and poorly conceived. In this specific instance, the mistake is compounded by requiring the use of a substandard software product that interferes with the performance of personal computers in an unpredictable way, killing browsers and applications without warning while opening up users to numerous serious security vulnerabilities. The level of parental control over the software is poor such that this software does not well serve parents that wish to the limit exposure of their children to Internet content.”