Tuesday, June 09, 2009

New Chinese Software: protecting youth from objectionable online material

During my recent travels in China, it was fascinating to notice which web sites were censored (Huffington Post, and Americablog, for example) and which were not (BBC, NY Times, etc.)

Rather than embrace the internet as a source of vitality and positive change, the government of China has launched yet another crack down. From now on every computer sold in the country must install a program that will filter out violent and pornographic web sites. Critics of the development suspect it will also be used to censor political content.

As reported by the BBC, Qin Gang, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, "The purpose of this is to effectively manage harmful material for the public and prevent it from being spread," he said. "The Chinese government pushes forward the healthy development of the internet. But it lawfully manages the internet," he added.


For those who enjoy the names chosen for political initiatives in China, the name chosen for the software is memorable -- "Green Dam Youth Escort".

Sounds like a real innovation to me: an online escort service for young people.