06/10/2009, 00.00
CHINA
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Beijing imposes an internal security program on all computers

The government claims that the new state “Green Dam” program aims to safeguard young people from violence and pornography. But computer companies fear a new and more sever form of censorship.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Every computer produced or sold in China will have to install a program called “Green Dam”.  Beijing announced the measure, in vigour as of July 1st, aims to protect young people from pornography and violence.  But computer production companies fear it is a new and even more rigid form of censorship.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang, insists that it’s only aim is to stop pornography and violence and sites that spread false or alarming information.

China is famous for its strict scrutiny of the internet, with entire sites shut down and tens of thousands of people employed in a continuous surveillance. Computer companies say they are seriously concerned because it seems that the program will also be installed on computers for export markets.

A representative of the US giant Microsoft observes that will the safeguarding of children who have internet access is undeniably necessary, transparency, freedom of expression and personal security must also be guaranteed.   Which is why, he concludes, they are studying the potential of this new system of control.

Ed Black, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, agrees that “Blocking access to pornography sounds like an acceptable goal.  But the problem is that it’s all too easy to use the same technology to expand the censorship”.

 

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