U.S. Business to China: Open the Green Dam

By June 27, 2009General, Technology, Trade

From the AP, “Companies appeal to China to drop Web filter plan“:

BEIJING (AP) — Global business groups have made an unusual direct appeal to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to scrap an order for PC makers to supply controversial Internet filtering software, citing security and privacy concerns.

Just days before the deadline to comply with China’s order, the letter from 22 chambers of commerce and trade groups representing the world’s major technology suppliers adds to pressure on Beijing to halt the plan following an official protest by Washington.

The order requires manufacturers to pre-install or supply “Green Dam Youth Escort” software with PCs made for sale in China beginning Wednesday.

John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, was one of the signers of the letter. (Letter here.) The core argument:

China’s recent decision to mandate the inclusion of Green Dam Internet filtering software in all computers sold in China effective July 1, 2009, however, raises serious concerns for us and seems to run counter to China’s important goal of becoming a vibrant and dynamic information-based society. More specifically, the Green Dam mandate raises significant questions of security, privacy, system reliability, the free flow of information and user choice.

We want to underscore that we recognize and support the use of effective and responsible parental controls. Yet the breadth, scope and technology-specific nature of the mandate veers markedly from global approaches and solutions.

Human rights group also object.


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