The Chinese government has been drawing a lot fire these last few days after it was revealed that they would be requiring that computers manufactured or imported in China have “Green Dam and Youth Escort”—an internet filtering software—preinstalled.
As we mentioned earlier, while many people found this yet another example of government intrusion into the private habits of citizens, while others didn’t bother getting their knickers up in a twist. That seems to be the attitude that the government and the developers behind the software want us have. The MIIT emphasize that this software would in no way be used to keep tabs on users and furthermore that the software could be uninstalled. That said, they are still going on with the plan. Dell and Lenovo have already received their orders.
There’s also the consumer rights perspective. Should I, the consumer, have this software forced down my throat by companies that seem to be engaged in monopolistic practices? It’s all very Microsoul/IE like behavior, they say. You want to have some protection for your kids so they don’t go around downloading interracial midget smut? No prob, but there are plenty of products out there on the market that can do that. Heck, Windoze has some of that functionality built in.
Also, what happens when your free first year of that subscription ends? Then you pay, incurring more costs for consumers. Good for the software companies, we suppose.
Also on Shanghaiist:
Great Firewall in the Real World