Tech business organizations around the world have signed onto an extraordinary letter to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, asking for executive clemency from China's Green Dam-Youth Escort software, The Wall Street Journal reports. The letter says in part:
[Green Dam] raises serious concerns for us and seems to run counter to China's important goal of becoming a vibrant and dynamic information-based society. ... The Green Dam mandate raises significant questions of security, privacy, system reliability, the free flow of information and user choice.
Sony appears to be shipping the software and Taiwan-based Acer said it will. "We have no choice," a spokesman said.
It's unusual for so many manufacturers - from the U.S. to Europe to Japan to Taiwan - to sign onto a direct letter to the premier, but one source said Green Dam is that important.
Given the seriousness we attach to the myriad concerns involving the Green Dam mandate and with the deadline looming, we felt we needed to direct those concerns to the highest levels of the Chinese government.
Still, no large company is refusing to comply -- which likely puts them at risk from a suit by CyberSitter developer, Solid Oak, whose proprietary code clearly was stolen by Green Dam developers. The government has yet to deal with this legal issue, but if they grant immunity to the developer, Jinjui, it could leave foreign PC makers exposed to liability in both Chinese and U.S. courts.