China throttles Google, U.S. ratchets up trade war over Green Dam

China throttles Google, U.S. ratchets up trade war over Green Dam

Summary: With less than a week until July 1 - the deadline for PC makers to start intalling the spyware called Green Dam Youth Escort - China appears to be cutting off access to Google after a bitter campaign accusing the American company of spreading porn. Meanwhile, U.

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With less than a week until July 1 - the deadline for PC makers to start intalling the spyware called Green Dam Youth Escort - China appears to be cutting off access to Google after a bitter campaign accusing the American company of spreading porn. Meanwhile, U.S. officials have escalated opposition to Green Dam to a substantial trade issue. BBC reports that Gmail and parts of Google's search service were unavailable from Wednesday night until Thursday. Google says it's investigating the outage. Chinese officials ramped up the campaign against Google, which many see as part of trade war to boost Chinese search engine Baidu over Google.
"We have found that Google has spread a lot of pornographic content, which is a serious violation of Chinese laws and regulations," Mr Qin told reporters on Thursday.

Watching all this with interest is Microsoft. Bing is proactively filtering searches in simplified Chinese, blocking out references to Tiananmen Square and Falun Gong, IDG reports.

Meanwhile, U.S. diplomats issued two scathing comments about Green Dam. Referring to reports that Green Dam has serious security flaws, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said:

Mandating technically flawed Green Dam software and denying manufacturers and consumers freedom to select filtering software is an unnecessary and unjustified means to achieve that objective, and poses a serious barrier to trade.
The U.S. says Green Dam violates World Trade Organization free trade rules. The US recently complained to the WTO about China's raw material exports. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke:
China is putting companies in an untenable position by requiring them, with virtually no public notice, to pre-install software that appears to have broad-based censorship implications and network security issues.

Topics: Google, Censorship, Microsoft, Outage, China

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17 comments
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  • M$ and the Chinese gov are working against Google

    When they can't compete they sue or create laws to stiffle inovation.
    Linux Geek
    • Once again...you show a complete lack of ANY intelligence.

      Green Dam is software written by the Chinese, that is to be installed on ALL computers sold in China.

      And it was probably ripped off from Cybersitter & others(http://government.zdnet.com/?p=4961).

      IT IS OPERATING SYSTEM NEUTRAL idiot!

      How can one person (that would be Y-O-U I am referring to here Sparky) continually post complete lies in the crap you post here?
      IT_Guy_z
      • Actually, it is a Windows installer (*.EXE).

        You should do more research, this only works on Windows. The downloads name is LH-setup3.17.exe, thus a Windows executable. They may have a solution for Mac (if it is even available in Chine) or Linux (unlikely unless included in Red Flag Linux) but what is being offered is Windows software.
        B.O.F.H.
        • Maybe the Linux is Illegal in China?

          Unless it runs WINE so it can have the Green Door / Cybersitter software.

          Cybersitter may get a bad rep (by osmosis) on this yet.
          Too Old For IT
    • Gawd you really are slow.

      Not even worth it...
      No_Ax_to_Grind
  • Is Green Dam a block on trade too?

    I'm starting to wonder if Green Dam is not so much a block on porn (and whatever else the Chinese government decides is "offensive") but also a method to restrain trade as the US and the US manufacturers decide to not load the code. That could shift profits from HP and Dell to Chinese manufacturers. I think there is more than one rat in this sewer.
    ca1ic0cat
  • RE: China throttles Google, U.S. ratchets up trade war over Green Dam

    The Chinese, like the Saudis, Iranians, and other anti-democrats, want the tech tools created by a democratic west (nuclear weapons, info tech, etc.) but don't want the values associated with our society (freedom of speech, open debate, rule of law etc.). The almost religious belief (amongst anti-military liberals, and business people) that trade will result in more peaceful and tolerant ties is incorrect. Sometimes it may, and sometimes it just lets a repressive, agressive regime become more repressive and agressive.
    dlatner
  • RE: China throttles Google, U.S. ratchets up trade war over Green Dam

    why are some countries hyped up about pornography - it helps a lot of people relieve frustrations and has been around for as long as people have had the ability to record things on something - before long we will have fig leaves on the great art works of the world!
    cymru999
    • If you think...

      this is really about pornography, you are very naive. It's all about limiting access to information that is considered dangerous to the regime.

      A cheap solution that doesn't work is neither.
      Say What?
      say_what
      • You hit the nail on the head

        This is not about pornography, this is about limiting access to information that might bring down the Chinese communist government. Really, I don't know why that hasn't happened already.
        Lerianis2
        • Historically

          ...governing China has been all about control of
          the population. If you take it back to even the
          "Warring States" period, governing the
          country/people of China has been about controlling
          the people. Too much of a mob mentality,
          evidently. No better way to control the people
          then by choosing what information they hear.

          D
          dwcfastrice
    • Now that is an ignorant question...

      Uh, 999,
      Do you think that Michelangelo carved the statue of David with a fig leaf covering the male genitals? I hope not.
      It was Pope Pius IX in 1857 who decided that the accurate representation of the male form incited lust in the Vatican. So with hammer and chisel in hand, Pope Pius hacked of the genitalia of every male statue in the Vatican. The damage to the statues were covered with plaster fig leaves.
      While I understand and agree with you on a personal level, I find that your glibness is rather insulting. I can tell just from what you said here that you know nothing of other religions much less the morals of other countries. The mere fact that you stated such a question in such a manner, screams that you don't even know what Bible says about such things much less the Koran, the Cabala or even the teachings of Buda. They all have something to say about porn and how destructive it is, not just to the individual but to everyone. That means everyone, everywhere.
      Learn a little religious\art history before you make another such statement.
      As for why pornography causes such a fervor in so many countries is all based in the religious beliefs of the early governments that established those countries. My guess, (and that's really all we have since we can't call the Chinese government and ask) is that these early leaders figured out that most people couldn't handle a freedom like pornography on a day-to-day basis and that it would ultimately erode the foundation of the country's morals on which it was founded. Most modern countries have figured out that once the "newness" of such a freedom wore off, that life would return to a normal pace. China hasn't made that realization yet and now with the introduction of "The Internet", they are rapidly losing their grip over their people. Internet in China is delivered at 100Mb up and down to anyone that can afford the $10\mo for the service. We're still screwing around with 36Mb\down and 6-8Mb up, because our country believes in squeezing every last red cent it can out of the customers until they have no choice but to raise the bar a little higher and upgrade the network, AGAIN, at our cost! China did it right, right from the git-go! Sure, they have the fastest internet in the world but it's so censored by the government that little if anything from US or any other of the more sexually open countries makes it past the Chinese governmental watch-dogs. Hence China's need for something like Green Dam. Don't get me wrong here, I don't agree with what China is doing or how they are going about doing it. This is what happens when 5500 years of religion based tradition meets 15 years of no-holds-barred Internet. And, jsut so we're clear here, it's not ALL about porn. It's also about the Western Lifestyle, Western Beliefs and the freedom to choose between the two.
      G.D. is just another way for them to track where information (& porn) is coming from. Once tracked, IP addresses can be blocked, packets redirected, or sent down a "poisoned path" that will never make it back to the requester. Or, worse yet, G.D. isn't just spyware, it could be a packet sniffer installed on every computer coming into China. So if a citizen attempts to access any kind of porn, the government will be alerted and that user will be promptly arrested and punished for breaking the law. It IS their laws they are trying to protect, their way of life. What's worse yet, is that the whole system can be set up to deliver the G.D. package to any computer in their network. A simple 3 line Perl script would run every time someone logs in, to check to see if G.D. was already installed. If it finds that the computer doesn't have the software installed, it's forced down to the computer as a distribution package. See, they set up the entire country as an Enterprise Network and every computer within that network "belongs" to the company. So the Chinese government can install or remove or anything or shadow anyone they want on any computer within their borders. I know because I love to set up my networks with this capability. It's so very, very simple it's scary to think about. Before they ever see a logon screen come up, their system was scanned and forced fed new software and the end-user never had a chance to stop it. Just as is the thought to the Chinese government of a country full of porn addicted workers that suddenly stop showing up for work because the workers would rather be browsing porn than working. In the end, the Chinese government fears the slowdown in work production and a drop in their GNP production. China would love to say it's all USA's fault for letting Google be (for lack of a better term) a porn distributor since our search engines don't "dis-allow" certain words or phrases to not be searched. The Chinese government has gotten themselves into a Micro-Management situation. They started with the Laws, then had to enforce those laws, and now they are trying to seal of any possible point of entry for those search terms to snake their way past Chinese securities and make examples of those that find their way around the system.
      Hey China Leaders, GROW UP! You're people aren't stupid but your government is, for thinking they can control a persons needs and urges. Your people are smarter than you and smarter than you think. Why don't you try treating them as the responsible adults they are instead of treating them like uneducated children. We did and we're the most powerful country in the world! Did you ever stop and think why that's so? Maybe it's time you do. Only the narrow-minded would try to put fig leaves on all the worlds works of art. What's next, are you ban technology and close your borders? How much more can your rat-hole of a country take before the Great Wall is being torn down, just like in Russia. You can't hold back the sea, and the water is getting higher. If you don't open pipelines soon, you're going to lose control of your people and they WILL rise up against you. It's been done before and over less. How many times can a government be overthrown? Keep tightening your grip on your people and you're going to find out for yourselves.
      Dr.Who
      • ditto!

        Well, after reading your diatribe, I'm not so sure you should be lashing out on someone with maybe not as vast of a knowledge as you claim to possess.

        Green Dam Youth Escort's hacked keyword library was discovered to contain "only 2,700 keywords relating to pornography, and over 6,500 politically sensitive keywords"
        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Dam_Youth_Escort) making it into a very effective censorship tool. Hmm, 2700 porn keywords vs. 6500 politically sensitive keywords... no need for an explanation, is there?

        Oh, and the wall came down in Germany, not in Russia, moron.
        jedikitty@...
  • Blame it on yourself, China Government.

    Ignorance is bliss!

    Just blame it on yourself for pornography.

    Chinese governments knows nothing about computers and the Internet (yes, I'm insulting Chinese government ]:) ).
    Grayson Peddie
  • Let US stop purchasing goods from China, they'll listen to the world.

    Let US stop purchasing goods from China, they'll listen to the world.
    jinishans
    • Now that's practical....

      Sure. Stop buying anything from China. Or Taiwan
      or the Phillipines or anything from SE Asia. Most
      IP thefts occur in these countries. I'm sure
      you'll be able to save lots of money and your
      budget will do great. Read "A Year without 'Made
      in China'". Excellent book. Unless you're
      willing to make those sacrifices...it's
      impractical.
      dwcfastrice
      • Exactly!

        Ya, do you remember "A day without a Mexican"? While as laughable as that was, picture a year without that labor force. It's possible to do but incredibly impractical since the stuff the EPA says is too toxic to produce in the USA is produced in those SE Asian countries. Where's your next flat panel going to come from? Ya, that ain't gonna work bud.
        Thanks for playing, here's your sign.
        Dr.Who