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

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.

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.