Computer companies are this week pleading with China to backtrack on its decision to mandate web filtering software.
The Wall Street Journal today reports seeing a letter signed by nineteen organizations and sent to China’s Minister of Industry Information and Technology. The companies who signed off on the letter say that the plan to have web filtering software installed on every computer sold in mainland China raises “significant questions of security privacy, system reliability, the free flow of information and user choice,” and urged the Chinese government to reconsider implementing the requirement.
The news comes following several recent developments. The Chinese government announced early this week that the software was not compulsory but would still ship with every computer sold. In other words, just because it’s on your computer when you get it, doesn’t mean you have to keep it the software.
Around the same time that China announced that no one would be forced to use Green Dam, a Santa Barbara-based company called Solid Oak alleged that parts of the software contained coding taken directly from Solid Oak’s own filtering software, Cybersitter, which is aimed at parents. Solid Oak has reportedly sent cease and desist orders to HP and Dell, blocking the two from shipping PCs with the software pre-installed.